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Romney takes a giant step in the right direction

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Aug. 30, 2012: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney acknowledges delegates before speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (AP)

Accepting his party's nomination for president Thursday night in Tampa Mitt Romney delivered a solid speech. It succeeded in beginning the process of humanizing the former Massachusetts governor.  It demonstrated his comittment to women and his view of government. It gave us more insight into him personally, into his family and it made him more empathetic.

The high point of the speech came when Romney made it clear that after nearly four years in office President Obama has failed. He explained to America that we are not better off than we were 4 years ago. And his message was delivered in a compelling way.

Romney also succeeded in making it clear that it is all right for Obama voters to swing over to his team this time around. He gave those voters permission to admit that the candidate they chose in 2008 didn't succeed. In other words he told his audience that four years later it's okay to have buyer's remorse.

Another high point came when Romney talked about believing in America and American exceptionalism. That was a theme he hit particulary strongly.

Where Romney wasn't as strong was on the issues: his plan to create energy independence and 12 million new jobs if he becomes the next president was not as strong as the overall thematics in the speech.

There's no doubt that in Tampa Romney took a giant step forward with his speech to the convention. He did not, in my judgment, close the deal. But he has now begun the process of turning around a favorable rating that is currently moribund.  

Clint Eastwood ultimately doesn't matter;  Mitt Romney ultimately does.

Tonight, Mitt Romney took a giant step in the right direction.

Douglas E. Schoen has served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. He is also a Fox News contributor and co-host of "Fox News Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel and Mondays at 10:30 am ET on FoxNews.com Live. He is the author of 11 books. His latest, co-authored with Malik Kaylan is "The Russia-China Axis: The New Cold War and America’s Crisis of Leadership (Encounter Books, September 2014). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.