James Forsyth

Romney’s last rally feels flat

Romney's last rally feels flat
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Mitt Romney’s final event before the Iowa caucus was surprisingly downbeat affair. The crowd was not huge—about 625 to 650 people according to the Romney camp—and Romney was in reflective rather than rousing mood peppering his speech with phrases such as “I don’t know what happens to us down the road” and “we’re going to make a real effort.” In short, you didn’t leave the rally thinking that you’d just seen a man who expects to win on Thursday. 

Romney’s speech was designed to hit the sweet spots of Iowa Republicans. Romney extolled patriotic values, talked about being “swamped by illegal immigration” and bashed  Washington while paying tribute to George W. Bush “who has kept us safe these past six years”.

Watching Romney he comes across as the safe—if rather bland—Republican choice, a problem solver and a solid family man who is acceptable to most wings of the party. His five sons and five daughters in law are a large part of the package and Romney stresses how if the Romneys were the first family they would “never dishonour that place [the White House] in any way” a slam at the Clinton which has the added bonus of reminding people of the flamboyant private lives of some of his Republican opponents. But the overall Romney package seems to be missing that special ingredient whether it be passion or inspiration.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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