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    Posted September 3, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Sights and sounds of the RNC

    Rutigliano and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: RNC 2012
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    America needs a leader

    “America needs a leader, America needs someone that can get things done, someone with business experience that can turn the economy around, and Mitt Romney is that man.”

    This is not my opinion, but the opinion being flouted in several variations and forms by Republican supporters and contributors alike. This is the crux of the Romney campaign and the underlining message at the RNC in Tampa Bay, Florida. The lineup of speakers at the Republican National Convention is a mix of staunchly loyal conservatives like former Governor Mike Huckabee, to side-changers like Artur Davis and enemy-come-friends like Rick Santorum. The event is used to highlight Mitt Romney’s strengths and downplay his weaknesses - as well as serving its actual purpose of presenting Romney as the official GOP Presidential candidate. And no one at the Convention is more qualified to groom Mr. Romney’s ego and tidy up negative publicity than his wife Ann Romney.

    The scheduling of Ann Romney’s address at the Convention was a genius move by the Romney team advisors. The speech itself eclipsed everybody’s expectations, not only was Ann Romney eloquent, but she added her own personal flair and charisma. Mrs. Romney set forth to give the Republican fan base and swing voters a constant reminder that Mr. Romney was as ‘normal’ and ‘everyday’ as anyone else in America. This was a point well made (even if it is fallacious). However Mrs. Romney’s greatest strength and asset to the campaign was her ability to reach out to female voters, a demographic that has been in the high percentages for Obama since it became clear the Mr. Romney would be the GOP candidate. The strong, articulate and unambiguous display by Mrs. Romney will unequivocally contribute to the wanted and desperate revival of Mitt Romney’s depleted image.

    Paul Ryan’s much anticipated speech was just as beneficial to the campaign as Ann Romney’s was. Ryan spoke about the responsibility the Obama administration needed to take for not rectifying the unemployment and economic problems facing America. He eloquently propounded Romney’s view, whilst supplementing the message with moments of simple comedy (talking about the difference in music taste between the two). “My playlists starts with ACDC and ends with Zeppelin” said bright eyed Ryan. He made a strong case for change – even if he conveniently left out the main reason for Obama’s lack of reaction to the fiscal and social problems was that the Republican-majority-held-Congress relentlessly blocked all of Obama’s attempts to help. As much as these speeches will help the Romney cause, and the Democratic National Convention in Northern Carolina next month will do the same thing for Obama; there is no doubt that as each parties campaigns’ progress, there will be a more acute attempt to convince those handful of states that are currently undecided to decided whether they are blue or red.

    The swing states are obviously the key to winning the election, and arguably the most significant is Florida. The same state that boasts snubbed Vice Presidential candidate Mark Rubio as their Republican Senator. If Mitt Romney had have chosen Rubio as his running mate this would have almost guaranteed Florida’s 29 up-for-grab votes, as well as a good slice of Hispanic love – Mark Rubio being of course of Cuban decent. It’s expected that Michigan will come around and embrace one of their own with an extra 16 votes. Regardless of Rubio’s snub, Mitt Romney still has pulling power in the state of Florida and the fact that the RNC is being held there won’t hurt. So after all of this (the acquisition of Florida and Michigan) it leaves Romney ahead of Obama on the projected polls by 15 votes. However, the election will be won and lost in October when the three Presidential debates and one Vice Presidential debate takes place. Two of the debates are being held in neutral territory (swing territory) in the sates of Colorado and Florida and the others will be held in Democratic New York and Republican Kentucky. This is the arena where Obama can really tighten the noose on Romney with questions about his and his running mates foreign policy experience, namely the complete lack of. It is also where Romney can grill Obama about his inability to shift the economy from the slippery slop of rapid decline or in the words of Joseph Stiglitz “free-fall”.

    Towards the end of October, the vital month. America will have a slightly less foggy indication of which candidate is more capable of moving the nation in the right fiscal direction. The debates are make or break; it’s predicted that Biden will struggle against the sharp, clever and implacably conservative Ryan. To predict whom will succeed between Romney and Obama is a much more difficult task. Both men are ferociously intelligent and quick thinkers (maybe Obama has a slight edge there), they both graduated well from Harvard, and have been successful in their individual ways. The debates will be tight and well analyzed by the media and this will further help to swing the minds of undecided voters.

    America is clearly in need of urgent change. If the Republicans keep majority control of the House, and subsequently Congress, there is not much point in an Obama second term. However, if Mitt Romney wins the election and the Republicans gain at least two or three seats in the Senate, there is real cause to believe that the Romney administration can implement positive and effective policy. The difference between the two outcomes is that Obama needs – as previously stated – double digit seat reclaims in the House. Whereas Romney only needs single digits in the Senate. The former is incredibly unlikely, and the latter is feasible. This is the real story, and the outcome of these seats will determine the direction of America’s future.

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