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Ryan's Masterful Speech: A Fireside Chat With a Nation in Crisis



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I dont think Ive ever seen a politician connect with a nation quite like Paul Ryan did it tonight. Ryan has the simple charisma of sincerity. It helps that he is adept at explaining complicated subjects in clear, concise language. But there is something more there, a skill that Im not sure can be taught or rehearsed. Its a way of relating to the world, to other human beings--even family and intimate friends--through ideas. Through reason.
Its a form of leadership we rarely see. In 2008, Barack Obama impressed pundits with his intellect and rhetoric, but beyond his high-flown hyperbole, much of what he offered was mere sophistry. Obama is a man of words, not ideas--of letters but not leadership, as Ryan pointed out tonight. Ryans own ideas are not only substantively better but also seem more deeply felt, more passionate and authentic--without trying too hard to be so. Ryans commitment to ideas includes respect for ideas with which he disagrees--which is different than Obamas skill in reciting (or distorting) opposing arguments merely to undermine them. During the Occupy protests in the fall of 2011, Ryan surprised many conservatives by declining to criticize them, defending their rights to express their views. It was a safe answer--but it was not a dodge. It was fundamental to who Ryan is. The emptiness of Obamas words is most exposed in the emptiness of his humor, which either pokes fun at his opponents or elevates himself through self-deprecating jokes that have all the self and little of the deprecation. By contrast, Ryan has a natural wit that he used in his speech, gently making fun of Mitt Romneys music tastes as a way of telling Americans how serious the senior running mate is about his commitment to his goals. It has been a very long time since Americans have met a leader who uses ideas not to dazzle, not to appeal to our heads but to our hearts as well. That leadership is not quite

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8/29/2012 8:49 PM

Ryan's Masterful Speech: A Fireside Chat With a Nation in Crisis


unprecedented, but you have to go back a long way to uncover it. To John F. Kennedy, perhaps, whom Ryan evokes with his good looks and straightforward talk. Or perhaps to FDR, for Ryans speech tonight was nothing if not a fireside chat with a nation in crisis. A final note. I find it difficult to be objective about Ryans speech; I was emotional throughout, partly because he is one of the few politicians I have been able to call a friend, and it is simply overwhelming to see a friend on that stage. But I was also moved because Ryan is doing something extraordinary. Not stopping the oceans, or righting all historic wrongs, but reminding us that we are, uniquely a nation of ideas. What a blessing.


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On your mark...get set...Go..Ryan..Go!!!

A LIKE REPLY 3 minutes ago F


On a personal level I'm always amazed at professionals executing their craft. Whether they are bakers, masons, carpenters, welders, woodcrafters or glass blowers it is always intriguing to watch them perform. Finally, a government representative that holds my attention in the same fashion. Precise, articulate, sincere, honest and just a down right great communicator. Well done Mr. Ryan, well done!
A LIKE REPLY 4 minutes ago 1 Like F


He will be a 'hands on' team member...for Romney! Together they can get it done!
A LIKE REPLY 7 minutes ago 2 Likes F


Ryan is going to pound Biden into the dust, not with fists but with logic and ideas.
A LIKE REPLY 9 minutes ago 7 Likes F


What Ryan did tonight was simply amazing, a point by point blow against Obama's record. Romney's pick of Ryan could be an indication of just how great of a leader Romney could be. I've always believed good managers and leaders are those that can recognize their short comings and fill that void with great people.
A LIKE REPLY 10 minutes ago 8 Likes F


Not since Reagan have I felt this enthusiastic! Ryan is energetic, charismatic, and absolutely brilliant! Our second-stringer is a hundred times better than the other team's star player, and makes their second-stringer look like the waterboy.
A LIKE REPLY 12 minutes ago 10 Likes F


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8/29/2012 8:49 PM

Ryan's Masterful Speech: A Fireside Chat With a Nation in Crisis


I couldn't help but wish Ryan were the presidential candidate. He certainly will be the next Republican presidential candidate whether Romney wins or loses this election - in either 2016 if he loses or 2020 if Romney wins.
A LIKE REPLY 9 minutes ago in reply to Samwise007 4 Likes F


Ryan's speech was so good that even Obama may be moved to vote for Romney. If only Obama was eligible to vote.
A LIKE REPLY 19 minutes ago 23 Likes F


Well said, Blue. Well said. :)

A LIKE REPLY 10 minutes ago in reply to blue31 2 Likes F


I was very impressed by the speech. Ryan is able to speak to me without making me feel like he is lecturing me. He never sounded condescending or snarky as our president often does. I was inspired, not bored. I hope that many of those who haven't decided how they are going to vote were watching because I think Ryan could easily have won their votes tonight. Congressman Ryan, you are awesome - a fine man.
A LIKE REPLY 23 minutes ago 18 Likes F


That was the most incredible speech I have ever heard from any VP nominee from either party. He is clearly smart, articulate, honest, and convincing.
A LIKE REPLY 11 minutes ago in reply to lukuj 8 Likes F


Be afraid, Obama. Be very afraid.

A LIKE REPLY 23 minutes ago 27 Likes F


Another night the Obama's are not happy in the WH. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
A LIKE REPLY 2 minutes ago in reply to AncestralYuba F


Yeah, good speech. Hit the marks. IMO, Sarah's was better and more electric. Compare and contrast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...



10 minutes ago

in reply to AncestralYuba

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Maybe more electric, but it was of less substance and it certainly wasn't a better speech. Condi gave a great speech tonight as well, and hers was without a teleprompter.
A LIKE REPLY 0 minutes ago in reply to Timothy Jacques F

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8/29/2012 8:49 PM