Republicans kicked off Thursday night’s festivities with Jeb Bush who was dull as dishwater. That was a bad sign because the convention started off slowly on Tuesday and Wednesday as well and there were no big name speakers scheduled until 10 PM EST.
Surprisingly, however, that’s when things got really good because they began trotting out people Mitt had helped — and the stories were incredible.
In particular, the program featured Ted and Pat Oparowski, a couple who lived in Medford, Massachusetts in the 1970s. They knew Romney from church, and when their 14 year-old son David was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1979, Romney visited the boy regularly. “They developed a loving friendship,” Pat Oparowski said, recounting the many times Romney came to see her and her son.
David Oparowski’s cancer was terminal. During one visit, Mrs. Oparowski recalled, “David, knowing Mitt had gone to law school at Harvard, asked Mitt if he would help him write a will. He had some prize possessions that he wanted to make sure were given to his closest friends and family. The next time Mitt went to the hospital, he was equipped with his yellow legal pad and pen. Together, they made David’s will. That is a task that no child should ever have to do. But it gave David peace of mind. So after David’s death, we were able to give his skateboard, his model rockets, and his fishing gear to his best friends. He also made it clear that his brother Peter should get his Ruger .22 rifle. How many men do you know who would take the time out of their busy lives to visit a terminally ill 14 year old and help him settle his affairs?”
“David also helped us plan his funeral,” Pat Oparowski continued. “He wanted to be buried in his Boy Scout uniform. He wanted Mitt to pronounce his eulogy, and Mitt was there to honor that request. We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern.”
It was an extraordinary story, seldom mentioned in the press, and it left many in the hall in tears. “You cannot measure a man’s character based on the words he utters before adoring crowds during times that are happy,” said Ted Oparowski. “The true measure of a man is revealed in his actions during times of trouble — the quiet hospital room of a dying boy, with no cameras and no reporters.”
This five minute speech from Pam Finlayson was also AMAZING.
These speeches did an INCREDIBLE job of humanizing Romney, especially in comparison to Barack Obama. Mitt Romney was raking leaves for the elderly and visiting the sick in the hospital while Barack Obama’s own brother has to go begging to pay a few hundred dollars of hospital bills for his kid.
The three big speeches of the night were kicking off at 10:00 PM. It was Clint Eastwood, Marco Rubio, and Mitt Romney.
Eastwood did a speech where he talked and had a little silent conversation with an empty chair that was supposed to be occupied by Obama. It was a gutsy routine and Eastwood was funny and delivered some good lines. However, he seemed off, nervous, unsteady — something — throughout the entire speech. It was a little jarring for people who’ve seen Unforgiven and Dirty Harry to hear Clint Eastwood stumbling around as he did his lines. All in all, it was a decent performance, but below par from what people expected from Eastwood. After that, Marco Rubio gave a solid speech and then Mitt took the stage. It was a big moment and Mitt delivered. He got off some good lines, smacked Obama around, humanized himself a bit, talked about his agenda and kept things moving the whole time while presenting himself as a problem solver who could help tackle the country’s problems.
It was a strong night and a strong convention. Mitt’s campaign should get a nice, big bounce out of it.
Bonus: The two best quotes from last night.