August 29, 2012

I’m glad my fellow insider, Ed Rogers, isn’t directing the Republican convention this cycle. His advice could really help the party.

Ed writes that early indications are that Paul Ryan will spend a lot of time tonight on his biography. I agree with him that this is a potential mistake, given the more important task of Ryan’s speech: defining Romney’s economic plan.

Is it just me, or is the whole bio-speech riff getting a little tired? It has been a staple of political speeches since the 19th century, and we are now often on the second or third generation of hardship. In other words, many of the stories of overcoming hardship and deprivation pertain no longer to the speaker but to the parents or grandparents. It is a little forced.

Tired, too, is the convention of telling little human interest anecdotes — “I met a woman in Spokane who told me . . . .

Anyway, while I am being cranky, let me complain once more about Condoleezza Rice, who is back on tonight’s convention schedule. Today, she criticized President Obama’s for “muting” our nation’s voice in international affairs and said Romney will “lead from the front.” What front might that be? The two she helped establish so successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan? I hope her advice to Romney is better than her advice when it really mattered.

But back to Paul Ryan. He has a deficit plan, which I’ve written about before, but he doesn’t have an economic plan that I know of. Nor does Romney. Both have the traditional magical Republican idea that cutting taxes and eliminating regulation will solve the structural problems plaguing the steady decline in American competitiveness and the acceleration of our income disparity.

On second thought, maybe Ryan should stick to his bio.