By David Beilstein
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AREN’T necessary accurate, but some things can be taken away from Paul Ryan’s speech to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night. Competency comes to mind first. Ryan’s not going to fumble over a pop quiz handed to him by the media. The second thing—because of this competency Ryan exudes, it will be rough sailing for the Obama campaign to ‘Palin’ the Republican Vice-Presidential hopeful. Lastly, I suggest the Romney campaign is feeling confident. There’s a hint of victory in the air. The air of the sea wafting across their backs. The feeling has begun to surface that Romney could actually become President of the United States.
I wouldn’t say Ryan was superb. I would suggest he was very, very good. It was a strong introduction. What I would also suggest is the important punches were landed against Obama earlier. When Romney chose Ryan. Those punches sailed a short distance and landed flush on Obama’s pettish chin when Mitt Romney chose Ryan over other vaunted celebrity candidates. These names were all plants, probably, but they would have been unwise it seems to me somewhere down the road.
Ryan’s a graceful fighter with good footwork and a quick jab able to stick-and-move ala Pernell Whitaker, or if you like, Benny Leonard. Strangely, it occurs to me Ryan is usually the kind of cat the Democrat’s have in their ammo box loaded for
bear, err elephants. Ryan presents the Obama campaign with a tricky southpaw look—just like Pernell Whitaker did—an uneasy departure for the DNC from the typical bright eyed boy they tend to wrap in incompetency early. Ryan’s a policy wonk with flesh and blood—and brains! fused together with laudatory communication skills. That’s a problem for Democrats because it’s a problem for Republicans when reversed:
Enter William Jefferson Clinton.
Former Vice-President and Presidential contender Al Gore was also a policy wonk who liked to get into the muddy details of bureaucratic pathos. He was boring, too. Gore had the cadence and tonal frequency of the medical doctor making up conversation whilst he’s examining a timid patients most intimate body parts. No matter what is said, defended, or excused about the election of 2000 in Florida—or elsewhere—if Gore hadn’t been a snore he would have been the 43rd President of the United States.
I, myself, felt Ryan came in a bit slow. Same was true for the engine in the children’s story, though. That’s to be expected. The man is only 42-years-old and this was a big night on the biggest stage of them all (in politics at least). He didn’t stumble—didn’t lose his composure, not even close. If anything, he might have been a pinch too composed. But he didn’t appear pinched which is worth money in politics.
Regardless, Paul Ryan went to the core of the Republican Party’s argument against Obama with brazen tempo and without bluster or wasted breath. Unlike Governor Christie, whose tailor is still
busy madly sewing up the back of the governors trousers, Ryan put punches on target without malice or disrespect and didn’t get sidetracked.
That’s also worth money in politics.
There’s a reverberating murmur echoing now not just within Republican circles and it does not bold well for the President. That murmur is the quiet whisper through the graveyard that the American people desire to replace the President of the United States. The question is will they replace Barack Obama with Mitt Romney? This does not mean Obama is sunk, but it is the question typically asked of incumbents who go down in defeat the coming November. It’s still a soft voice now, louder than in 2004 though—when Bush 43 was reelected—but not quite audible enough for big personalities within the DNC to confirm it.
If Obama continues to lose rounds, that echo will grow. Picture that echo like sifting smoke on arid, leafy ground, beginning to flicker into flame. Watching Ryan tonight reminded me the former Massachusetts Governor probably selected the ablest young Republican to fan that flame into the fire of an Obama defeat.
We shall see. It’s politics, anything can happen. I do know this: I’d rather be Romney than Obama right now. That means little when two men are running against each other who have never been president (Bush and Gore), but it means a hell of a lot more when it’s a sitting president against a challenger. There are now political pundits suggesting that if Obama is ahead in national polls by a point or two—the election could still go to Romney. That’s the anemia of Obama’s present poll positions at work. These predictions come from a punditry class more aware than one might think of the present electoral landscape for the President.
It’s not positive, that’s for sure.