Four years ago, Gov. Sarah Palin brought down the house with a rousing Republican National Convention speech, which included the famed off-the-cuff reference to hockey moms, pit bulls, and lip stick.
The night of that speech, Sept. 3, 2008, has been the high point of the Republican Party's confidence, motivation, and energy for the past four years. After the Republican Convention of 2008 we saw an economic meltdown, a lost election, and years of planning for the next presidential campaign amid a very tough economic time for America.
Last night, the GOP turned its eyes to VP candidate Paul Ryan with the hope that he bring back, and maybe even surpass, the positives in the VP candidate's speech in 2008.
Congressman Ryan delivered. The speech was not fire and brimstone—it was a deliberate summary of the vision of the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket and why Barack Obama/Joe Biden should not get four more years to try and bring about their vaunted hope and change.
Paul Ryan's speech was not just a rendition of the failures of the Obama administration. Congressman Ryan leveled with the American voter in saying that "by themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration," before going on and describing the past achievements as well as plans for a prosperous and thriving America of Romney/Ryan.
The speech had personal appeal to all generations, from the story of his elderly grandmother moving in with his family to the differences in the two candidates' iPod playlists. It also had concrete policy goals—keeping federal spending to 20 percent of GDP and getting 12 million Americans back to work over a four-year span.
Congressman Ryan entered the spotlight of his primetime speech as a relatively unknown, young, rising star in the GOP. He utilized that perch to relate his best traits—Midwestern charm, youth, a bit of an old soul, and unquestionable intelligence.
The result was an arousing yet humble and eloquent appeal from Rep. Paul Ryan for Americans to do away with four years of empty promises and bring about real change in the White House by voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket.