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Christie's keynoter: Did it strike the wrong chord?

TAMPA, Fla. -- It was the most anticipated speech of the night: a promised stemwinder from the GOP's regular-guy teller of hard truths, Gov.  Chris Christie of New Jersey.

But a day after Christie's speech, the reviews turned harshly negative.

"Christie's flop," blared a headline on the Politico website.

“He doesn’t mention Mitt Romney’s name until the 16-minute mark,” lamented the New York Daily News.

“Romney was almost an afterthought," wrote Howard Kurtz of the Daily Beast, a University at Buffalo graduate. "There wasn’t a personal line about Mitt. It was as though the two had never met."

The speech was as pugilistic as can be expected from Christie, but it was entirely devoid of humor, which is shocking considering that Christie is sort of the Ralph Kramden of Republican politics.

And to many, the long biographical passages and the ending call to battle made it sound like Christie was campaigning for himself.

“Chris Christie accepts the nomination a bit early," a Salon article noted wryly.

Will the performance hurt Christie? Probably not.

After all, Bill Clinton's big applause line at the 1988 Democratic National Convention was "and in conclusion," and four years later he was elected president.

Christie got plenty of national attention for the speech, and for a politician, that's always good.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that he did a huge amount of good for the three most important people in his life – he, himself, and him," said Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times. "Whether he did any good for Mitt Romney is less certain."

--Jerry Zremski

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |