If the goal of last night’s Republican National Convention was to introduce America to the more human side of Mitt Romney, then leading off the 10 PM hour with Clint Eastwood was a huge mistake. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Romney himself went on to give serviceable speeches, but not letting Ted and Pat Oparowski share their story with more Americans was a big mistake. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reports:
[The Oparowski's] knew Romney from church, and when their 14 year-old son David was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1979, Romney visited the boy regularly. “They developed a loving friendship,” Pat Oparowski said, recounting the many times Romney came to see her and her son.
David Oparowski’s cancer was terminal. During one visit, Mrs. Oparowski recalled, “David, knowing Mitt had gone to law school at Harvard, asked Mitt if he would help him write a will. He had some prize possessions that he wanted to make sure were given to his closest friends and family. The next time Mitt went to the hospital, he was equipped with his yellow legal pad and pen. Together, they made David’s will. That is a task that no child should ever have to do. But it gave David peace of mind. So after David’s death, we were able to give his skateboard, his model rockets, and his fishing gear to his best friends. He also made it clear that his brother Peter should get his Ruger .22 rifle. How many men do you know who would take the time out of their busy lives to visit a terminally ill 14 year old and help him settle his affairs?”
“David also helped us plan his funeral,” Pat Oparowski continued. “He wanted to be buried in his Boy Scout uniform. He wanted Mitt to pronounce his eulogy, and Mitt was there to honor that request. We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern.”
It was an extraordinary story, seldom mentioned in the press, and it left many in the hall in tears. “You cannot measure a man’s character based on the words he utters before adoring crowds during times that are happy,” said Ted Oparowski. “The true measure of a man is revealed in his actions during times of trouble — the quiet hospital room of a dying boy, with no cameras and no reporters.”
If Romney is ever going to close the favorability gap with President Obama, and he must to win, then this is exactly the type of story that the Romney campaign should be telling as often as possible.
Republican National Convention
Michael Barone: “Day four” of the Republican Convention
Byron York: Christie, Rubio are getting ready for next time
Phil Klein: Romney’s serviceable speech
Tim Carney: Can teleprompters count votes?
Voter ID: A federal court blocked a Texas law that would have required voters to show photo identification Thursday, ruling that the legislation would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens” on poor minority voters.
In Other News
Bloomberg, Jobless Claims in U.S. at One-Month High: More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that progress in the labor market is faltering amid a slowing economy.
The Wall Street Journal, Dow Falls to 4-Week Low: The Dow industrials fell to a four-week low after remarks by European leaders escalated investors’ fears about the euro zone and a measure of economic sentiment in the region slid to a level not seen in more than two years.
The New York Times, No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the CIA: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday that no one would be prosecuted for the deaths of a prisoner in Afghanistan in 2002 and another in Iraq in 2003, eliminating the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA.
The Los Angeles Times, California to target Web retailers for sales taxes: California tax collectors are preparing to crack down on “renegade” Internet merchants who don’t collect sales taxes, and nearly 100 new state auditors, lawyers and other specialists are being hired to help over the next three years.
The Washington Post, Iran speeding up uranium enrichment at underground plant: Iran dramatically increased its production of a more enriched form of uranium in recent months, U.N. inspectors reported Thursday, suggesting that the country’s nuclear facilities were ramping up their output even as Iran’s leaders engaged in international negotiations on possible curbs to its nuclear program.
National Review‘s Reihan Salam explains that the “You Didn’t Build That” theme resonates because of the “punitive tone of the president’s narrow case for taxes.”
The Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke catches Obama spokesman Jay Carney failing to explain why median income has fallen under Obama.
The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol notes “Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there.”
Paul Krugman calls Republicans “Medicare Killers.”
Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall attacks Chuck Todd for pointing out that the “Democrats wish they had the diversity of speakers and deep bench [of the GOP] to show America.”
The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn hopes Obama makes the auto bailout a major theme of his convention.