Friday 31 August 2012
US election 2012: Mitt Romney's convention speech fails to hit the spot as a rambling Clint Eastwood steals the show
The Telegraph's US Editor Peter Foster is underwhelmed by Mitt Romney's presidential campaign speech at the Republican National Convention as a star turn from Clint Eastwood overshadows his performance.
Four years ago, after accepting John McCain was going to beat him to the 2008 Republican nomination, Mitt Romney returned to Boston and the drawing board, determined to rebuild his political career from the bottom up.
Last night in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Mr Romney was given a huge opportunity to finish that job and launch his challenge to Barack Obama for the White House, but as always with Romney the politician – as opposed to the businessman – he didn’t quite seal the deal.
There were moments of fresh authenticity from a man who is often accused of being unable to demonstrate empathy and emotion, but they were the highlights of a speech that for long sections Mr Romney seems to have made a thousand times before.
But it was the turn from Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood that threatened to derail Romney's big night.
The 82-year-old he delivered a surreal and rambling speech in which he pretended to interview an invisible Barack Obama. It baffled the audience and sucked much of the attention away from Mr Romney's own prime time address.