Paul Ryan's speech started off slowly but hit all eight cylinders by its conclusion.
I was struck by Ryan's humility especially when speaking of his deceased father said, "I'd like to think he'd be proud of me."
He seemed to hit his stride when he spoke about President Obama:
President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, "I haven't communicated enough." He said his job is "to tell a story to the American people" - as if that's the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?
Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What's missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago - isn't it about time he assumed responsibility?
I hope both Ryan and Romney ask, "The man assumed responsibility four years ago - isn't it about time he assumed responsibility?" every chance they get. Because it was President Obama who spoke of embarking upon "a new era of responsibility" when he was sworn into office. Of course, Obama's idea of responsibility is different from the rest of us.
The funniest sentence of the speech was when Ryan said, "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."
And to think I can remember a time when our rooms were full of posters of Cheryl Tiegs or Farrah Fawcett. Obama posters? Kids these days.
But I digress.
Here is Ryan at his philosophical essence:
None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers - a dull, adventureless journey from entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.
Listen to the way we're spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond their control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.
It's the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, define happiness for myself. That's what we do in this country. That's the American Dream. That's freedom, and I'll take that any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.
If you want to understand the difference between Mitt Romney and President Obama, Ryan summed it up this way:
And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.
We will not duck tough issues, we will lead.
We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.
We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.
It doesn't get any clearer than that. The rest is up to us.