Updated: 7:05 AM ET September 4, 2012
HOW DO YOU SCREW UP A BALLOON DROP?
How do you screw up a balloon drop? Mitt Romney brought his acceptance speech to a well crafted crescendo... and then the hall went flat. Romney and Ryan posed together only briefly, waving for a less than three minutes after Romney's speech, missing a opportunity to whip the crowd into a frenzy. The Romney and Ryan spouses joined their husbands for a moment, again missing the chance to drive the convention crowd wild, before being joined prematurely by their extended families. Instead of releasing the balloons all at once for a moment of drama, the Romneyites released the balloons a little at a time, essentially destroying both the visual effect and crowd reaction. Conventioneers filed out of the hall in virtual silence. The moment has also hampered by a live-band whose volume was insufficient for the size of the hall. "Rally John" Niedecker, a Nixon advance man, invented the "balloon drop." The first balloon drop was at the 1964 Republican national convention which coronated Sen. Barry Goldwater as the GOP nominee. The balloons were orange, in keeping with the sun-belt strategy of the Goldwaterites. Niedecker perfected the balloon drop at the 1968 convention when red, white and blue balloons dropped in an avalanche and the convention crowd roared while Nixon flashed his famous "V for Victory" sign with both arms extended over his head. Romney never captured this moment. Somewhere H. R. "Bob" Haldeman is rolling in his grave.