Any political science student who was given the assignment of watching the two political conventions in the past two weeks and reporting on them ought to get an A+ if they just managed to stay awake for them. Other than a few moments delivered by Clint Eastwood, former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, and the aspiring First Lady Ann Romney, the two political conventions of 2012 – yawn-per-yawn – have to be the most uninspiring political conventions in recent history.
Anyone who managed to sit through the two weeks of the two political affairs probably started tallying how many times they heard the worn-out phrase “fact check” just to stay awake. I lost track during the second week when the tally of the term reached epic proportions.
Not that there weren’t moments, of course. Week one started off with a bang when Ann Romney appeared more likeable than most had imagined and even managed to make her unlikable husband – according to polls – palatable to the public. Not to be outdone by any stretch of the imagination, Michelle Obama did extremely well in reintroducing the president to the masses. Lucky for both women, they have more interesting topics than their politician-husbands. Mrs. Romney and Mrs. Obama both spoke about people we want to know more about, even if it is a biased view from a loving spouse.
The two candidates – Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – talked unfavorably about one another when it was their turns to speak. Exciting? Not really. They’ve been doing that all summer and hearing more of the same at the culmination of both weeks’ conventions was predictably monotonous.
Saving the day – as opposed to “making the day” – for the first week’s Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood livened things up with his out-of-“right”-field speech. Fast forward a couple of decades. When anyone speaks about the political conventions of 2012 in the future, it will undoubtedly be said: “You remember 2012. The year Clint Eastwood gave that empty chair speech.” Other than that, nothing will likely be remembered about the past two weeks by the average American.
The excitement of the second week was minimal, at best. Though it caused controversy when it was learned that former President Bill Clinton would speak – depending on whether the DNC met his terms or not – having Clinton speak was obviously a good move. Once again, Bill Clinton proved to be to the Democrats what former President Ronald Reagan was to the Republicans – a dynamic speaker. When it comes to a politician captivating a crowd, they just don’t make ‘em like those two anymore.
Regardless of what Clinton had to say, he still knows how to steal a show – even when he’s not supposed to do so. Whether one agrees with what the man says or not, admittedly, he puts on a great show.
So, there we have them – the two political Conventions of 2012. The stars were outshined by the likes of Clint Eastwood, Bill Clinton, and the alleged stars’ wives.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.