Originally published in Washington Times
The following was penned by Kerry Picket and originally appeared in the Washington Times:
Former Democratic Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, a now recent member of the Republican party, gave a stunning speech to RNC convention attendees on Tuesday night. Mr. Davis, who seconded President Obama’s nomination at the DNC convention in 2008, began his speech with:
Some of you may know, the last time I spoke at a convention, it turned out I was in the wrongplace.So, Tampa, my fellow Republicans, thank you for welcoming me where I belong.We have a country to turn around. This week you will nominate the most experienced executive to seek the presidency in 60 years in Mitt Romney.He has no illusions about what makes America great, and he doesn’t confuse the presidency with celebrity, or loftiness with leadership.What a difference four years makes.The Democrats’ ads convince me that Governor Romney can’t sing, but his record convinces me he knows how to lead, and I think you know which skill we need more.
“People always appreciate a little bit of humor in the speeches. There’s a tendency sometimes, people get to a convention and then you got to be so serious when you wander up there,” Mr. Davis told me on Wednesday when I spoke with him about the part in his speech that referenced the 2008 DNC Denver convention that was adorned with Greek columns. ”People appreciate humor and I think it’s appropriate. Obviously, the Democrats built up expectations in 2008 that have not been realized and it’s perfectly appropriate to point that out.
In his speech Mr. Davis said:
The Democrats’ ads convince me that Governor Romney can’t sing, but his record convinces me he knows how to lead, and I think you know which skill we need more.Now, America is a land of second chances, and I gather you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and who want to fix it.Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don’t end well.Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamour blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo.But in all seriousness, do you know why so many of us believed? We led with our hearts and our dreams that we could be more inclusive than America had ever been, and no candidate had ever spoken so beautifully.But dreams meet daybreak: the jobless know what I mean, so do the families who wonder how this Administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting.
The former Alabama congressman says he is getting a “gracious response” around the RNC convention.
“There’s been a very nice response walking around. I’m honored to be here,” he said. “It’s a great chance to meet Governor Romney and Mrs. Romney after the speech last night for the first time.”
However, individuals within his former political affiliation, according to Davis, are reacting differently. “I don’t pay a lot of attention to people who start the conversation with, ‘We always thought we hated you now we know we do,’” Mr Davis said.