Ryan Rouses GOP Crowd But Condi Takes the Cake

5 years ago

Tonight at the Republican National Convention, Ryan did what he was supposed to do: deliver a rousing speech that spoke to the party's core values of fiscal restraint, job recovery and a leadership that would not fail in the face of the troubling economic issues that have hampered American's optimism and sense of destiny.

Image: © Harry E. Walker/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com

He scored points and cheers when he referred to the failed promise offered up by Obama's soaring oration and visuals in 2008, such as:

“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”

Or this:

"It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.”

It's hard not to look back at the soaring storytelling and the grand feeling of revolution that was delivered by the Obama campaign four years ago and not be disappointed by the actions we have seen.

But strong as Ryan's speech was -- though, yes, short on policy specifics -- the buzz in the Forum was strongest throughout the full length of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's speech, ushering her into top ranks, Twitter lists and fevered speculation of Condi 2016.

Rice demurred inquiries by media after her rousing 27-minute speech, restating what she had said in her speech: "I do consider [education] the major civil rights issue of the day," she said, without apology or hesitation, to Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC on the floor immediately following her barnstormer. She reaffirmed that her future lay in California, Stanford (where she is currently teaching) and urging education reform in our country.

In fact, the whole of the evening tonight on the GOP Convention floor could be considered Ladies' Night, Take II -- on the virtue of the speeches from solely Condi and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez alone, who spoke boldly of carrying a .357 Magnum as a teenager, helping her parents' business grow. And yes, they built it.

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan will certainly learn fast how to condense his speeches to more quickly elicit the ovations he secured at the end of his speech, with the simple promise that he and Romney, with the support of the cheering crowd in the room, will "get things done," whether reversing Obamacare or bringing the federal government's borrowing down to just 20 percent of annual GDP. And we can be sure that on the campaign trail heading toward November 6, we will see Ryan -- and Romney -- continue to excoriate Obama and his cabinet for being unable to undo the damage of the economic crash in their four years.

But judging from the post-Condi Twitter stream and media heat -- and the overall excellent and memorable performances from GOP women on the first two days of this convention -- we are seeing a new idea of a Republican party emerge. One that could capture a broader range of American women and re-engage them in politics. As one tweet said: "Is it too much to hope for Condi-Hillary 2016?" Whether the tweet meant them as a pair -- or as opponents -- was almost beside the point.

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