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Chuck Todd Likens Romney's "Nostalgic" RNC Speech To Dole's In 1996

Chuck Todd: I want to say -- the two word phrase that I've given to this speech is optimistic nostalgia. And I say that because I thought it was a very -- you know, the only time he was harsh in his criticism of the president, for instance, was on the foreign policy. Everything else was sort of nostalgic, disappointment, I wish things were better. But I was struck by how many times I felt like I heard phrases that included the words 'return to,' 'restore to.' And it played very well in this crowd and I've heard that before.

But it also reminded me of another recent nominee speech that did that and at the time it played well but it handed the incumbent Democratic president something to run against and that was Bob Dole in '96 and Bill Clinton. Bob Dole was talking about, in a nostalgic way, almost trying to paint the Clinton presidency as sort of an accident, it wasn't really the sort of a bump that got in the way of a story of America. And I felt like that's what Romney was trying to say tonight. But I think there's always -- you know, there's a risk there if you look like you're looking too nostalgic, are you looking forward enough.

Now, Mitt Romney -- I actually think that they have worried about that because I heard at the end the word 'future' like three times to say, 'No, no, no, we are talking about the future.' You know, I wouldn't be surprised if you see the Obama folks sort of respond to this sort of nostalgic past to try to move forward.

Rachel Maddow: There is a reason why Obama picked that campaign slogan 'Forward,' I think anticipating that kind of nostalgia that you're talking about, Chuck.

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