8:30 – “Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes that have inspired our country have grown dim… Governor Romney is the man for this moment. And he and I share one commitment. We will restore the greatness of this country.”
8:31 – Ryan introduces his wife and children.
8:33 – Paul Ryan says his now deceased father used to always say to him: “Son, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution,” adding that Barack Obama is part of the problem and Mitt Romney is part of the solution.
8:36 – Paul Ryan argues, “No one disputes that President Obama inherited a bad situation,” but with his party in control of both houses of Congress when he took office, Obama passed most major items on his legislative agenda, but things have only gotten worse.
8:38 – Of all the bad economic indicators, Paul Ryan says he’s heard people say “This is the new normal.” The crowd audibly jeers.
8:39 – Ryan says that his experience working on legislation in Congress makes the perfect compliment to Mitt Romney’s experience outside of Washington.
8:40 – Ryan: “If you have a small business, you DID build that.” Crowd cheers.
8:43 – “America is not just a place. It’s an idea.” Crowd chants “USA! USA! USA!”
8:45 – Listening to Ryan’s remarks, it is very clear what message Mitt Romney is trying to send with this VP pick and how he will approach the rest of the campaign. Paul Ryan is definitely Mitt Romney’s way of making this election about the economy.
The move may backfire. Instead of making it about the economy and about Obama’s record on the economy, it could make the election a referendum on Paul Ryan’s budget plan.
8:46 – Ryan says he and Romney will have “the courage to tell you the truth.” Which truth, I wonder. The before-the-primary kind of truth, or the after-the-primary, turned-upside-down-and-shaken (like an Etch a Sketch) kind of truth?
9:13 – Whether Ryan is a good vice presidential pick or not will hinge on how Democratic and Independent voters react to his (in many ways, fairly modest and pretty overblown) attempts to cut the budgets of some social welfare programs with his budget plan on the one hand, and how Republican and fiscally conservative voters react to Paul Ryan’s voting record when he’s vetted and many of them discover for the first time that the poster boy for movement conservatism voted for the TARP bailouts that his running mate took flak for supporting during the more heated part of the Republican primary.
What can certainly be said, however, of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s VP pick, is that he was a good pick from the standpoint of speaking ability and media savvy. If watching him speak in the past hasn’t already, watching Ryan speak this morning made that point clear enough. He is a superb public speaker, has as excellent a command of words as he is reputed to have of numbers, and seems very much to be “with it” and to “have it together” in contrast to the Republican Party’s last vice presidential candidate. One can’t imagine Ryan fumbling as many interviews as Sarah Palin did in 2008. Paul Ryan is definitely going to look and sound good on cable television.