The first full night of the Republican National Convention offered some hints as to future presidential candidates. This article identifies which of the speakers may have launched themselves on that path and which did not.
In a prior pingroof.com article, Watch 2012 convention speeches to identify 2016 contenders we explained that an impressive convention speech is often a launching pad for future presidential nomination success.
The first full night of the convention featured a wide array of state governors and small business owners. The theme of the night was, mocking President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comment, “We built it.”
Showcasing small business owners was an excellent choice to demonstrate the “we built it” mantra. It was, unfortunately, a poor presentation skills choice. Most of the small business owners delivered heartfelt but wooden remarks.
Faring little better were the multitude of Republican state governors who also took the stage. Most of them demonstrated how not ready-for-primetime they were. A special disappointment was Wisconsin recall winning Governor Scott Walker. He had a chance to break out at this convention. His presentation did not deliver.
Former Mitt Romney rival Rick Santorum also spoke. Santorum is at his best when he speaks extemporaneously. His passion then shows through. Last night, he delivered a prepared text. The result was a delivery that looked less emotive.
Much stronger performances were delivered by two unlikely GOP speakers.
The first was former African-American Alabama Congressman Artur Davis. Davis served in congress as a Democrat. He even seconded President Barack Obama’s nomination at the 2008 Democratic convention.
In a fiery speech, Davis stated, “John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic Party asks what can government give you. Don’t worry about paying the bill, it’s on your kids and grandkids.”
The second surprise was Mia Love, a 36-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants who is running for congress in Utah. Ms. Love is conservative, female, and African-American.
Her speech was extremely well delivered, well received, and ended with the stirring proclamation that “we are the best, last hope on earth.”
Both Davis and Love may be, following the process laid out in Watch 2012 convention speeches to identify 2016 contenders, 2020 or 2004 presidential candidates. But first they will have to get elected at a national level.
Finally, three other speakers bear special mention.
Ann Romney did her spousal duties explaining Mitt Romney’s softer side.
Ted Cruz, Texas senate candidate and a Tea Party favorite, did not use a podium. He instead walked to the front of the stage and directed the delegates directly. It was an impressive performance from a rising Republican star.
Chris Christie had the best position possible. He was the keynote speaker. In the past, keynote speaking spots have propelled those who delivered a successful keynote into national orbit. Mr. Christie is already well known and his forceful focus on returning America to greatness by telling the truth to the people will position him for a presidential run in the future.