Last night was the second night for speeches at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, and the stars sure shined bright.
The three main speakers of the evening kicked off with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She delved into her expertise of foreign affairs and critiqued the Obama administration for “leading from behind” among other acts that lowered America’s stature in the world. She then pivoted to a personal story of overcoming obstacles of birthplace and circumstance by saying, “”In America, it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.” Rice, who is a college professor at Stanford, also touched on education and the poor quality of it in inner cities. She called the topic, “the civil rights issue of our day.”
Following Rice came the first female Hispanic Governor in American history, Susana Martinez (R-NM). As a daughter of a small businessman, she again torched President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment and explained some of her biography. The convention was brought to their feet when she explained that after a lunch with friends, she turned to her husband and exclaimed, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans!”
Finally, it was time for the Vice Presidential nominee, Paul Ryan to take the stage. He once again showed why he is the best explainer the conservative movement has to offer. It’s his primary appeal and it’s the reason he’s Mitt Romney’s running mate. He emphasized a key point that the campaign earlier had trouble articulating. No one blames President Obama for causing our original problems. The issue is the fact that he hasn’t fixed them. Ryan asked, “”Without a change in leadership, how would the next four years be different than the last four?” Ryan lit into Obamacare and through that defended Medicare in a more powerful way than many Republicans have since the program’s adoption in the 1960’s. In fact, Ryan said Obama is really Medicare’s biggest threat. But his main critique of the President was on the topic of leadership. He said, “”We have suffered no shortage of words from the White House. What’s missing is leadership from the White House.” He also emphasized Romney as the one who can solve America’s problems, “”Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.” “You are entitled to the clearest choice possible,” Ryan claimed. In framing this choice, Ryan didn’t throw bombs or attack the President personally. He simply laid out the competing visions for America.
Paul Ryan pretty much laid out the GOP’s rationale for governing. A clear, sober, problem solving team that promises no less than an American comeback. Ryan ended the night on a crescendo of “We can do this!” It’s that bright eyed optimism paired with determination that will be the draw of this Republican ticket. Come January, Mitt Romney may be the Commander in Chief, but Paul Ryan will be the explainer in chief and will be the administration’s intellectual core.