The Washington Post

Ryan steps into the big leagues

Paul Ryan is sincere, confident and informed. His speech Wendesday night at the Republican National Convention showed he that has remarkable poise and he is better than most from behind the podium. But he was the fourth-best speaker at the convention so far. Condoleeza Rice, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie were the three best. Yet even the best speeches oddly lacked much content about the economy. Ryan finally said some of what needs to be said about President Obama and the economic issues we face. But it was too little, and what he did say was fragmented.

Ryan’s remarks were the congressional equivalent of an omnibus bill. They covered everything from his mom and hometown to theological exclamations. I wonder if his speech was written by a committee.

His speech was serious, and these are serious times. But his presentation lacked warmth, and that may need some corrective measures soon. He can’t be serious and a little harsh without being viewed as angry. Angry doesn’t wear well.

That said, Ryan is a force, and he is a powerful presence. He is now one of America’s dominant leaders.

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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