Here’s an un-organized smattering of reactions to Paul Ryan’s VP nominee acceptance speech in Tampa last night:
- In the modern campaign era, the job of the VP candidate is essentially to be the “attack dog” toward the opposing ticket. Ryan showed that he’s ready and willing to take up that task. He didn’t spare much criticism in his acceptance speech, focusing far more on the unsuitability of their opponents than his/Romney’s own credentials.
- I didn’t see much in the speech that was directed toward “moderates” or “Independents.” It was a “red meat” speech designed to hit ideological conservatives in their gut and get them fired up and excited. Given that Romney’s best shot at the presidency is, in my view, to turn out the ideological base rather than convert the mushy middle, the speech was generally effective toward that end.
- This speech gives us a preview of what we here at Centre College might expect from the vice presidential debate against Joe Biden. I’m expecting to see from both candidates an enunciation of starkly different visions for the country and the proper role of government in the lives of its citizens, rather than a two-way engagement and/or a recognition that the political world is not so “black and white” as its often portrayed in campaign seasons.
- From a personal perspective, I sympathize very much with Ryan’s story about his mother having to go back to school and work to support her family after his father passed away when he was in high school. Regardless of your political affiliation, that’s heroic and it was very decent of Ryan, in my view, to recognize his mother in that way.
- Finally, I’ll leave it to others to discuss the extent to which Congressman Ryan’s many assertions have basis in objective reality: see here, here, here, and here for starters.
We’ll see how Romney’s speech goes tonight!