Politics and Public Opinion

A look at Romney’s big economic speech

Here’s a lovely Wordle word cloud of Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday in Michigan:

I like that “tax” is nice and prominent. This bit from the speech, I think, gives the Romney thesis:

By making bold cuts in spending and commonsense entitlement reforms, we will make our government simpler, smaller, and smarter. Through pro-growth policies, we will get our economy back on track – and get our citizens back to work. Taken together, the plan I’m offering represents the biggest fundamental change to the federal government in modern history. These are conservative, pro-growth policies that will not only jumpstart our economy, but will stop the dangerous slide toward a society that values entitlement over opportunity. We will restore the promise of America. More jobs, less debt, smaller government.

Good stuff. Focus on tax cuts, shrinking government, and entitlement reform. The downside of the speech: Too much tell, not enough show. A few stories and anecdotes would be nice. Team Romney should take a peek at this 1977 Ronald Reagan speech called “What Ever Happened to Free Enterprise.” It had lots of numbers, but lots of stories that brought the numbers alive. Like this bit:

The result is a fourth branch added to the traditional three of executive, legislative, and judicial: a vast federal bureaucracy that’s now being imitated in too many states and too many cities, a bureaucracy of enormous power which determines policy to a greater extent than any of us realize, very possibly to a greater extent than our own elected representatives. And it can’t be removed from office by our votes.

To give you an illustration using another country, England, in 1803 created a new civil service position. It called for a man to stand on the cliffs of Dover with a spy glass and ring a bell if he saw Napoleon coming. They didn’t eliminate that job until 1945. In our own country, there are only two government programs that we have totally wiped out and abolished: the government stopped making rum on the Virgin Islands, and we’ve stopped breeding horses for the cavalry.

Oh, and here is a word cloud for that speech. No doubt what Reagan thought America’s biggest problem was:


6 thoughts on “A look at Romney’s big economic speech

  1. No matter that Reagan’s claim was patently ridiculous (which is to say, false, a lie, etc.) Like many other stories told about government regulation gone wrong.

    • Saying so does not make it so. If you have proof to back up your statements, then show it.

      It’s something you should have learned in middle school math class, you want to “prove” anything, you have to show your work…

  2. Would’ve been more interesting to show both clouds in the same typeface, either all, or title, caps, same type orientation, etc. Obviously, Reagans words look bolder, more forceful and exciting; they are printed in bold italic all-caps type, on all manner of angles. Romney comes off looking pedestrian and ordinary by comparison; his words appear only in lower-case, horizontal, non-bold type. Why not represent both similarly to illustrate your point instead of thumbing the scale with this sleight of the typesetter’s hand?

  3. Romney does not have the same charisma as Reagan, nor as this article stated Reagans ability to put conservative ideas in terms the ordinary person can understand, but policy wise he is quite close to Reagan. He is putting his emphasis where it belongs, cutting spending, burocracy, government, taxes, and returning programs to the states, rather than going on with constant panders to the socon base. If Romney had Newts ability to make conservative ideas exciting, or Newt had Romneys executive experience, steadiness, and lack of baggage, we would have the perfect candidate. As it is, I think Romney is as good as we can get now, and much better than anybody else that is running. I also have several leftist leaning or middle of the road friends, who are badly disenchanted with Obama, and could live with Romney as an alternative, while with anybody else running (except possibly Ron Paul) they would flock back to Obama in terror.

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