The Washington Post

With the Ryan speech, the Convention needs to get around to the economy.

TAMPA — Paul Ryan has a big job tonight: to take the solid start of yesterday and really launch the Republican convention by making the economy a central theme. Ryan has got to supply some clarity to the Romney economic vision and plan.

His speech tonight is also his opportunity to cement himself as a thought leader and the leader of the next generation of the Republican Party.

As I previously reported, delegates came here with a surprising amount of determination and enthusiasm. The storm, a few distractions, and a good (not great) Tuesday night have made Ryan's appearance all the more important.  Ryan's got to turn the policy discussion in Tampa to the economy.

Nothing has changed in that, if the election is about Obama and his performance on the economy, Obama could lose.  If it's about something else, Obama is likely to win.

The early indications from the campaign suggest that Ryan is going to talk a lot tonight about his biography. It’s a mistake to believe that a vice presidential candidate is going to drive a lot of votes. The economy is going to be what motivates people to vote one way or another.

We shouldn't waste time making the small audience in the hall in Tampa swoon even more over Ryan. Ryan should talk to America about the Romney economic plan and the Obama failures.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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