Analyzing convention acceptance speeches

Erin Brush | Staff Writer
Sheila Raghavendran | Staff Writer

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney accepted their nominations for presidential candidate at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and laid out their party platforms. Diving deeper into their acceptance speeches, we can dissect how each candidate plans to tackle America’s issues.

Education is a hot-button topic that keeps recurring throughout this political battle. The country is stuck: standards for education; students paying for college; teachers losing jobs; education accessibility – issues continuously erupt over the schooling of Americans. More elaborative than Romney about his views on education, President Obama clearly expressed his plans.

According to our president, anyone who wants an education will be able to get one – regardless of age and wealth. He boasted that almost every state has raised their school standards recently, and that’s unique; more children than in the past generation are getting a better education. He claims his tax system has allowed students to attend college at a more affordable price – interesting, since we’ve seen tuition skyrocketing in the past four years. President Obama is striving is to create more jobs for teachers – perhaps the recent strike in Chicago is encouraging him furthermore.

Romney on the other hand, was incredibly vague with his views on education. We weeded out the fact that he thinks parents should have the choice of where their child should attend school, and each student “should have a chance.” He did not elaborate any further on the topic, and did not put forward a plan – making President Obama seem like he made education more of a priority.

Creating jobs was clearly the focal point of Romney’s plan. To highlight his extensive business background, he told a rather lengthy tale of his own success story of how he built a company from the ground up. Next he explained a five step plan to create 12 million jobs, claiming he would champion small businesses, forge new trade agreements, and make America energy independent. President Obama surprisingly had somewhat similar ideas, with a less lofty goal. The president said he intended to create one million more jobs in his next term, mostly by rewarding companies who aren’t outsourcing American jobs.

America’s ever-increasing deficit will be a crushing weight on the shoulders of our next president, which is why we found it peculiar that both Romney and President Obama were very vague about their plan to reduce the debt. Romney briefly mentioned creating a budget plan, but wasn’t specific as to where he would cut back. President Obama stated that his plan would reduce the deficit by $4 million, but added no further details. This left us wondering; do the candidates have a specific step-by-step plan to reduce the deficit, or are they just hoping for the best?

In terms of foreign policy, both candidates were very clear in their intent to stop Iran’s nuclear threat. They differed, however, in their views on other foreign conflicts. President Obama is taking a more passive approach, withdrawing from Afghanistan in order to give America time to rebuild, while Romney said he wants to become more loyal to our allies, such as Israel, and less flexible with our adversaries. Recently, Romney has gotten a lot criticism for dubbing Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical enemy,” as President Obama reminded in his own speech.

With the buzz of energy, Democrats usually come forth with a bang – they’re all about energy efficiency, natural resources, and lower gas consumption. Romney tried to step into the energy circle by introducing his platform with sharing his goal to make North America energy independent by 2020. As president of the United States, controlling our own country’s energy consumption would be plausible, but how he plans to regulate Mexico’s and Canada’s usage – we don’t know.

President Obama, being the typical Democrat, has a fully thought-out attack on energy. He’s hoping to increase fuel efficiency to twice its potential by the mid-2020s. Since America is intensely concerned on jobs, President Obama pointed out that thousands of people have been employed by working at renewable energy plants. He rightfully brags about the cut of one million barrels of oil imports per day and that America is on its way to energy independence, Romney’s only goal.

Being the new candidate, Romney focused on telling his personal history, capturing the hearts of many with the tale of his parents’ love story. Obama took a more focused approach, and thoroughly covered his topics rather than tell stories.  We believe that a great acceptance speech is composed of both storytelling and political planning. An eloquent speaker should be able to win over the hearts of Americans while still making their platform clear. Political views aside, we believe that in this case, Obama was able to give a more thorough and effective acceptance speech.

Even as the clash rages on, the candidates did manage to agree on one thing – America has a huge choice to make this November.

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