* 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.


* 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!


* 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.


* 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.


* 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!


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


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


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.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.