Paul Ryan’s Night: A Numbers Man Makes an Emotional Debut

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Cover Photograph by Marco Grob / Trunk Archive for TIME

When he speaks to America tonight, Paul Ryan will need to use a second language. His native tongue — conservatism — won’t suffice. Mitt Romney’s young running mate is a product of the Republican right’s think tanks and salons; his austere budget plans reflect the goals of the GOP’s idea factory. He dazzles conservative audiences at small dinners and large gatherings. Rush Limbaugh recently declared that Ryan had given one of the best speeches ever to the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual confab of ideological foot soldiers. In the speech Ryan stirred the troops by name-checking the conservative economist F.A. Hayek, and he spoke in grandiose terms about transforming the role of government in America.

But prime time is not the moment for grand ideological ambition. A running mate’s convention speech is an opportunity to speak to the entire country — especially to moderate independent voters still making up their mind. So in a sense, Ryan may need to be a paler version of his true self. A man known and chosen for his long-term budget-cutting vision can’t ignore budgets entirely, of course. But neither can Ryan afford to speak in detail about his plan to transform the cherished entitlement of Medicare into a voucher-style system. Or to explain how deeply he would cut popular domestic spending programs to make his budget math add up. Instead, Ryan will likely speak more generally about the size and role of government, skimming over the hard sacrifices such a shift will require (especially from those at lower income levels).

(Download: The CNN-TIME Convention Floor Pass Mobile App)

He’s also bound to humanize himself. Plenty of Americans don’t know much about the Wisconsin Congressman. But some may know him as the author of budget plans that Barack Obama says are exercises in heartless “social Darwinism” that could leave seniors unable to afford Medicare coverage. Ryan’s best weapon against those critiques is his own life.

(MORE: The Ascent of Ann Romney)

Romney faces a problem of heritage. He was born to privilege and amassed great wealth as an adult. He has an air of aristocracy to him — one that cramps his ability to win over middle-class voters looking for the candidate who best understands their troubles.

Ryan comes from humbler origins. It’s true that his Janesville, Wis., family was one of the area’s most prominent and well-connected families, and that Ryan is now a multimillionaire. But he still speaks effectively about living a Catholic middle-class life that is far closer to the typical American experience than Romney’s. He has already begun doing that on the campaign trail, with his references to being a proud “Catholic deer hunter.” This also affords him an opportunity to attack Obama as a cultural snob. “I’m happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion,” Ryan said at a recent rally in Pennsylvania. That kind of language has powerful appeal to the ethnic working-class voters who are crucial to the campaign’s success, some of whom respond to cultural cues as much as economic ones.

Countering his image as a coldhearted budget cutter will also require Ryan to show himself as a caring and empathetic family person. Doing so will likely mean telling the country about his parents. Ryan has already campaigned with his mother Betty, whom he invokes when talking about Medicare to demonstrate to senior citizens that they can trust him to protect their medical benefits. (“She planned her retirement around this promise,” Ryan said during a campaign visit to a Florida senior community earlier this month, during which she joined him onstage. “That’s a promise we have to keep.”)

Even more powerful is the story of Ryan’s father, who died of a heart attack when his son was just 16 years old. Ryan found his lifeless father, and says the experience seared in him the fleeting nature of life. While it’s the kind of loss no one would ever wish for, it’s also a story that helps humanize Romney — and will surely offer his national audience a note of drama they are likely to remember for the rest of the campaign.

(PHOTOSThe Rich History of Mitt Romney)

Ryan has loads in common with the silver-haired elder atop his ticket. Ryan and Romney are number crunchers, men driven more by the power of data and market-centric theories of government than by the theater and raw emotion of politics. But politics is ineffable and often irrational, and the (disputed) rationality of the Path to Prosperity budget proposal is a hard thing to convey in a nationally televised speech before a roaring crowd. So tonight we will meet Paul Ryan, the observant Catholic, the loyal son, the witness to tragedy. We will see whether he can speak the emotional language that national politics demands.

PHOTOS: Paul Ryan’s Life and Career in Photos

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LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Nothing short of fantastic.  Ryan not only hit it out of the park, Joe Biden is looking at the ball at his feet in Delaware, wondering how the hell that baseball got on his front lawn.  

Superb.  Fantastic.  Ryan, Rice and Martinez were all tremendous, and told the people of this country exactly where we are headed, and if Obama is left behind the wheel we are all doomed.  

4 years wasted.  Obama is a waste of oxygen.  Obama IS a one term President.

We've seen what 4 years under someone who has absolutely NO EXPERIENCE at anything other than giving speeches. We need leadership.

We need people with character, integrity, honesty and experience to lead this country FORWARD. Obama is only going to give us more of the same. No plan, no solutions.

So much for your experiment with a community organizer America, now we want real leadership. We want real experience.

Lorne Carignan
Lorne Carignan

I don't understand Ryan. He says that Harvard graduates should not be stuck in their childhood bedrooms staring at fading posters of Obama and wondering when they will get a chance to move out and get jobs. Ryan then says that America is not about people being 'stuck' in a particular situation and waiting for government help to get out. Yet he believes that it is government's job to create 12 million new jobs so all those Harvard graduates will have a place to work. Why doesn't he tell all those Harvard graduates to go out and start businesses and "build it" for themselves?

akpat
akpat

Ryans number dont add up. SS and med are entitlements because you PAY for them through payroll taxes. They should not be lumped into the general budget at all and if they were paid back there would be no problem.

This country requires a 50% cut in the military spending, 50% cut in non SS/med entitlements a 100% cut in pork and after that we need to raise taxes on those companies and people who can afford them together with really big import taxes.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

There is no room for logic in the current political sphere.  Our Congress is not capable of understanding what you propose.

Paul Ryan is getting applause as you speak.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Get off Condi.  I want to hear more of Republican ancestors achievements passed on to the party members.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Condolezza Rice, the Republican Augusta National Course cheap date.  Not criticizing, just noting another Republican contradiction and hypocrisy. 

filmnoia
filmnoia

I'm sure Condi would rather be with a lady friend in the hardware aisle at Home Depot than be in Tampa.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

I think you are right. I am sorry for her, but she must sleep in the bed she chose, whatever the emotional discord.  Seriously, that is not a fun experience. I wish her well.  My comment was more about the Republicans than her.

filmnoia
filmnoia

You are being  too kind. That's why liberals  constantly get  sand thrown in  their face. I only wish her ill will. She is a rancid apparatchik, who belongs with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld at The Hague being tried for war crimes.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Tim Pawlenty seems to have gotten a personality transplant.  He needed that in the Republican debates.  Too little, too late.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Can we have more speakers with Spanish accents?  Cubans, Puerto Ricans, any Mexicans?

Did Judas have a Spanish accent? His incarnations at the Republican convention do.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

All of the speakers at the Republican Big Lie convention tell of ancestors who achieved something and passed it on to them.  Ancestors did something.  The speaker did squat, nothing.

That's what Republicans are all about.  They should go get donations from the aristocracy in the UK.  They are taxed proportionately and will be most sympathetic.

MikeCR
MikeCR

Anyone else think Ryan should show up on Glee as Mr. Schuester's twin brother?

 Would help  the Republicans to reach outside of their base.   ;)

LiberalReb
LiberalReb

What is happening all over planet Earth today

is a huge CLASH between the mindless, outdated, autocratic laws

perpetuated from thousands of years ago; and the progressive,

thoughtful, modern ethics of truly free peoples.  Republicans have been

brain-washed into the former, and Democrats proudly stand for the

latter.  In the end, Democrats must be victorious; because otherwise,

the right-wing-nut religious fanatics will once again drag us down into

another Dark Ages.  Republicans care way more about a dime-sized fetus

than they care about

starving 5-year-old children.  If that's not true, then please tell me

why they aren't demanding a Constitutional Amendment stating that NO

CHILD IN THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SHALL GO TO BED HUNGRY, COLD, OR PHYSICALLY

ABUSED?  Furthermore, REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS (the right to reproduce

oneself, or NOT) belong to the People, NOT to the Church or State.

21Palms
21Palms

Michael, Thanks for telling us how to think and also for pointing out that ideology is the devils spawn. 

The truth is that ideology in and of itself is a good thing. It represents a consistent approach to issues rather than something less thoughtfully considered. Go ahead and disagree with an ideology if your capable of doing so but don't dismiss ideology altogether because you can't think your way out of a paper bag.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Is your paper bag an air sickness bag?  It should be.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

The Rebub's so-called "big (CIRCUS) tent" holds a ONE TRICK PONY on its LAST LEG and, lots of CLOWNS.

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

Whose idea was the tax cuts? Bingo, George Bush.  You get a

cookie.  Thanks for playing.

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

Wow, That's a real serious reply.  Can I use that to keep cats out of my

yard.  Now take your Metamusil and go to bed.

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

It is amazing and disgusting when they present their own credits always neglecting their history and what they have said in the past, just ignoring reality in general, completely taking for granted that the people are gullible and naive and just "pawns" to be manipulated in their game of politics.  Christie ignores the negative economy that contradicts his previous statements, Romney now wants to sway women and immigrants after ignoring and even considering them 2nd-class in past performances and past statements, the Republican Party wants to cultivate the middle-class when they have ignored them and taken them for granted to cater only to "the money", who owns and controls them, literally on and on without conscience and with total arrogance.  Are the people really that easy?

Meet Romney's five boys -

the Koch brothers, Adelson, Karl Rove amp; Dick Cheney -

who are trying to buy the election,

not for Romney

but for Romney to serve them.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

I think Ryan will come out as being very humbled to have been chosen by his running mate, Mitt Romney, and accepted by the party.  

He's young, vibrant, extremely intelligent and knows how to work a crowd.  He has already proven that on the campaign trail.  As his wife and young family join him on the stage, America will fall in love with him and his family.  

Don't look for policy "wonk" stuff tonight, that's not going to happen.  He will use his experience on the budget committee as it's Chairman to explain in not so deep terms how bad off we are as a country, but we still have time to get through this.  Expect him to say how Obama has done absolutely NOTHING to create an economic environment that will stimulate jobs.  

He will make 'ol Crazy Uncle Joe Biden, look even more crazier than people know he is.

http://thehopeforamerica.com/p...

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

This is the convention of doublespeak, of Orwell's newspeak and doublethink.  Ryan is even better at these practices than Romney, and that's saying something.

scariestdemocrat
scariestdemocrat

24 Fees Mitt Romney Tried To Raise In Massachusetts

1. A Fee on the Blind

Romney attempted to impose a $10 fee for a state certificate of

blindness and $15 for a photo id card, but the Legislature got rid of

the plans.

2. A Fee for the Mentally Handicapped

Romney proposed a fee on mentally retarded citizens of $100 to pay for

an intake assessment at the Department of Mental Retardation. The

assessment was previously free. The test was to determine their

eligibility for state services. The legislature rejected Romney's

proposed fee.

3. A Fee for Having Tuberculosis

Romney proposed a $50 fee for tuberculosis tests and wanted to charge a $400 fee if the person tested positive.

4. A Fee on Volunteer Firefighters and EMTs

Romney proposed a $100 biannual fee on first responders for the ability

to flash their vehicles lights. Romney doubled fees for the

certification of EMTs from $75 to $150 per person. The cost of

certifying an ambulance equipped for basic life support doubled from

$200 to $400.

5. A Fee for Golfing

Romney attempted to raise golf season passes from $50 to $150. Daily

golfing fees went from from $17 to $22 for 18 holes, and from $15 to $17

for nine holes.

6. A Fee for Cremating the Dead

Romney increased the fee for a cremation inspection from $50 to $75.

Source: intracoastalcremationsociety

7. A Fee for Prison Phone Calls

Romney proposed increasing the charge for an inmate to make a phone call from 86 cents to $2.

8. A Fee for Driving Permits

Romney proposed an increase in the drivers permit fee that would double the cost from $15 to $30.

Source: blogcdn

9. Romney Quadrupled Gun Fees

Romney proposed raising the gun licensing fee from $25 to $75. The state legislature increased to $100.

10. A Fee on Cottages

The Romney administration doubled the fee to use a cottage in a state park from the price originally set in 1989.

11. A Fee on Ice Skaters

The Romney administration raised hourly group skating fees at some ice rinks, which went from $15 and $40.

12. A Fee for Barbers

Romney increased the fee for a master barber license application from

$38 to $57 and the fee to renew a barber's license from $45 To $68.

Source: s3-ec.buzzfed

13. A Fee on Hairdressers

Romney increased the fee for a hairdresser shop license application from $75 to $113.

Source: ct.gov

14. A Fee on Nurses.

Romney increased the fee for a nursing application from $75 to $100.

Source: thenursingblog

15. A Fee on Pharmacists.

Romney increased the fee for a pharmacist license application from $56 to $75.

Source: pharmacistsalarydata

16. A Fee on Plumbers.

Romney increased the fee on a master plumber's license from $45 to $68.

Source: plumberssaltlakecity

17. A Fee on Psychologists

Romney increased the fee for a psychologist license from $100 to $150 in 2003.

Source: charlesayoub

18. A Fee on Realtors

Romney increased the fee to get a real estate salesman license from $18 to $27 and the fee to renew a license from $45 to $68.

Source: fensafitters.files.wordpress

19. A Fee on Home Inspectors

Romney increased the fee for a home inspector license from $225 to $338 and increased the renewal fee from $150 to $225.

Source: albaninspect

20. A Fee on Auto Repair Shops

Romney increased the fee for a motor vehicle repair shop license from $100-a-year to $450 for a three year license.

Source: jogero

21. A Fee for Divorce

Romney increased the fee for filing for divorce from $140 to $200.

Source: 3.bp.blogspot

22. A Fee for Changing Your Name

Romney increased the fee to change your name from $70 to $150.

Source: blog.russellherder

23. A Fee on Milk

Romney increased the fee for milk laboratory certificate from $75 t0 $150.

Source: cache.gawker

24. A Fee on Funeral Directors

Romney increased the fee to renew a funeral directors license from $56 To $84.

scariestdemocrat
scariestdemocrat

We called romney - fifi in massachusetts - as in 'FEE FEE'

24 Fees Mitt Romney Tried To Raise In Massachusetts

1. A Fee on the Blind

Romney attempted to impose a $10 fee for a state certificate of

blindness and $15 for a photo id card, but the Legislature got rid of

the plans.

2. A Fee for the Mentally Handicapped

Romney proposed a fee on mentally retarded citizens of $100 to pay for

an intake assessment at the Department of Mental Retardation. The

assessment was previously free. The test was to determine their

eligibility for state services. The legislature rejected Romney's

proposed fee.

3. A Fee for Having Tuberculosis

Romney proposed a $50 fee for tuberculosis tests and wanted to charge a $400 fee if the person tested positive.

4. A Fee on Volunteer Firefighters and EMTs

Romney proposed a $100 biannual fee on first responders for the ability

to flash their vehicles lights. Romney doubled fees for the

certification of EMTs from $75 to $150 per person. The cost of

certifying an ambulance equipped for basic life support doubled from

$200 to $400.

5. A Fee for Golfing

Romney attempted to raise golf season passes from $50 to $150. Daily

golfing fees went from from $17 to $22 for 18 holes, and from $15 to $17

for nine holes.

6. A Fee for Cremating the Dead

Romney increased the fee for a cremation inspection from $50 to $75.

Source: intracoastalcremationsociety.c...  /  via: nl.newsbank.com

7. A Fee for Prison Phone Calls

Romney proposed increasing the charge for an inmate to make a phone call from 86 cents to $2.

8. A Fee for Driving Permits

Romney proposed an increase in the drivers permit fee that would double the cost from $15 to $30.

Source: blogcdn.com

9. Romney Quadrupled Gun Fees

Romney proposed raising the gun licensing fee from $25 to $75. The state legislature increased to $100.

10. A Fee on Cottages

The Romney administration doubled the fee to use a cottage in a state park from the price originally set in 1989.

11. A Fee on Ice Skaters

The Romney administration raised hourly group skating fees at some ice rinks, which went from $15 and $40.

12. A Fee for Barbers

Romney increased the fee for a master barber license application from

$38 to $57 and the fee to renew a barber's license from $45 To $68.

Source: s3-ec.buzzfed.com

13. A Fee on Hairdressers

Romney increased the fee for a hairdresser shop license application from $75 to $113.

Source: ct.gov

14. A Fee on Nurses.

Romney increased the fee for a nursing application from $75 to $100.

Source: thenursingblog.com

15. A Fee on Pharmacists.

Romney increased the fee for a pharmacist license application from $56 to $75.

Source: pharmacistsalarydata.com

16. A Fee on Plumbers.

Romney increased the fee on a master plumber's license from $45 to $68.

Source: plumberssaltlakecity.net

17. A Fee on Psychologists

Romney increased the fee for a psychologist license from $100 to $150 in 2003.

Source: charlesayoub.com

18. A Fee on Realtors

Romney increased the fee to get a real estate salesman license from $18 to $27 and the fee to renew a license from $45 to $68.

Source: fensafitters.files.wordpress.c...

19. A Fee on Home Inspectors

Romney increased the fee for a home inspector license from $225 to $338 and increased the renewal fee from $150 to $225.

Source: albaninspect.com

20. A Fee on Auto Repair Shops

Romney increased the fee for a motor vehicle repair shop license from $100-a-year to $450 for a three year license.

Source: jogero.com  /  via: web.archive.org

21. A Fee for Divorce

Romney increased the fee for filing for divorce from $140 to $200.

Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com  /  via: web.archive.org

22. A Fee for Changing Your Name

Romney increased the fee to change your name from $70 to $150.

Source: blog.russellherder.com  /  via: web.archive.org

23. A Fee on Milk

Romney increased the fee for milk laboratory certificate from $75 t0 $150.

Source: cache.gawker.com

24. A Fee on Funeral Directors

Romney increased the fee to renew a funeral directors license from $56 To $84.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Paul Ryan: Hiding Spending Doesn't Reduce Spending

 

Watch this short Video and you’ll understand why Paul Ryan in considered one of the smartest members of congress.

  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Notice that Barack Obama could not dispute the issues and numbers presented by Paul Ryan?

Leading from behind again.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Ann Romney and Chris Christie were both absolutely fantastic.

Obama is toast in November.

filmnoia
filmnoia

Ryan is a child of privilege (by Janesville standards), who defrayed  some of his college expenses by govt funded Social Security, and has been drinking from the government trough his entire adult life. The guy is a fraud. He's got his, so raise the gangplank and don't let anyone else on board. One thing about tonight can be assured - the name of Ayn Rand will not be uttered, but I hope the Dems next week bring her name up  numerous times (with Ryan's) with the word "atheist" attached.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

film,

As usual you speak garbage as a total loser.

filmnoia
filmnoia

Can't refute Ryan's history can you? Go out and chase another kid off your lawn.