Last night, watching Paul Ryan, I couldn’t help but think of the Simpsons. In particular, Homer Simpson, when he runs around screaming, arms raised, panic on his face, fire chasing his bum.
That’s how the Obama campaign staffers must have felt after watching Paul Ryan’s magnificent speech. It was pitch perfect. It had everything: humor, sincerity, patriotism, facts, hope and an emotional tug. I don’t see how it could have been any better.
There were so many good lines, it’s hard to remember them all. They bounced out of Ryan’s mouth at warp speed and slammed through the hoop.
For example, when he talked about the $831 billion failed stimulous plan, he mentioned Solyndra (score), a corrupt patronage system (score) and cronyism (score). You, the American people, Ryan said, were cut out of the deal as the Obama administration borrowed, spent and wasted all that money.
On entitlements, he said the best line of the evening. We live “in a country where everything is free, but us.” Ryan couldn’t have put it better or more succinctly.
When Ryan asked “without a change in leadership how will the next four years be any different?” he hammered home one of the main points of the election.
He attacked Obama with facts, never personally. And the facts are hard to dispute. Ryan spoke often of Romney and what made him the best leader.
How could you not be touched by his nod to his mom, a woman he calls his inspiration for doing what she had to do to keep going after his dad died. Ryan made sure that the senior citizens understood how Medicare was being cut by Obama, but would be restored by Romney. “We want this debate. We will win this debate,” he said.
Ryan had a confident calm about him through the well delivered speech. It’s hard to imagine him failing to win the election.
Axelrod and Plouffe will find it difficult to take down this man.
Another great speech came from Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico. Her life story was fascinating. She talked about her parents and their work ethic and how at 18 she worked as a security guard and carried a 357 Smith and Wesson. Her revelation that she had been a Democrat until she met two Republicans was fantastic. “Well, I’ll be damned,” she told her husband. “We’re Republicans!” Many in the audience last night probably came to the same conclusion.
Sandwiching her between Rice and Ryan was a good move on the part of the RNC. Since the alphabet networks had refused to carry speeches by other minorities, they had no choice but to stay with her. Martinez is a real threat to Democrats and the liberal media.
Condi Rice put in a strong speech, too. I wasn’t too enamored of the pictures of her with Colin Powell on the screen behind her. But she did hit the notes of American leadership, economic peril and praise of an American system that allows a little girl in strife torn Birmingham to rise to Secretary of State.
The other speakers leading up to Rice and Ryan – Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Rob Portman – and accomplished did well and accomplished the task of building a crescendo for the main event. Had their speeches been better, it would have taken away from the stellar performances of Rice, Martinez and Ryan.
It was a wonderful, successful night.