Wednesday Night RNC Live-Blog

10:28 EDT PAUL RYAN SPEECH

* Very abrupt intro. Must be running behind.

* This crowd would cheer Ryan if he read the phone book. Will be interesting to see how much he bothers to pander to them.

* I know I’m biased, but haven’t heard anything yet that transcends standard conservative talking points.

* You knew it was coming, but it’s still amazing: Paul Ryan, brave defender of Medicare!

* And he doubles down: Me and Mitt will defend status quo! Amazing.

* Crowd takes a while to grasp “ship sailing on yesterday’s wind.” Then goes: “Ahhhh.”

* Ryan’s reference to Obama inaction on Bowles-Simpson doesn’t mention Ryan voted against its recommendations. But you probably knew that.

* Don’t know how much longer this speech is going, but I haven’t heard any of those “tough choices” Chris Christie talked about last night.

* Man, GOP has clearly decided small business vote is key to victory.

* Jack Kemp shout-out meaningless outside the hall.

* As a southerner, I’ve heard a lot of dishonest speeches, but this is the most dishonest up until now. But it’s probably going to be effective.

* You wouldn’t know from hearing this speech that these birds want to cut public-sector jobs and shrink the money supply and slash work supports, so those kids living in their parents’ houses can’t look for any immediate relief. But whatever.

* “Lord of Life” first dog whistle to Ryan’s RTL base.

* No, shoot me. Ryan’s going to claim he cares about the poor.

* Oh, good, poor just get half-sentence. Now he’s back to “Law of God and Nature” constitutional conservative pitch.

* In altar call, first reference to “tough choices.”

* Good example of “surfing applause” when he keeps talking over cheers. If I didn’t know about the vast dishonesty of this speech, I’d probably give it an A-minus.

10:15 SUSANA MARTINEZ SPEECH

* She didn’t need no stinkin’ affirmative action, either!

* Props for reference to Catholic Bingo and (biggest cheer of night!) Smith-Wesson in same sentence!

* Whole party-switch thing clever. Too bad it’s not communicable.

* In whatever language, honoring “success”–wealth–is the message!

9:55 CONDI SPEECH

* Wonder how Condi really likes being intro’d w/ “Sweet Home Alabama.”

* Crowd happy to cheer her since she’s not on the ticket.

* Interesting that she treats 9/11 and financial disaster as equally external crises.

* Speech seems to be attack on Paulites rather than Obama so far, except for ritualistic “can’t lead from behind” chestnut.

* Wouldn’t guess from this speech that Obama is popular w/ most U.S. allies.

* Biggest cheer since “can’t lead from behind” is for gas & oil exploration pitch.

* Bigger cheer for attack on “envy” of “success.” Tax cuts! Tax cuts!

* Guess she’s shilling for H1B visas. Not much applause.

* Condi gets into education. Will she give crowd what it wants? Vouchers? Repeal NCLB? Subsidies for home-schooling? Awww, no.

* Guess she’s won whatever foreign policy gig she wants in the Romney/Ryan administration. But didn’t really attack Obama, which will be remembered.

* Altar call: I didn’t need no stinkin’ affirmative action! That will be remembered too.

9:39 EDT HUCK SPEECH

* Speech opening sounds like compromise between Huck and vetters in which both agree to take out best lines.

* Huck’s impressive litany of negative adjectives about Obama left out “baby-killing.” Another compromise!

* Huck really phoning it in. This sounds like a PSA on his radio show.

* Okay, getting a little “constitutional conservatism rap.” Apparently size and scope of government fixed in 1776, maybe 1789.

* “Feed me, lead me, bleed me.” George Wallace would have appreciated that line.

* Oh, interesting: Huck calls Obama “self-identified evangelical” who wants to kill babies, crush religion. Good expression of solidarity w/ Catholics. Very good defense of Mitt’s religion. This is the Huck we expected.

* Good line on Nobel Peace Prize. Good shout-out to Bono. If the man wasn’t crazy, he would have been a great Veep, & this speech–at least the last few minutes–will probably keep him in play for ’16 or ’20.

9:31 EDT TPAW SPEECH

* Hard to believe this terribly inarticulate man was probably better positioned to win the nomination than any other candidate.

* His big attack lines are delivered with leaden timing.

* “First job” line nasty and got best applause. There goes the college professor vote!

* Now TPaw done w/ bad jokes and into standard talking points. Lot of hackneyed lines from distant past: “Get government off businesses’ backs,” and “Help is on the way!”

* Mitt’s “infectious good charm.” Sounds like low-grade fever, but in Pawlenty’s contest, probably exciting.

* Again, looks like leftovers determined to make Ryan look good. Huck and Condi last chance for second thoughts!

9:17 LUIS FORTUNA SPEECH

Wonder how many delegates understand all this Puerto Rico love not exactly representative of national Latino constituency, who aren’t automatic U.S. citizens.

9:15 EDT STEVE COHEN SPEECH

Hilarious that this “job-creator” peaen introduced by snatch from Starship’s “We Built This City,” an anti-corporate anthem.

9:07 EDT: VEEP LEFTOVER SPEECHES

I’m not going to spend much time on these speeches. John Thune reminded us why nobody thought he’d leave any impression on voters–or even, I suspect, on his bed when he arises in the morning. Rob Portman is showing he was probably the runner-up by giving the best (if hackneyed and mendacious) attack lines. I understand from Twitter that TPaw will soon deliver a lot of really bad jokes. Paul Ryan will shine against this faint background.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.