Just caught this on AOL. Isn’t it the president’s job to reach out to the leaders of the opposition:
We’re all a little sad today, particularly those of us who thought victory was within reach. Some readers have e-mailed me or messaged me, sharing their despair.
I may be down, but I am not despondent. Some say that we’re now on the same path as Europe, toward inevitable decline, but we have something different from Europe, we have the American ideal and individuals able to articulate it. When you look at those elected officials putting forward ideas to reform our failing institutions, you’ll see that they almost exclusively in the Republican Party.
Yes, the media tried to make Todd Akin the face of the GOP, but he is not. Paul Ryan is. As the dust from the election settles. He now becomes the new face of the GOP. And that’s a very good thing. He’s young, good-looking, articulate. Even in a year with strong Democratic turnout, Republicans held their House majority, despite, as Grover Norquist put it this morning,
touching but fondling the “third rail of American politics.” It is clear that if you are specific about your reforms they cannot as easily be misrepresented to voters. The Republicans in the House all voted for Ryan. They lashed themselves to the mast and thrived. Romney hinted he was sort of in that general vicinity. One party has a plan that has been tested successfully in the fires of an election. The other party cannot even write a budget that wins a single Democrat vote.
Paul Ryan will not alas replace Joe Biden as Vice President, but he remains Chairman of the House Budget Committee. And he’s not the only Republican waiting in the wings. Charles Krauthammer is optimistic because our party has a deep bench.
And Ryan is not alone. There are others on our side with records of reform. Bear in mind that Scott Walker survived a recall in a state that Obama won.
There are Americans out who still believe in the American ideal, leading still willing to champion that great vision.
“While the president is talking Big Bird, binders and birth control,” Jennifer Rubin writes, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan was “delivering a serious and substantive speech at Cleveland University”. The presidential nominee himself will be delivering “a significant speech on the economy Friday” in Ames, Iowa.
At least, one party would rather outline its vision than attack its opponents. In his Cleveland address, Ryan only once made mention of his opponents and then merely to chide them for not offering “an agenda for a second term.” He talked about real issues, the problem of poverty and the American ideal of upward mobility:
Mitt Romney and I are running because we believe that Americans are better off in a dynamic free enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth and opportunity and upward mobility instead of a stagnant government-directed economy that stifles job creations and fosters government dependency.
He faulted the centralized top-down approach and heralded the bipartisan welfare reform of the 1990s, but lamented that today, ”we’re still trying to measure compassion by how much government spends not by how many people we help escape from poverty”, then put forward the “alternative approach” that he and Romney favor:
Well, to hear some tell it, we think everybody should just fend for themselves. That’s just a false argument. It’s a strawman set up to avoid a genuine debate.
The truth is Mitt Romney and I believe in true compassion and upward mobility, and we’re offering a vision based on real reforms for lifting people out of poverty. (more…)
According to Bruce Kesler at Maggie’s Farm, “The CNN tracking of men and women Independents throughout the debate found women favoring Ryan over Biden.”
And what about gay male independents? Who did they prefer?
UPDATE: A conservative blogress found “Joe’s demeanor was nothing short of appalling“:
When one thinks of what a few gusty sighs did to Al Gore’s presidential aspirations, Biden’s debate performance should earn him deportation. He was by turns loud, obnoxious, condescending, and disrespectful. He smirked, giggled, sighed, and huffed his disbelief at everything Paul Ryan said. He also talked over at least half of Ryan’s answers. Thanks to Joe’s behavior, this was not a serious debate about substantive issues for the benefit of concerned citizens. This was a crude charade by a demagogue throwing red meat to his followers.
Read the whole thing.
UP-UPDATE: Seems a lot of folks found Biden condescending. Philip Klein contends that Biden fires up liberal base, but wonders if he turns off independents.
UP-UP-UPDATE: Paul Mirengoff watched the debate with his wife,
. . . who is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. She was appalled by Biden. A few times, she even told his TV image to shut up and let Ryan speak. I can’t ever remember my wife talking to the TV before – that’s my role in our house. (more…)
Ever since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate, many on the right have been looking forward to tonight’s debate, all but certain that the silver-tongued Wisconsin Republican will make mincemeat of the gaffe-prone Delaware Democrat. So certain are conservatives of Ryan’s impending triumph that Commentary’s Seth Mandel felt compelled to caution us, asking whether conservatives were overconfident about the Ryan-Biden debate:
Among the chatter heading into tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate between Paul Ryan and current Vice President Joe Biden, it’s easy to pick up on the confidence conservatives have in Ryan and their dismissive attitude toward Biden. Both of those are well founded, since Ryan is a solid debater and in strong command of the facts, while Biden is … Biden.
He reminds us though that he was a better speaker in Charlotte than was Obama and moreover, that he’s “capable of projecting warmth on command.”
Conservatives may be overconfident, but I doubt Paul Ryan himself is. The man is a a Boy Scout. He is always prepared. Note that he
“tapped former U.S. solicitor general Ted Olson to play the role of Vice President Biden in preparations for next month’s debate.” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck called Olson “one of the most skilled, intelligent, and successful litigators in America“. Ryan has begun sparring with Olson nearly a full month before the debate. He’s not taking this debate lightly.
Paul Ryan will be prepared to face a candidate who differs from the conservative caricature.
The real question, however, is how Joe Biden will comport himself. Will he feel it incumbent upon himself to make up for Obama’s bad debate performance. In that case, expect him to stumble and stumble badly. Or the Obama campaign, knowing that the vice president can’t undo the damage the president inflicted upon himself, could insist that Biden play it safe, knowing a gaffe could hurt more than a dull performance; he might come off as wooden and programmed. (That would certainly invite mockery, but likely wouldn’t hurt the campaign.)
Jim Geraghty reminds us that Biden, known for playing fast and loose with the facts, “may… let’s say, misremember some of the finer points of the policies he’s defending or attacking.” Ryan could challenger him on those misrepresentations (as Sarah Palin failed to do four years ago), calling into question not just the vice president’s credibility, but that of the man who tapped him as his number two. (more…)
Our reader Kurt alerted me to this HillBuzz post featuring this musical tribute to Paul Ryan:
Was working on a Ryan-Biden debate post when I caught this question on Stacy’s McCain’s blog, “Will Ryan Hold Biden Accountable?” It’s a short post and well worth your time–so much though I thought it worth a post of its own.
When I saw the title, my first thought was that Stacy was asking if the fetching Republican from Wisconsin would do what Sarah Palin failed to do four years ago in her debate with the Delaware Democratic, call him out on his distortions and misrepresentations. No, instead, McCain was, in excerpting a post from Michelle Malkin, reminding us of another Obama administration commitment gone by the wayside. Back in ’09, the president dubbed his vice president his “stimulus spending cop” (as Michelle puts it):
Remember when President Obama bragged about Joe Biden’s fiscal discipline cred in 2009? “To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff,” Obama warned government employees. “Because if you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him.”
And as to the “trillion-dollar ‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,’” Malkin adds, “keeps piling up waste, failure, fraud and debt”, Biden has been “AWOL on oversight.”
“Maybe”, the other McCain concludes, “Paul Ryan will bring this up Thursday night.” Maybe.
Let’s hope that he does.
From the Huffington Post via numerous friends on Facebook:
GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should not be reinstated in an interview with West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV that aired on Sunday.
. . . .
“I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,” said Ryan. “Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves.”
“I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on,” he said.
More on this as time allows. Good news indeed. To note, this corresponds with what I’ve been hearing from sources closer to the campaign than I.
Last year, from a seat on bloggers’ row in the (metaphorical) rafters the Excel Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, I watched the Republican vice presidential nominee deliver a speech that wowed us all. ”If this were baseball,” I wrote from those rafters, “the ball would be up here. Or further. She’s hitting this out of the park.”
You could feel the energy in the hall. You could feel it as people left the auditorium, seemingly floating, not walking, back to our cars and busses.
“Leaving the hall” last night, reports the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, Republicans seem to have had similar feelings, offering “reviews of [this year vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan’s speech that ranged from ‘fantastic’ to ‘awe-inspiring.’ If any were underwhelmed, they didn’t show it.” Even non-Repubilcans liked it. One 2008 Obama voter blogged that “Ryan did a brilliant job. It was much more than a fine speech and an excellent delivery. He embodied that speech. We saw a brilliant candidate.”
Jim Geraghty called the speech “Reaganesque“. Ryan skeptic Paul Mirengoff dubbed it “optimal“, his blogging colleague John Hinderaker called it “fantastic.” The fetching Wisconsin Republican criticized, as Jennifer Rubin observed, “‘more in sadness than in anger’ with great expression of empathy for fellow citizens.”
Glenn Reynolds listed his favorite lines, including the one about “fading Obama poster”. Maybe everyone is buzzing about that one, but two other passages which struck me, the first, Ryan ribbing his running mate for his choice in music. Can you imagine Joe Biden making fun of Barack Obama’s tastes in music (or anything else for that matter)?*
Perhaps, I should cite his conclusion where he harkened back to our nation’s “founding principles”, but it was this passage where he articulated one of those principles that really resonated with me:
In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.
In the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson listed the British government’s “long train of abuses and usurpations” against the American people. The Constitution placed strict limits on what the new federal government could do. (more…)
Maybe we should excuse Joe Biden for his bad week:
Paul Ryan just got in his head & caused his insecurities to spill out
In my first post on Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan to be his running mate, I quoted Jonah Goldberg who insisted that the “vice presidential debate will be awesome”:
If I had to predict right now, Ryan won’t so much trounce Biden as Biden will trounce himself. All of the talk about how Ryan is smarter and more knowledgeable than Biden will get deep in Joe’s head. Biden’s insecurities will spill out on the stage like overturned chum bucket.
It seems that the talk of the Wisconsin Republican’s intelligence has already gotten deep in Mr. Biden’s head. We don’t have to wait for the debate. In the week since Mr. Romney introduced Ryan as his running mate, the vice president has had a very bad week, making even more gaffes than is his wont. As Jim Treacher reports:
On Tuesday, ol’ Sheriff Joe told a majority African-American audience that the Republicans are “gonna put y’all back in chains.”
He also said some other dumb stuff, like promising that together, they could win North Carolina again… as he stood there in Virginia. And hollering that General Motors is going to lead the world in auto production in the 20th Century.
Perhaps the Ryan selection, to borrow Jonah’s expression caused “Biden’s insecurities” to “spill out on the stage like overturned chum bucket.”
So, writes Charles Krauthammer in his thoughtful piece on the meaning of Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, particularly as it relates to the discussion of Medicare in the current campaign.
The eagerness of Democrats to demagogue Medicare become manifest to me (once again) earlier this morning when on Facebook, I caught a graphic a friend had shared from the “Democrats” page on that social networking site. With an image of a smiling Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder), they asked whether Republicans thought they could win on Medicare after voting to end it. They so helped confirm what the sage pundit offered in his column that “The Democrats’ Mediscare barrage is already in full swing”:
Paul Ryan, it seems, is determined to dispossess Grandmother, then toss her over a cliff. If the charge is not successfully countered, good-bye Florida.
Republicans have a twofold answer. First, hammer home that their Medicare plan affects no one over 55, let alone 65. Second, go on offense. Point out that PresidentObama cuts Medicare by $700 billion to finance Obamacare.
It’s a sweet judo throw: Want to bring up Medicare, supposedly our weakness? Fine. But now you’ve got to debate Obamacare, your weakness — and explain why you are robbing Granny’s health care to pay for your pet project.
Read the whole thing. The second half is particularly compelling — on how Ryan is emerging as the intellectual leader of the GOP.
Ryan’s emergence is a very good sign for the party, particularly for gay and lesbian sympathetic with the Reaganite economic messages, as it shows a focus on regulatory reform, fiscal responsibility and confidence in private enterprise and individual initiative not just as the engines which drive our economic, but the ideals which inform our society.
More on this anon. I hope.
Back in the 1990s, nearly a full year lapsed between Republican Congressman and candidates signing the Contract with America and Log Cabin endorsing that document promising government reform. The prominence Republicans gave to the Contract returning its focus to real reform and fiscal responsibility. Having gained such prominence from attacking the GOP in 1992, the then-leadership of the ostensibly Republican organization was wary of embracing the GOP, even when it was not focusing on social issues.
How thing have changed. Two days after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, the current Executive Director of Log Cabin, wrote in the Daily Caller that
Congressman Paul Ryan is a strong choice for vice president, and his addition to the GOP ticket will help Republican candidates up and down the ballot. As chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of the Republican “Path to Prosperity,” nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation.
Unfortunately, Cooper used his opinion piece to make the case for statist legislation, but the fact remains that he has openly embraced the “conservative economic vision” that Ryan has promoted. He even indicated on Facebook that he “liked” Paul Ryan for VP:
Clarke’s willingness to champion Republican politicians like Ryan and real conservative reforms has served to distinguish him from some of his predecessors. And Clarke is not the only right-of-center gay leader to herald Romney’s pick. Shortly after the Republican announced his choice, GOProud’s Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia called Ryan “a bold and inspired pick“: (more…)
This is your choice, America: an approach that Obama’s own debt commission co-chair calls “sensible, straightforward, honest and serious” … or dog-on-the-roof jokes and an accusation of a return to slavery.
(I had initially intended to include that in this post, but, well, it didn’t quite fit.) As usual, Geraghty offers some sage insight, this time by contrasting Romney and Ryan’s rhetoric with that of the respective Democratic adversaries. (The post, as most stuff by the CampaignSpot blogger is well worth your time.)
Paul Ryan’s advantage:*
optimism, a reassuring manner, a confident presence
& an ability to his express himself in a sober and serious manner
optimism, a reassuring manner, a confident presence
& an ability to his express himself in a sober and serious manner
I have collected a great variety of links to and selected quotations from a number of blog posts and opinion pieces (as well as taken a number of notes) to I posted I’ve been planning in which I would (as I detailed yesterday) contest the “‘conventional wisdom’ . . . that Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate all but dooms the GOP ticket to certain defeat this fall.”
All that collection and selection, however, may not really have been necessary. Earlier today, I found that Michael Gerson had effectively said what I had intended to say in his op-ed on Monday:
The Republican ticket will go large, arguing that budgetary indiscipline creates uncertainty that undermines current growth, while eventually leading to fiscal crisis and economic catastrophe. This is a more complex argument than “economy, bad.” It is also more likely to yield a governing mandate, which seems to be Romney’s admirable, unexpected goal.
In the fight Romney has picked, Ryan is an advantage. He is the best policy thinker and best communicator among the rising generation of conservative reformers. He combines a sober realism about a teetering, unsustainable entitlement system with a bubbly, Jack Kemp-like belief in the promise of unleashed enterprise. (We both worked for Kemp at the same time in the 1990s.) Unlike a recent Republican vice presidential nominee, you can’t put him on the spot. He is informed, levelheaded and persuasive. And he is already Barack Obama’s most persistent, effective economic critic.
Emphasis added. Unlike the previous Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan is adept at dealing with the national media and well-versed in the details of federal policy. He doesn’t need a crash course in the issues of the current campaign. (more…)
Asking whether “Incurable Optimism” is A Genetic Trait, Glenn Reynolds quips, “IF SO, MAYBE IT REALLY IS INCURABLE“. Ronald Reagan too thought optimism was incurable as manifested by his delight in repeating the story about the man who had two sons, one an incurable optimist, the other an incurable pessimist.
As I recall when I heard Paul Ryan speak at the
sacred shrine of freedom Reagan Library, he offered the optimistic son’s concluding comment, expressing his certainty that there just had to be a pony in that pile of horse manure.
Methinks that’s one thing which makes the fetching Wisconsin Republican such a compelling candidate; he knows the Gipper’s tales and shares his optimism.
Yes, optimism does seem to be incurable. And it does seem more Republicans than Democrats share this affliction with the Gipper — and with Mr. Ryan.
When Democrats attack Ryan’s budget and his Medicare reforms, ask them to specify their plans to control the deficit and make Medicare solvent
“Conservatives,” write the editors of the National Review announcing their support for the Ryan ticket — and offering the consensus conservative view on the selection
. . . and not just the Romney campaign and the Republican apparatus, will have to stand ready to fight back against the distortions that are sure to come — indeed, have already begun. Democrats will say that Romney-Ryan is a ticket committed to “dismantling” Medicare (by ensuring its solvency); that it would leave the poor to fend for themselves (by extending the successful principles of welfare reform); that their only interest is to comfort the rich (whose tax breaks they wish to pare back). These are debates worth winning, and they can be won.
Indeed, the attacks and distortions have already begun. As Democrats demonize Ryan, demagogue his proposed cuts and distort his plan, Republicans need bear in mind what one of Mitt Romney’s one-time rivals for the Republican presidential nomination once said. In May 2011, Jon Huntsman wrote that critics of Ryan’s “approach incur a moral responsibility to propose reforms that would ensure Medicare’s ability to meet its responsibilities to retirees without imposing an unaffordable tax burden on future generations of Americans.”
Every time, Democrats and their defenders/apologists in the legacy media attack Paul Ryan, ask them to identify their plan to cut the deficit and reform entitlements.
By selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has now made this election not just a referendum on Barack Obama, but also a choice between two competing visions of governing. And the Democrats have not specified how they will pay for theirs. When they attack, we must respond not just by defending the Ryan plan, but by attacking them for failing to put forward their own.
In linking a post on the president’s soon-to-be released budget which offers little in the way of meaningful reform, Jennifer Rubin asks the right question:
Smart politics or do the voters penalize political cowardice? “President Barack Obama’s budget proposal Monday will offer several measures to trim the federal deficit in the next 10 years. But it would leave largely unchanged the biggest drivers of future government spending: the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs that are expanding rapidly as the baby boom turns into a senior boom. Calling for major changes in the popular programs would be politically treacherous in an election year because of fierce opposition from seniors, who vote in large numbers. But budget experts of both parties agree the programs’ growth must be curbed at some point or they will swamp the budget.”
Emphasis added. At a time of trillion-dollar deficits – and a national debt that has increased by well over $4 trillion since the incumbent was sworn in. (By contrast, the “national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush . . . [and] is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.“*)
Given the challenges we face, a smart Republican would instead of following the president’s example of offering half-measures, take heed to Paul Ryan and offer a real plan for reform:
In other words, a bold reform agenda is our moral obligation. We have an obligation to provide the American people with a clear path that gets our country back on track. (more…)
I’m headed to Boston for work this morning, and good fortune has given me a few extra minutes before boarding my flight. So you lucky people get the benefit of my random post-Ames GOP nomination thoughts.
First, I’m not surprised that T-Paw dropped out. He was boring and completely boorish in his very personal attacks on Michele Bachmann during last week’s FOX News debate. Second, I am NOT a Bachmann supporter, but I’m pretty pissed off about how she is being treated by the press — liberal and conservative alike. Yes, Byron York — I’m lookin’ at you.
With regard to Bachmann, I see a major flame-out coming for her campaign. That’s all I’ll say about that…
I’m still a Herman Cain fan, I’ve given his campaign some of my hard-earned money, but I just don’t see him catching on as I hoped by now. I hope I’m wrong and he turns it on soon.
I’m told I should be flocking now behind Rick Perry. Sorry, I don’t see “it” yet. Someone please educate me.
In a week from today, I’ll be a South Carolina voter. So hopefully I’ll get a firsthand chance to meet my potential future President. I’m still holding out hope that Marco Rubio & Paul Ryan hear the desperate call of their fellow Americans to defeat Barack Milhous Obama.