August 30th, 2012

Ryan’s appeal

One of the many things that impressed me last night was the tear in Scott Walker’s eye while Ryan was speaking.

That teardrop resonated with the commentary on blogs that are usually so critical and cynical. Simply put, a lot of people on the right got all choked up.

As for me—I don’t much like speeches ordinarily, but this one certainly held my attention, and I was moved by it in a way I’m not usually, although not to tears.

What made it different? I could use a cheap word like “charisma,” but that really is just a shorthand for something inexplicable. I think Ryan’s appeal is greater than charisma. He’s something unique in political life right now, a person who seems sincere. Not just fake-sincere, but honestly sincere (as Conrad Birdie might say). And also passionate, and able to convey that intensity along cool smarts. Both hot and cold, in other words.

And of course good-looking doesn’t hurt. But good-looking wouldn’t matter much if the other factors weren’t there.

Last night Ryan wielded a stiletto, or perhaps a hammer, on Obama and the left. He did it with brains, a smile, and an earnest do-good quality that would melt the heart of any mother, grandparent, father (or girlfriend). As in that recent Onion parody (“Do you get chills just thinking about how strong my appeal actually is?”), the left recognizes all of this, and will set out to destroy him, immediately.

25 Responses to “Ryan’s appeal”

  1. texexec Says:

    Ryan’s appeal? For me, it’s refreshing to hear a politician who is intelligent, wise, and can articulate complicated concepts in a clear, understandable, passionate, and sincere way.

  2. mizpants Says:

    I’m usually pretty cynical about the political uses of politicians’ families, but Ryan’s tribute to his mother — the enterprising way she started a small business after she was widowed — made me teary-eyed. She looked so moved, and her little granddaughter’s hand on her shoulder was just pricelessly sweet. I believe that family, and I see how a guy like Paul Ryan rose out of it.

  3. Steve Says:

    Ryan seems to be living in the moment. Reagan had that quality. It is inspiring to like-minded supporters and disarming to critics. We are very lucky to have him. It is too bad he is not on the top of the ticket.

  4. Frank Says:

    Wow…just what the other tribe was revealing about their frontman four years ago. Thrill up your legs people?

  5. Steve Says:

    Frank, you mean are we excited about someone who is hailed as the messiah and promises ‘hope and change’ and says things like ‘this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow’? No.

  6. CV Says:

    Ryan is the real deal.

    Everyone can feel it…on the right AND the left. He appears to be genuine presidential material himself.

    So yeah, Frank, some of us really DO feel that thrill going up the leg 😉

    I agree that the left will try to destroy him but I think their usual tactics might not be quite as effective in this case. Are they going to claim he’s young and inexperienced? He was elected before he even turned 30, and he has more experience than Obama had. Plus financial strategic experience to boot. Ryan has an actual plan (albeit a complex one). His personal life appears to be squeaky clean. Down-to-earth, handsome guy with an adorable family. Effective speaker and not afraid to engage his opponents on the facts, etc.

    In the Catholic blogosphere there has been some consternation about Ryan’s affinity for (atheist) Ayn Rand, but that’s the only sticking point for (some) of his fellow Catholics.

    Of course the left can can try to plant lies about him and probably will.

    All I can say is, when I heard Ohio’s Portman speak last night (first time for me) all I could think was…thank goodness Romney made the decision to go with Ryan instead.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Frank: no thrill up my leg.

    One of the differences between the tendency of liberals and of conservatives is that although conservatives can come to admire and respect a politician, they are profoundly cynical about them and their basic stance is one of general distrust of them. I very doubt that anyone of the conservative persuasion thinks Ryan is about to slow the rise of the oceans, nor are they likely to draw him with a halo over his head, or think he’ll pay their bills.

    In fact, the degree of liking for Ryan (and for Reagan before him) is highly unusual for conservatives, and very provisional. Quite different from the awed reverence of many of Obama’s supporters. They will abandon him if he fails to deliver. What they hope he will do is reverse the rise of the deficit.

    I knew that some newcomer would arrive here—such as yourself—and try to make that comparison.

  8. Mr. Frank Says:

    Let the record reflect that “Frank” and “Mr. Frank” are two very different people.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Mr. Frank: That’s why I called “Frank” a newcomer here.

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    Well said, neo.

    At heart conservatives want someone to do what they think they themselves would do as Chief Executive, i.e., someone like them. In essence, they want a proxy.

    Lberals seem to want a guru, a mentor, an imam, someone who will give meaning to their lives, someone whom they can adulate. Someone, in short, much better than them. In essence, they want a Messiah.

  11. texexec Says:

    Liberals believe in fantasy. Conservatives believe in the real world.

    Obama = fantasy.
    Romney/Ryan = real world.

  12. texexec Says:

    (I’m still remembering Martinez’s speech…sorry to be off subject.)

    I loved that when she worked for her parents’ security company, she was packing!

  13. Oldflyer Says:

    “Ryan has an actual plan (albeit a complex one).”

    I have no argument with that statement. I would just add a couple of thoughts. It is a complex plan because it is a complex problem. One of Ryan’s attractions is that he does not pretend that it not. Another attraction is that he is not trying to kick it down the road. Finally, his great attraction as a communicator is that he can explain the problem in simple terms; (paraphrasing) “The answer is to quit spending money that we don’t have.”

    Ryan does not need to send tingles up my leg. I prefer that he doesn’t. All he has to do is honestly examine our problems, honestly explain the problem and the proposed solution, and follow through. What a breath of fresh air that would be.

    He has the intellectual capacity to do the first task. He has the requisite honesty for the second. He needs the opportunity to accomplish the third.

  14. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    One of the best things about Ryan is that — unlike Obama — he is not TRYING to send tingles up anybody’s legs. He just speaks sincerely about the problems as he sees them and the solutions he wants to put in place. He doesn’t try to invoke emotions that blind voters to the facts — instead, he lays out the facts and trusts us to be as willing as he is to discuss them in a civil, reasonable manner and to act on them rationally. Oh my lord, what a relief. And if it turns out I am wrong about him, I promise to be the first (if I can get here fast enough) to admit it and eat crow in this space.

  15. DonS Says:

    The core factor with Ryan is his command of the facts, his clear understanding of the situation, and his ability to convey it.

    Obama fully lacked this core competence, and in fact one of his key skills is hiding who he is, what he wants, and how he intends to achieve it.

  16. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    “Ryan’s plan is a complex one.” Yes it is. It also requires that at least a few of the other party will sign on to it in order to put it in effect. There is no doubt in my mind that he will do his best to implement it. The dems will undoubtedly do their best to sabotage it, but if Romney and Ryan win the election they can do as Reagan did – go to the people and urge them to write or call their representatives in support of them.

    Let us not be too starry eyed. Implementing the plan will not be easy. It will not be painless either. Dropping spending from 25% of GDP down to 19-20% means many people’s favorite oxes are going to be gored. There will be screams from the democrat constituencies that will make OWS look like kindergarten tantrum. We had a small sample from the unions in Wisconsin. So, even after a successful election of R/R the battles will just be starting.

    The Ryan plan has two elements. Cutting spending and increasing economic growth. Both must be achieved if the goal is to be reached. IMO, cutting spending will be harder than revving up economic growth.

    I’m in full support of R/R, but I’m not expecting an easy road ahead after they are elected. On the other hand, if they don’t win, I’m sure that my last years will be considerably lower in quality than they might have been. For that reason it really is extremely important to me that Romney and Ryan prevail.

  17. beverly Says:

    Heads up: The DNC will open tomorrow with a two-hour Muslim prayer service:

    Led by the radical Siraj Wahhaj.

    >>Siraj Wahhaj, the “Grand Imam” for Jumah at the DNC, is often considered a “moderate” because he was the first Muslim to give an invocation in the U.S. Congress, but as Robert Spencer notes, he has a number of troubling ties to dangerous radicals. In the early 1990′s the man reportedly sponsored talks by “the Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman in New York and New Jersey mosques, and told his followers that the United States will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.”

    Wahhaj elaborated, according to bestselling author Brigitte Gabriel, to say: “If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”

    He continued: “Take my word. If 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”

    “When an imam like Siraj Wahhaj says “it his duty and our duty as Muslims to replace the US Constitution with the Quran”…we need to speak up!” Dr. Jasser [moderate Muslim] reiterated in response, adding that Americans “should be concerned” if this is who the DNC is “consorting with.”<<

  18. beverly Says:

    According to The Blaze,

    >>The host committee for the Democratic National Convention is raising a number of eyebrows after choosing to proceed with featuring Islamic “Jumah” prayers for two hours on the Friday before its convention, though Democrats earlier denied a Catholic cardinal’s request to say a prayer at the same event.<<

    So, it's to be held in a park nearby, with up to 20,000 Muslims expected.

    "From Those Wonderful Folks Who Brought You the September 11th Massacres!"

  19. DNW Says:

    Ryan, like Rubio is able to articulate precisely where and how the left goes ideologically, and ultimately inhumanly, wrong.

    He does this not by simply repeating shopworn if valid mantras about the difference between a life lived within a regime of liberty versus one under central planning; but, because he has obviously studied the ideology of collectivism in enough depth so that his references are confidently expressed, he does so as one who has mastered not only the formulation of his own preferences, but the Subject Matter itself.

    Although many of the commenters on this blog seem to have an easy familiarity with the writings and doctrines of Hegel, Marx, Dewey, and their various disciples, allies, water carriers and imps, I am surprised and pleased to see a politician with (apparently) the kind of knowledge base that would allow him to go extempore if he had to, and to present his critique coherently, and effectively.

    Some conservatives, he’s probably one of them, really seem to have been doing their homework over the last decade or so.

    Now, as far as chills go, your link to your Bye Bye Birdie Youtube video, prompted me [thank you very much for the push] to go off in search of the closing of the movie. Amazing what goes right over your head when you’re 6 or 7.

  20. Curtis Says:

    Scott Walker and Paul Ryan share the Wisconsin connection. I am sure that they see each other’s struggles and triumphs as almost their own, maybe even more so. The attached website provides information about the Wisconsin connection.


    Is it just weird happenstance that Wisconsin has in short order produced the Republican Party’s most influential congressman, its most impactful governor and its institutional leader?

  21. OlderandWheezier Says:

    What’s really fun to see right now isn’t a tingle going up anyone’s leg, but what is clearly much more than a trickle streaming down the legs of those most invested in Obama’s re-election, especially after last night.

  22. parker Says:

    “Take my word. If 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”

    That is hilarious!

    “What’s really fun to see right now isn’t a tingle going up anyone’s leg, but what is clearly much more than a trickle streaming down the legs of those most invested in Obama’s re-election…”

    Thanks for a moment of merriment and putting a big smile on my face. Great comment.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    “Take my word. If 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”

    He forgot to mention that when they do so, they’ll be carrying ropes.

  24. Curtis Says:

    The Imam will kindly correct his democratic friends and say, Allah be praised, but abortion is wrong because it deprives Islam of people to kill, rape or imprison, especially woman and children.

  25. parker Says:

    “He forgot to mention that when they do so, they’ll be carrying ropes.”

    Forget the ropes; rails and tar and feathers backed by lead will suffice. Only a complete idiot sharia advocate believes otherwise.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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