Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thinking about last night

Here are what some others are writing about the speeches from last night.

The WSJ celebrates the difference that Paul Ryan has made.
The best response to these attacks is for Mr. Ryan to keep showcasing his natural optimism and Midwestern equanimity, as he did on Wednesday. Mr. Ryan had the difficult job of introducing himself to a public that barely knows him while also fulfilling the running mate's traditional job of dismantling the record of his opponents.

He did the first by focusing on his family, his Wisconsin roots and by paying tribute to his mentor, the late Jack Kemp. On the latter, he showed the ability to expose the President's failures more in sorrow than in anger. His line about jobless college graduates in their 20s "staring up at fading Obama posters" in their childhood bedrooms is the line of the campaign and was Reaganesque in its subtle but still withering truth. This sets up Mr. Romney to offer his own positive vision and agenda on Thursday.

Perhaps the best explanation for Mr. Ryan's impact on the race may be how it has changed perceptions of the man at the top of the ticket. Nearly everyone had expected Mitt Romney, the cautious technocrat and political calculator, to make the "safe" pick. In choosing Mr. Ryan, the Governor showed both a political daring as a candidate and a seriousness about governing if he wins.

This has motivated the GOP base, in case it needed any more motivating. But it doesn't seem to have hurt among independents, who can appreciate a candidate who seems sincere and unafraid in his desire to address the country's serious problems.

Mr. Romney has had a hard time inspiring enthusiasm less because of his personality than because his candidacy has seemed more a personal crusade than a cause. In choosing Mr. Ryan, Mr. Romney gave Americans hope that he is trying to rally the country for the larger purpose of greater freedom and national revival.
That is exactly how I now feel.

Jonathan Tobin recognizes how the ground has shifted for Republicans and how we can now have the debate on Medicare that we need. There were Republican worry warts who feared having someone on the ticket so closely identified with having made difficult choices. Paul Ryan has demonstrated why Romney was willing to place his faith and election chances on those young shoulders.
When Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate Democrats rejoiced. They were sure that the elevation of the author of the Republican Congress budget plan that called for reform of entitlements like Medicare guaranteed the president’s re-election. They had already been planning to run hard against the Ryan budget no matter who was on the GOP ticket. But having Ryan as their piƱata seemed like a dream come true.

But tonight at the Republican National Convention, as Ryan got his prime time spot accepting his nomination, the rest of the country began to understand why conservatives have been so devoted to him. Ryan’s speech was not merely well executed but an example of how he earned his reputation as the intellectual leader of his party. Even more important, he showed that he and the man at the top of the ticket plan to run on the reformist ideas that Democrats think work to their advantage. Far from shying away from the Obama campaign’s Mediscare tactics, they are ready to rumble on a platform aimed at saving entitlements against the status quo policies of the administration.

Fred Barnes points to the tactics that the Republicans are using during this convention. They spent the first night with soft attacks on the current administration and the lead speakers, Ann Romney and Chris Christie, didn't even mention his name. This is part of the strategy to appeal to swing voters, particularly those who are reconsidering their support for Obama four years ago.

Jennifer Rubin pays tribute to both Condi Rice's and Paul Ryan's speeches. I think Rice redeemed her reputation somewhat last night from her less than impressive stint as Secretary of State. By the way, when is the last time that someone enhanced his or her reputation serving in that position?

John Hinderaker is thrilled calling last night "a fantastic night for the cause of freedom.
Condoleezza Rice is a cerebral woman and a life-long Republican, but conservatives have sometimes wondered whether she is really one of us. She eliminated that doubt tonight. Her speech was passionate and firmly conservative. Rice talked about foreign policy, as you would expect, given her background and expertise. But she went far beyond that, spending much of her time on domestic policy, and delivered a rousing endorsement of conservative principles across the board. The crowd was wildly receptive, as it should have been.
And what do the Democrats have left? Not much.
The Democrats have two hopes: 1) that not very many people saw Rice and Ryan tonight, and 2) that reporters and editors will somehow be able to spin what happened this evening, for those who didn’t see it, in a way that will neutralize its impact. As Republicans, all we can ask is that voters see us first hand, rather than mediated through Democratic Party journalists.
Glenn Reynolds delivers this zinger.
ON TWITTER, many journos were amazed that Condi Rice spoke without a teleprompter, just from notes. I had to point out that professors do that all the time.

UPDATE: Reader Craig Mason writes: “Don’t tell that to Professor Obama.” Bah. A mere Lecturer.
Heh. And Obama is a lecturer in both senses of the word.

How typical that ABC interviewed a leftist, Univision's Jorge Ramos, about the difficulty that Republicans have in appealing to Hispanic voters instead of airing Susana Martinez's excellent speech. Can't let an actual Hispanic Republican interfere with their chosen narrative.