With the exception of paid ads, national conventions provide the most controlled environment for messaging any party or campaign can possibly enjoy. Not a word goes into the party platform or onto the podium teleprompters without approval from the nominee’s staff.
TAMPA—Mitt Romney did what he had to do during this convention. He avoided scandals and untoward incidents, and he gave an acceptance speech that puts him in a good position to run against Barack Obama. There was a downside to the convention, however, that was not visible on television. It pitted Romney against the Republican party’s activist core.
In the weeks since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate, there has been a lot of talk about whether Ryan will face problems with Catholic voters over the fact that church leaders have repeatedly criticized his budget for its extreme cuts to social programs and “fail[ure] to meet moral criteria.” But there has been very little discussion about the much bigger problem Ryan poses for the U.S. Catholic bishops themselves, especially the man who offered the benediction Thursday night after Romney’s acceptance speech—Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Dolan is both the president of the U.S.