Thursday Morning Political Headlines: Clinton rallies voters in Orlando

Wednesday afternoon in front of a full house at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, former President Bill Clinton gave local Democrats a taste of what they missed in Charlotte during the DNC.

Introduced by former Police Chief and congressional candidate Val Demings, Clinton went through the same talking points that made his speech last week so popular. He talked about President Barack Obama‘s first term and reiterated that no one could have repaired what he had to. He batted at the Romney/Ryan policies accusing them of “trickle down” economics and promoted teamwork on capitol hill.

Down the road, Ann Romney spoke to an overflow crowd in Largo. Coming off of her own well received convention speech, Romney focused on her husband’s commitment to her family and his devotion to the country.

Those two stories sweep your Thursday morning political headlines.

WKMG Local 6: (Video) Bill Clinton campaigns for President Obama in Orlando

WESH 2: Clinton in Orlando: ‘Cooperation over conflict’ wins

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (Video) Former President Bill Clinton pleads with Florida to vote for Obama

CF News 13: Bill Clinton, Ann Romney rally I-4 voters

WOFL Fox 35: Clinton wraps up 2-day Fla. campaign for Obama in Orlando

Orlando Sentinel
: Bill Clinton in Orlando: Choose Obama over ‘You’re on your own’

Former President Clinton spoke to a full house on Wednesday in Orlando

Monday Morning Political Headlines: Clinton in Orlando, Ann Romney out west, on Wednesday

The President’s visit to Florida this weekend kept the news organizations in Orlando busy this weekend and the Obama campaigns rotation through the biggest political battleground in the country shows no signs of slowing down.

Former President Bill Clinton will be in Orlando on Wednesday. We told you about that appearance yesterday.

Then we heard that Mitt Romney would be down the road visiting Hillsborough county that same day, later we found out that it was Ann, not Mitt that would be meeting with voters out west on Wednesday.

Anyways, you might have seen the viral photo of the Pizza Shop owner lifting up President Obama during one of his surprise visits to small businesses, he often makes when visiting. It inspired me, and I’ve decided I’m going to “powerlift hug” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie next time he’s in town.

WESH 2: (Video) Obama talks NASA in Brevard County

WKMG Local 6: President Obama campaigns in Kissimmee

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: President Obama speaks in Melbourne

CF News 13: Tickets available for former Pres. Clinton’s Orlando stop

WOFL Fox 35: Bill Clinton set to campaign in Florida for Obama

Orlando Sentinel: Obama talks Medicare in Space Coast appearance

Great photo but I’m going to do that to Chris Christie

POLL: RNC bounce gives Romney lead in Ohio

In a poll provided to us by our friends at Gravis Marketing, the Republican National Convention held last week in Tampa has given Mitt Romney a valuable bounce in another important swing state in the country.

According to a survey taken with about 1400 voters earlier this week, the presidential race in the Buckeye state has shifted from a one point Obama lead to a 3 point Romney lead, demonstrating that excitement from the conventions, and emotional speeches on primetime tv can still provide that small (and often temporary) bounce.

The RNC featured top flight speeches by Ann Romney, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and of course the GOP ticket of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The convention had to stare down Tropical Storm Issac and was even shortened to from 4 days to 3 to accommodate safe travel of delegates and lawmakers.

The Democratic National Convention kicked off last night in Charlotte, North Carolina as those in attendance got to see First Lady Michelle Obama make a case for re-election of her husband, as well as rising star and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro flex his public speaking muscle in front of a nationwide television audience for the first time. The convention continues tonight with former President Bill Clinton.

President Obama can also expect a small bump in the polls next week as well. With the current trend being seen around the country, it will probably put the race back within one point, one way or the other. For now, RNC organizers can enjoy the lead they’ve given their candidate in one of the most important swing states in the country.

Romney’s speech at the RNC last week has given him a small lead in the Buckeye state this week

DNC Review Pt I: First Lady Impresses, Castro adequate

The main festivities kicked off last night in Charlotte as the Democratic National Convention hit primetime television, with it’s first group of speakers addressing the country and pushing for the re-election of President Barack Obama.

Among those speakers where former Obama Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emannuel, “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle” actor Kal Penn, and Maryland Governor Bob O’Malley. Florida Congresswoman and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz dropped the gavel to start an evening that would ultimately end with First Lady Michelle Obama rallying the capacity crowd to deliver another four years for her husband.

She succeeded. The others? Not so sure.

FLOTUS Delivers: Seriously, did anyone believe that Michelle Obama would take the podium in front of thousands of her supporters and not get the job done? It was a recurring theme last night, thousands on the web complimenting her manner, her personality and her appearance, but taking a step back when examining at her husband’s first term. Yeah, she brought up warm personal memories of the President when he was younger, but those were things we had all heard before.

The First Lady did well. She usually does. But, unlike Ann Romney who had the advantage of introducing that human element to the country for the first time, Michelle Obama has the President’s record to carry on her back this time, and probably didn’t win over many undecided voters.

Castro is no Rubio: Julian Castro, the young gun Mayor from San Antonio came in with the hype machine running full speed behind him. There were comparisons of Obama from 2004 and he showcased a lot of his political tools last night. He told his inspiring story of being raised from nothing to go to Harvard and, along with his twin brother had his family to thank. He got the crowd involved with a multi-issue attack on Mitt Romney that played on all of the passionate Democratic issues. He also closed strong and flexed that speaking ability that energizes and motivates but..

He’s no Marco Rubio.

Sorry, my Democratic friends but it’s way too soon to make those comparison and the speech was far from perfect. The crowd took a while to get going because, outside of Texas, no one really new who this guy was. He got stuck in the moment a few times, overwhelmed by an energy that he didn’t know what to do with. He didn’t talk policy with the national audience. Can he talk solutions?

Rubio can do all of those things and more. Castro is young (37) and still someone to watch but, he needs to get to Washington and it’s his twin Joaquin who is on that career track, not Julian.

No Bench, Cause to Worry for “D’s”: There were some other good speakers last night, but those were advocates from issue based campaigns and organizations. Where are the young lawmakers that are going to lead this party for the next 20 years? Man.. I don’t know.

Tonight, Democrats in Charlotte will turn to one of the lawmakers that they’ve trusted for the last 20+ years, former President Bill Clinton and he’ll need to be in top form because, it won’t just be Democrats watching tonight, it will be Independents.

Castro has got skills but still has work to do to be compared to Rubio

RNC Review Part III: Romney accepts, Marco impresses, Eastwood with the Good, the bad, and the ugly

For a convention that stared down a tropical storm and was cut a day short, Republicans can fly away from Tampa feeling pretty good.

They can feel good knowing that on the final night the RNC, the past, present, and future of the GOP is strong and last night was a strong demonstration of that strength.

You had the Ronald Reagan videos, and retrospective by Newt Gingrich that illustrated past success in American government by exercising conservative values. You had the present with Mitt Romney stepping up and accepting the party’s nomination and reminding the American people that they deserve better, and shouldn’t settle. You also saw the bright future of the party with Florida Senator Marco Rubio shining on the national stage. Let’s break down the final night.

Jeb promotes education, pushes back at Obama:

It was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at his best. Bush used his time to promote education, an issue that’s always been close to his heart, even years after he’s been out of office. He cited eye-opening education numbers, that not only showed American losing ground on India and China but, there were positive numbers as well that demonstrated improvements in speciific areas of the country. He also issued a stern warning to the President to lay off of his brother. “You were dealt a bad hand” Jeb said and, went on to add that he hopes the President still isn’t dwelling on that hand, after his first full term in office.

Clint Eastwood gives us the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

The GOOD: The 82 year old Oscar winner did exactly what he had to. He kept voters from changing the channel to College Football on Thursday night primetime. He hit the right cord with the older audience and there were viewers who found him charming.

The BAD: Bad, bad gimmick. The empty chair conversation hasn’t played well over the last 24 hrs. You can understand he was trying to be clever but the angle missed the mark.

The UGLY: He looked rough. Not spaghetti western rough, but with his hair going in six different directions and looking lost at times, maybe that Reagan hologram wouldn’t have been so bad after all.

Marco Rubio 2016 or 2020?:

Rubio was charged with bringing the energy level back up after Eastwood/Chair thing for Romney. The introduction couldn’t have gone better and now the rest of the country will be asking when will Rubio’s time will come. From his personal family history to testifying at how great a President Romney would be for the country, Rubio did it all. If Ryan should falter at anytime on the campaign trail, the Florida Senator will give some party members buyer’s remorse.

Romney does enough:

Don’t get me wrong. Romney gave a fine speech but, he didn’t blow the roof off the place. He finally presented the human side of the Republican nominee. Up until now, we’ve had bios, articles, features, and even his wife Ann (who spoke beautifully) tell Mitt’s story but it wasn’t until we heard it from Mitt himself that it really provided that personal touch that voters wanted.

He also went after independents and opened the door for Obama defectors. He questioned the enthusiasm of the President’s voter base and rolled out a strong general election message. “We deserve better” went from his lips to the front page of USA Today this morning. He earned some votes with that speech last night and gave the party enough to feel good about it’s chances moving forward.

Convention Awards:

Best Speech: Ann Romney. She filled that cold, emotionless vibe around the campaign by, telling a great story about her family on Tuesday night. She was strong, warm, sincere, and perfectly at home on primetime national television. We’re still talking about her days later.

Runner Up: Condoleezza Rice. Not one negative talking point, or jab at the other side. A dignified message that presented the best of what Republicans had to offer for the future of the country. Is it too late to start printing Rubio/Rice bumper stickers?

Best Speech No one saw: Jeb. You read about it a couple of paragraphs ago. It’s a shame it wasn’t feature nationally but, those familiar with the former Governor knows he probably liked it that way.

Worst Speech: Pam Bondi and Barney Rubble. Even a couple of days later, I still feel terrible for Florida’s AG. It’s a great thing she’s a regular on cable television, it will help put this speech behind us.

Best Joke: Paul Ryan’s Ipod joke about Mitt. Not only did it give us a glance of the kind of dynamic these two have together but, it was funny and now the country knows about Ryan’s love of classic rock. Ryan also gets best dressed honors. I’m totally going to rip off that look he sported during his speech.

So, that’s it guys. Next week we’ve got the DNC and this blog we’ll be breaking that down as well. So, have a great weekend and…

Well done RNC. Well done Tampa.

Romney and Ryan will watch the DNC next week and then prepare for debates