Romney's sound bytes in the newspapers can only go so far.
The Jawa Report comments:
There seems to be a general consensus that Romney's speech was 'underwhelming.' I have to agree with that general sentiment.
Clarifying my earlier points, Romney came across as likeable, but he also had a little too much "game show host" vibe going on. He may be completely sincere in what he's saying, but he comes across with a little too much of a "sales pitch" feel, IMHO. He said a lot of the right things, but there's a style issue. The candidates should think of the conservatives as a spurned woman. You need to say the right things, but you damn well better come across as sincere. This speech was the first time a lot of conservatives had a close look at Romney.
He went out of his way to check off every conservative box—except the one that is politically risky at the moment. The rest of his foreign policy stuff—when he talked about Iran and the broader war—felt very shaky and about an inch deep. His account of how he came to change his view on abortion—through the issue of stem-cell research—isn't very compelling and he would probably be better off not talking about it at all. Fairly or not, people aren't going to believe it. It was his misfortune to boast about signing Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge, after Jeb Bush gave a very mature and persuasive explanation earlier in the day for why he hadn't ever signed the pledge, but still cut taxes each year he was in office. I'm a fan of the pledge myself and I'm glad Romney signed it, but his boast on this night after following Jeb played into what will be the chief vulnerability to his candidacy—the sense that he is simply pandering to the right. Believe me, I prefer politicians pandering to the right than to something or someone else. But it won't be enough to sustain a serious presidential campaign, which has to have a deeper rationale than occupying a niche in the marketplace.
Yeah, it's called conviction. It's what makes what comes out of your pie hole believable.
Here's another individual with a report on the evening.
I think it’s plenty fair, but then I am one of those people who don’t believe it. Of course, he can’t not talk about it. He has made it a central part of his makeover from Massachusetts squish moderate to Romney, Conservative Iron Man. To avoid talking about it now would be to admit that all of his critics’ charges of insincerity and opportunism were correct, which would prove that the man will say anything for votes. No, he has concocted his implausible “conversion” story, and now he must live with it. Watch the video of his NRI speech and note his wandering, aimless delivery, his tiresome rattling off of his accomplishments, as if it were just some boilerplate stump speech, and the laundry-list, conservatism 101 nature of the speech (liberals want, uh, they want to increase the size of government and that’s, like, bad!). Be warned–he drones on for around fifty minutes, so feel free to skip ahead. Look at the video at 32:16, where he informs his audience that “bloated social spending” is called “the welfare state,” in order to get a sense of the thin gruel he was dishing out. The applause from the audience was suitably weak and scattered.