GateHouse News ServiceA Rasmussen poll says 44 percent of Americans believe political conventions are a waste of time and money.What the poll doesn’t say is that 4 percent say they are fun because it is the only time they get to wear their American flag bedazzled cowboy hat, and the other 52 percent said, “What is a political convention?”After last night’s GOP convention speeches, that question seems more legitimate.Ann Romney spoke to women about her family and her husband. Chris Christie spoke mostly about himself and New Jersey.Like every reality show on television, the Republican National Convention is overly predictable and poorly scripted.Some of the delegates looked like they had just come from the set of Duck Dynasty. Ann Romney made cookies for the press in homage to Sweet Genius. And many were left wondering if there was a big “Survivor”-style team swap on the horizon where Romney announces he is pro-choice again.Fox News analysts spent the time leading up to the two main speeches describing what the “surprise” reactions would be.“Don’t be surprised if Mitt Romney comes on stage beaming about Ann’s speech and brings this house down,” said Chris Wallace.Amazingly enough, after his wife finished the speech designed to “humanize” Mitt Romney and show the fairer sex how female-friendly this GOP ticket would be, Romney came on the stage, beamed at his wife, and brought the house down - figuratively.Ann Romney said she was going to talk about love. Boy did she.More than a dozen mentions were enough to make you wonder if you had accidentally changed the channel and ended up on “The Bachelor” instead of Fox News.In many ways she probably touched on some valid points. But as a guy who was single until he was 27, I can tell you that most women know false praise when they hear it, and pandering gets you nowhere.She may have crossed that line when she said, “You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you. Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.”Ann Romney may have gone too far, but the best reality show star of the night may not have gone far enough.Chris Christie created a different kind of “Situation” when he flew in from the Jersey Shore and showed why so many people were concerned when he was tapped to give the keynote address. It took Christie more than 15 minutes to even mention Mitt Romney.Christie said “we” a lot for a guy who wasn’t asked to be on the ticket. His speech sounded more like a guy blazing a trail for 2016 than helping a colleague in 2012.As the convention winds down and the rabid Republicans give way to dogged Democrats we will hear more speeches, more promises and more people will be ready to tell pollsters that conventions are a waste of time and money.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.