Paul Ryan made a name for himself as a teller of hard truths, but he made his national debut at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night with a speech filled with optimism about what he and Mitt Romney could accomplish together.
He painted a dour picture of the Obama years (with some distortions) but a sunny image of the potential future, touting a goal of 12 million new jobs in the first four years of Romney's tenure.
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life," he said, one of many memorable one-liners. He described Obama's vision as "a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us."
But Romney, he argued, was ready to take on the economy and turn things around.
"The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us -- but we can do this. Together, we can do this," he said. "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."
A Catholic, Ryan also vouched for Romney's faith, saying that while the two attend different churches, "the man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable."
And Ryan showed his lighter side, joking that his running mate listens to music heard "in many hotel elevators."