As Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico, Republican leaders and the Romney campaign revised the entire convention schedule and postponed the proceedings by 24 hours. That wasn't good enough for the potentates of the press. The GOP was castigated for going ahead with its convention while "a terrible storm" was "causing so much death and destruction." We were reminded repeatedly that Isaac had hit the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines on "the seventh anniversary of Katrina." One commentator, a former ABC and PBS political director, reporting for Yahoo News from the convention hall, said Republicans "are happy to have a party with black people drowning."
It was a perfect storm of media hostility coupled with breathless live reports of wind, rain and flooding, all timed to disrupt and distract attention from the events in Tampa. Yet when it was all said and done, the Republicans provided a remarkably effective introduction of the GOP candidates for the tens of millions of Americans who tuned in.
Big media present national political conventions as little more than expansive entertainment on the margins of expensive prepackaged political theater. But these quadrennial events, unique to the United States, are better-described as multi-day job interviews. They provide an opportunity for employers to assess whether an aspirant for a public service position should be hired or rehired. A convention provides an opportunity for job applicants to present their credentials and provide references who affirm their qualifications. Then, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, "We the People" -- the employers -- decide which candidate gets the job.
By that measure, the RNC in Tampa was as effective as any of the seven national conventions I attended -- but that's not how it's been depicted by the media elites. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized by some as self-serving. But his explanation of how Republican chief executives have effectively reined in runaway spending and reduced deficits is a telling message when contrasted with the Obama record.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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