Republican Convention recap: a campus responds
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Last night ended the Republican National Convention; Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan accepted the respective nominations for president and vice president.
The convention, which got off to a late start because of Hurricane Isaac, ran from Aug. 27 to Aug 30 in Tampa Bay, Fla.
Romney’s concluding speech mentioned what he felt was President Obama’s inability to tackle the nation’s economic problems – a theme throughout the entire convention. The convention also featured multiple female speakers like Ann Romney, who spoke affectionately of her husband.
The amount of featured women was likely intentional, according to James Campbell, a distinguished professor of political science.
“The Democrats have been attacking the Republicans for their so called ‘war against women,’” Campbell said. “So I think they just wanted to prove that’s kind of nonsense.”
The attempt to close the gender gap by Republicans won’t affect the polls much, according to James Battista, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. He suggested there might be a small amount of women who were leaning toward the Republican Party committing sooner, but he doesn’t foresee the party’s efforts having a huge affect.
Christian Andzel, a junior history and political science major, and vice president of UB Conservatives and member of the College Republicans, felt Ann Romney’s speech showed the Republican’s party embrace of women.
“Ann Romney had such a powerful speech that I think should ignite the entrepreneurship and ignite the motivation of all women to become more than who they are right now, to be stronger, to make more money and give stronger families,” said Andzel.
Paul Ryan’s speech appears to have captivated the bulk of his party. But according to a post on Barack Obama’s website, “Paul Ryan closed out day three of the Republican convention with a speech full of attacks and blame—and not one tangible idea to move the country forward.”
Campbell felt Ryan’s speech clearly stated the candidate’s perceived problems of the Obama administration and provided ideas to assist picking up the economy.
Ryan’s nomination helped bridge some of the divisions among Republicans, according to Campbell. He is acceptable to both mainstream Republicans, and the more Tea Party and Libertarian parts of the party as well, Campbell said.
“There is still some friction between Romney forces and the Ron Paul people,” Campbell said. “But for the most part I think those are set aside and they realize they have more in common confronting a much a more liberal party in the Democrats for the general election.”
Adding Ryan to the ticket made a huge difference to conservative Republicans like Andzel. He said he and other conservatives were leery of Romney, but are more at ease with the addition of Ryan’s fiscal conservative nature. He appreciated Ryan’s energy, much like the energy he has noticed from conservatives on campus.
The UB Conservatives exist more as the activist group to their College Republican counterpart. In the past two weeks the club has had 27 more signups, something Andzel described as a “dramatic shift.” He feels the youth energy on campus has been incredible.
Campbell feels Americans are facing a very close election.
“President Obama has the advantage of incumbency and being a very likable candidate, and being seen particularly by young people as the more attractive candidate but the economic record, I think, at this point is strongly in the Republican’s favor.” Campbell said. “There’s a kind of balance there, so it’s going to be very interesting, in the next six weeks, to see how that plays out.”