Optimism. Solutions. Passion. Commitment. Boldness. Charisma.
Those are just a few of the words that come to mind when I recall some of the best speeches of the GOP Convention thus far. Rand Paul, Condoleezza Rice, Mia Love, Ann Romney, Artur Davis, Susana Martinez, Paul Ryan, and others gave dynamic addresses to America, mixing personal stories of challenges and successes with a love of liberty, a tribute to policies that will get America back on track, and a condemnation of the agenda that has given us month after month of economic disaster.
Rand Paul’s unapologetic commitment to the Constitution, Condoleezza Rice’s annihilation of class-warfare rhetoric, Mia Love’s passion for the American Dream, Ann Romney’s heartfelt insight into Mitt ‘the man’ behind Mitt ‘the politician’, Susana Martinez’s moving story of why she became a Republican, and Paul Ryan’s triple threat of Obama-policy dismantling, bold solutions, and confident optimism–those are the things that Americans at home are hearing loud and clear.
I would be lying if I didn’t disclose that there are some aspects of the Convention I would change. Sure, I would switch out some speakers. I would change some music. I would add some events and elements that would make America’s youth pay closer attention and engage those who aren’t necessarily drawn to politics or politicians, but still care about their families and their country. Things could certainly stand to be tweaked, and the engagement of young people will depend on the GOP’s openness to new and think-outside-the-box ideas.
But the principles–freedom, hard work, family, faith, charity, and reaching for the stars–those are things that people of all ages, income groups, ethnicities, lifestyles, and genders can relate to. And with likable, magnetic vehicles for those messages like Mia Love and Paul Ryan, I am confident that such ideas will be heard and embraced by many.
Mitt Romney speaks tonight, and I am very much looking forward to his approach. Will he focus on his business record? Will he be tough on Obama’s failed policies? Will he get into policy specifics of his own? Will he share a lighter, funnier side of his personality? Will he tackle tough issues? We are soon to find out.
Until then, I leave you with some of my favorite quotes from Paul Ryan’s speech. Here are just a few of the many examples of why Ryan hit it out of the park and made me want to fast-forward to the Ryan/Biden debates as quickly as possible:
“I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.”
“With all their attack ads, the President is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that.”
“The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.”
“What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.”
“A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.”
“Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one.”
“None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.”
“When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself.”
“We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.”