CHARLOTTE, NC (CBS) – Whether you loved President Obama’s acceptance speech last night, hated it, or couldn’t care less, you all have something in common – most of you won’t be able to recall much about it in a few days from now. Don’t believe me? Quick – quote me a memorable line from Mitt Romney’s speech.
If you can, I’m pretty sure you’re an exception. No disrespect to those fine men and their speechwriters, but the public in general – and especially those precious-few undecided voters – are not hanging on every word of political speeches by anyone.
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To most of them, the conventions are background noise. TV ratings for the big show have been dropping like a rock for years, with 2008 a notable exception thanks to Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Last night’s “War and Peace” of a speech by former President Clinton was catnip for political junkies, but the public preferred NFL football by a wide margin.
When was the last time a political convention turned out to be a pivotal moment in a presidential race? Never, that’s when. So I have a question – why do we need to continue with this expensive, essentially-worthless farce?
Partisans, don’t get mad. You can have your party activism, and gather once in awhile to celebrate your solidarity, that’s fine. But I see no reason to squander $100 million tax dollars on security for these glorified TV shows that few watch, no reason to encourage the kind of pandering and mindless boosterism we’ve been subjected to for the past two weeks.
I enjoyed talking with local delegates at both conventions, but I can do that back at home just fine, thanks very much. If I want to see a Clint Eastwood comedy or a James Taylor concert, I’ll buy a ticket and do so. These things have outlived their purpose. They’re just a waste of time and money. And it’s disturbing that neither party has the leadership or common sense to admit it.
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