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.