Reihan: Wham Bam Thank You Cam(eron)
One of my favorite bloggers, Alex Massie, is thrilled with David Cameron's performance during the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool.
The speech may have been short of soaring rhetoric, but that's no bad thing these days. Cameron's task was not to show off with jokes or applause lines of lofty rhetoric but to show that he had bottom. By and large, I think he succeeded.
He even declined to throw too much red meat to the party faithful. Immigration and Europe were raised, but not major themes. He didn't even launch a passionate, indignant assault upon the Labour Party and Gordon Brown. What he did do, however, was come across as a thoughtful young man who had thought long and hard about the problems facing British society. It wasn't enough, he said, for the Tories to point out why Labour has failed to meet its own targets. The Tories had to understand - and persuade the country - why Labour had under-achieved and under-whelmed.
Having just seen the speech, I was thoroughly impressed as well. But it's important to remember that it took ten long years for the Conservatives to get to even this uncertain point, when they will still most likely be defeated in a general election held in the fall. Will it take Republicans a decade to get back in step with the mood of the country? Barring a minor miracle, my guess is that it will take at least that long.