Associate Professor of Political Science DeWayne Lucas and Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman were quoted in a Finger Lakes Times article about Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention last week.
“She called the speech terrible and said Romney gave her no reason to vote for him,” said the article, referring to Deutchman.
“There’s no arguments. There’s no specificity about anything he’s going to do,” Deutchman said.
The article notes Deutchman questioned Romney’s promise to “repeal and replace the health care law,” asking, “replace it with what?”
In commenting on Lucas’ opinion, the article notes he “thinks Romney has a strong line of attack on economic issues. Romney duly exploited it by referring to the ‘Obama economy.’ Whether Romney can capitalize on that, however, remains to be seen, Lucas said. So does the effectiveness of his outreach to swing voters.”
Lucas is quoted, “The thing is, Obama hasn’t responded yet.” The article notes Lucas “believes the president can make a strong argument that he tried to do many things to help the economy but was blocked by recalcitrant Republicans.”
A photo that accompanied the article featured HWS students gathered at the Scandling Campus Center to watch the live coverage of the Convention.
A member of the faculty since 2000, Lucas holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his M.A. and Ph.D. from State University at Binghamton.
Deutchman, a member of the HWS faculty since 1987, holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics.
The full article follows.
The Finger Lakes Times
Local delegates say candidate nailed crucial address
Jim Miller • August 31, 2012
Jay Dutcher says Republicans are leaving their convention today with a sense that victory is around the corner and confidence that Mitt Romney can tackle the nation’s problems. Dutcher, the chairman of Ontario County’s Republican Party, attended the convention as a delegate and heard Romney speak last night.
“I thought it was probably the best speech I’d heard him give,” Dutcher said by phone an hour after Romney wrapped up. “It was inspired, focused, clearly laid out his vision of where he’d like to take the country. And [he] was able to make a really important point that it’s not that Barack Obama is a bad guy – he’s just a bad president. It’s not personal, it’s business, and it’s the business of leading America instead of letting America go adrift.”
In his nationally televised address, Romney said Obama has failed to deliver on the hope and change that he promised, and he attacked many of the president’s policies and proposals. Worst of all, he warned, America will suffer from more of the same if Obama is re-elected.
But Romney’s speech was as much about introducing himself – or reintroducing himself – as it was about attacking Obama. He tried to portray himself as a job creator, an experienced businessman and a compassionate family man.
“He proved that he’s the genuine article,” said Wayne County Republican Chairman Dan Olson, who also attended the convention as a delegate. “Very pro-family. Very pro growth. I hate to even use the word traditional, if that even has a meaning anymore. Very steady. We tried the new brand, and it’s not working out so well. What do you say about someone [like Romney] who has invested his entire life in the institutions that have made the country what it is?”
Olson, a Romney supporter through the primaries, says a resounding “yes.” Iva Deutchman, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, took the opposite view. She called the speech terrible and said Romney gave her no reason to vote for him.
“There’s no arguments,” she said. “There’s no specificity about anything he’s going to do.”
True, she acknowledged, he did promise to repeal and replace the health care law. But “replace it with what?” she asked. Romney did not say.
Deutchman did give Romney credit for being personable in his speech last night, but it was a bit of a back-handed compliment.
“It was very clear he was going to be Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. Human Being – I’m a human being so do not confuse me with a robot,” she said. “I thought that part was effective.”
Olson and Dutcher agree with the effective part, minus the sarcasm, but they’ve always seen Romney that way. They think the nation got a chance to see that last night.
Dutcher said many people don’t focus much on the election until the conventions, so Romney was trying to tell people who he was. In the process, he tried to reach out to dissatisfied Obama supporters. Romney asked people who felt excited about Obama on the day they voted for him and have felt let down ever since to vote Republican.
Olson liked that line, and Dutcher also sees a need to reach out to those voters.
“If you’re going to win, obviously you have to encourage some of the people who voted for Obama last time, looking for hope and change – he wants those people to come over,” Dutcher said.
In addition to a personal introduction and an appeal, the speech served as an introduction to Romney’s governmental vision, Dutcher said.
“That is to empower families, empower companies, empower individuals to lead this economy rather than empower the government to do that,” he said.
DeWayne Lucas, a colleague of Deutchman’s at Hobart and William Smith, thinks Romney has a strong line of attack on economic issues. Romney duly exploited it by referring to the “Obama economy.”
Whether Romney can capitalize on that, however, remains to be seen, Lucas said. So does the effectiveness of his outreach to swing voters.
“The thing is, Obama hasn’t responded yet,” said Lucas, who believes the president can make a strong argument that he tried to do many things to help the economy but was blocked by recalcitrant Republicans.
Olson and Dutcher feel more confident. Olson said Romney put to rest the idea that he was a heartless capitalist through the various testimonials that preceded his speech. And when the candidate himself took the podium, Olson said, “he hit it out of the ballpark.”
Dutcher agreed, comparing his feelings at the end of the Tampa convention to his feelings after the 2008 Minnesota convention, which he also attended as a delegate.
“I think people here really believe Mitt Romney is going to be the president,” he said. “At the end of Minnesota, people were kind of on a Sarah Palin high, and that only lasted a week or two.”