5 Takeaways From the GOP Convention

Blogging the Beltway: From diversity to relatability, here's what Republicans wanted voters to think after day 1 of the RNC.

The Washington Post/Getty Images
The Washington Post/Getty Images

(The Root) — Everyone knows that the most important parts of any book, movie or TV show are the beginning and the end. Those are the parts people tend to remember most vividly after the last page has been turned or the credits have begun to roll.

The same can be said for political conventions.

The Republican National Convention kicked off its first official night (thanks to Hurricane Isaac) with a bang — showcasing some of the most famous conservatives in the nation, as well as a few that they hope one day will be. Below, a look at the five biggest takeaways Republicans were aiming for from the night. 

1) The GOP is really, really racially diverse.

On the heels of a controversial poll that indicated that Gov. Mitt Romney will earn zero  percent of the black vote in the upcoming election, the GOP made a serious effort to show just how diverse its party is by featuring multiple speakers of color — including former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis and congressional candidate Mia Love, both of whom are black. Other speakers of color included Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, who is part Cuban; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is Indian; and the first lady of Puerto Rico, who is Latina.

However, these colorful faces cannot mask the reality of the numbers. According to data, the Republican Party is becoming older and whiter. In other words, it is becoming a party that bears very little resemblance to the diversity of the faces that appeared on the stage.

2) Women love Romney, and the Republican Party loves them. OK?

Romney has been trailing President Obama among female voters by double digits throughout much of the presidential race — a gap the Romney campaign knows it must overcome in order to win in November. Battles over birth-control coverage earlier this year, dubbed part of the GOP’s “war on women,” combined with recent controversial comments by Senate candidate Todd Akin regarding rape, have not made wooing female voters an easy task for Republicans.

Tuesday night, the Romney campaign strived to fight back against the “war on women” label with a slew of Republican women warriors. From Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to actress-turned-conservative activist Janine Turner and, the star of the evening, Ann Romney, they might as well have said, “Tonight we want the ‘g’ in G-O-P to stand for ‘girl power.’ ” Besides Mia Love and Ann Romney, few of these women gave particularly memorable speeches, reminding all of us that for all her flaws, Sarah Palin could actually give a great speech. But the presence of so many women was notable. It remains to be seen if voters took enough notice to remember their presence come November.