Tuesday night opened the Republican National Convention with, excepting Ann Romney, very little mention of the man of the hour it seemed. In fact, listening to Gov. Chris Christie, one might be forgiven for thinking that the candidate was Christie, and showed Mitt Romney was maybe wise when he went to Paul Ryan instead. Ryan and co. tried to change that Wednesday night.
The opening acts of Sen. Rob Portman and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivered speeches that were perfectly serviceable and were key in showing that if they were the other choices for vice-president, Romney probably made the right choice. It's not that they were bad speeches, so much as that neither man is a particularly natural speaker.
Mike Huckabee also spoke and he showed the crowd what they missed out in not getting him to run. It was evident from the reaction that they still love him. Condoleeza Rice is another name that was mentioned quite a bit in the last couple of months. Obviously that did not happen, but she did herself proud. Her speech was surprisingly effective and personal as well as being a shining example of moderation, but it did not wow the crowd the way Ryan did.
You can read the text of her speech here.
Vice-presidents have to make their presidents look good (something Christie maybe lacks), and also deliver stinging attacks on the opponent, and if the attacks are little truth challenged...Once it's out there, it's out there that the Janesville, Wisc. GM plant is closed, never mind that it closed during George W. Bush's presidency (Washington Post). How many people fact check, right? And so the nation lost its AAA credit grading because the House refused to vote on the debt ceiling? Who remembers that, right? It was an effective speech, and never mind that even he didn't mention Romney all that much.
You can read the text of his speech here.
What did you think? Were the speakers as a whole, stronger the second night? Did you find yourself understanding exactly why Romney chose Ryan? Or did you find yourself wistfully wondering what might have been with Huckabee or Rice?
Photo Credit: Paul Ryan Facebook Page