As we watch the Romneys and Ryans in the traditional balloon drop, a few really quick takes.
On balance, I thought the first half to 2/3 of the speech were really weak, disjointed, kind of rambling. (The protest disruptions probably added to that impression.) The speechwriting effort to address shortcomings with female voters and other key vulnerabilities was clear enough and understandable. But it just seemed, as I said, disjointed, with no clear direction or anchor. One of our reporters mentioned afterward that it seemed more like a State of the Union. Not sure I totally agree — but something like that.
That changed in the last ten or fifteen minutes — it finally developed some verve and direction. In speech terms it was fairly solid at the end.
But on balance, I thought it was fairly weak as a speech. He’s the underdog and he’s the guy who needs to have a galvanizing introduction to the general public. In those terms, it was a missed opportunity. A pretty big one.
Just after the speech, on CNN, they asked Alex Castellanos what he thought of the speech. Alex’s response: “Good enough.” Yeah, pretty apt response.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.