GOP rising stars, shining bright
Party conventions showcase the top of the ticket, but occasionally young stars emerge and deliver winning messages.
This year the Republicans got two in Tampa: Artur Davis and Mia Love. They both electrified the GOP convention on the first night.
Davis is a former Democratic Congressman from Alabama. Now he is a Republican from Virginia with a message for voters who supported President Obama in 2008: We made a mistake.
Love is the young and vibrant Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, running for a House seat in November. She has a story as old as the republic itself: America is a land of opportunity.
Davis, who delivered a nomination speech for Obama in 2008, went straight for the independents and Democrats.
“Now, America is a land of second chances,” he said, “and I gather in this close race you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who got it wrong in 2008 and want to fix it.”
Davis portrayed the Obama presidency as a failed experiment long on promises and short on results.
“This time, instead of moving oceans and healing planets, let’s get our bills in order and pay down the debt so we control our own future,” he said.
Under the theme “The America I Know,” Love recounted the story of her immigrant parents from Haiti and their dependence on self-reliance for success.
“The American Dream isn’t just my story,” she said. “It isn’t just your story. It’s our story. It’s a story of human struggle, standing up and striving for more.”
Love did not shy away from taking her message directly to Obama.
“Mr. President,” she said. “I’m here to tell you the American people are awake and we’re not buying what you’re selling in 2012.”
Davis and Love. They both energized the delegates with plain talk and common sense. The convention provided their first moments in the national spotlight; now they are permanent parts of the political scene.