Some Observations on the Romney Rally in Port St. Lucie
Last Sunday, we made the trip up to Tradition to hang out with 13,000 others and see what a Romney rally is like coming off his game changing debate performance. Although the day was hot and the ground was muddy (including the parking lot), people seemed happy to be there and cheered the warm up acts of Joe Negron, Mary Lynn Magar and CFO Jeff Atwater who has become a very effective large crowd speaker and clearly enthusiastic about the Republican ticket. Allen West and Pam Bondi, who introduced Mitt and Ann Romney were also clearly favorites of this crowd.
Governor Romney gave an organized speech, combining elements we have heard from news coverage of other events with quite a few personal anecdotes, reminiscent of the “humanizing” narrative of Tampa, and endiing with an exhortation to “raise the torch”, that was very effective.
Here are some impressions:
- The crowd was large and enthusiastic. It was clear that these folks were pleased with the candidate and firmly behind him. Despite the uncomfortable heat, the sticky mud underfoot and in the parking lot, and the long wait for the event to begin, these folks are pumped.
- The candidate has a new zip in his step.. After his debate performance, possibly the most thorough drubbing of a sitting President that the nation has ever witnessed before an audience north of 70 million, Mitt Romney looks and feels like a winner. No longer defined by Obama’s negative ads, he is free to speak his mind, describe his opponent starkly, and offer hope for the future.
- The event was well organized and fulfilled expectations.The crowd of 13,000, mostly arriving from I95, were funneled smoothly into parking spaces on a grassy field, checked through security with a minimum of fuss (in spite of the TSA agents in their silly blue uniforms), and allowed to spread out and fill the space efficiently. Free water was handed out, the sound system was good, as was the music, and the event appeared to run within 15 minutes of schedule, despite the threat of a summer downpour.
All things considered, it feels like we have turned a corner and the race is now truly competitive.