Which speech this week would you rate the best? I have to give my vote to Marco Rubio. Friends in Florida have frequently told me that he’s over-rated, but he certainly wowed last night. He was funny, engaging as he talked about his family and he just has the instinct for setting the right tone and pace for a good speech.
I’m not the only one who reached that conclusion. Mark Warren, executive editor of Esquire says the same thing on the magazine’s blog. While acknowledging the power of Rubio’s speech, Warren also does a decent job of questioning some of Rubio’s themes.
How can Rubio say that “America’s prosperity didn’t happen because our government simply spent more money”? By ignoring Social Security, Medicare and other programs that allow millions to live comfortably, if not extravagantly.
And when Rubio goes on to say broadly of programs like Obama’s stimulus bill that “these are tired and old big government ideas, ideas that people come to America to get away from,” he makes a mistake that is as stupid and lamentable as it is understandable: Having come from the prison of Castro’s Cuba, his family and families like his vowed to banish communism from the earth forever. And in their zeal they sometimes seem to find communism everywhere, including Washington. And after three and a half years of Obama, in this hall in Tampa, through this looking glass, for the assembled delegates and luminaries of the GOP, it has become an article of faith that Barack Obama is a socialist, maybe even a communist. (A communist running like hell for reelection, as they have throughout history.) There is a good and necessary and vigorous argument to be made against President Obama’s reelection, but this is not it. It is absurd, and does a grave injustice to communism’s true victims.
Which speech would you rate the best? As for the worst, I’m going with Clint Eastwood.