On Wednesday night, Wisconsin 1st congressional district representative Paul Ryan delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Republican National convention in Tampa, Florida before a full house as the party’s nominee for U.S. Vice President. Before the speech, Ryan was expected to hammer home on the most important themes of the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan presidential ticket, including jobs, the federal government deficit, excessive business regulation, and the Affordable Care Act. Ryan delivered as promised, and in stirring fashion.
Before Ryan’s speech, convention attendees were treated to remarks by the longtime George W. Bush administration’s Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. Rice, who served two consecutive terms under President Bush, opened her speech with a remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, before progressing on to speak of the global financial crisis, the Arab spring, Iran and Syria, as well as topics important to the foreign policy of the United States. She spoke about AIDS, child-sex workers, and U.S. border security. She relived her childhood in a Jim Crow Birmingham, and then left the stage to roaring applause, and a standing ovation.
Then it was time for the keynote speaker, Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. Ryan started his remarks by telling the audience that he wants the challenges that lie before him, saying, “I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity— and I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.” He spoke to the delegates about the negative campaign of President Barack Obama, and then moved on to a more personal side of himself, explaining about the loss of his father at age 16, and about living today on the same block where he grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin.
All throughout Ryan’s speech, economic problems in the U.S., the national public debt, and the Affordable Care Act were the points that the Republican V.P. candidate returned to on more than one occasion. In the convention hall were hundreds of small business owners gathered from far and wide across America, and they weren’t disappointed by Ryan’s remarks. Tax reform and reducing government regulation on small business owners were items in the speech that drew the biggest response.
However, the central theme of Paul Ryan’s vice presidential nomination speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention was jobs, and time and again, Ryan pushed to define differences in what voters can expect between an Obama second term and a Romney-Ryan administration. The well received speech had been carefully tailored by Ryan to help the party gather momentum before Mitt Romney’s presidential nominating speech on Thursday night. With the Democratic National Convention about to begin, Republicans are hoping to hit the ground running when they depart from Tampa. Ryan’s speech left a big impression on virtually all the attendees, and the Republican presidential ticket continues to get more solid, and more formidable, heading to the end of the convention.
Mitt Romney’s address will culminate a week that started as a bit of a dud, following the cancellation of most events on Monday due to Hurricane Isaac. The convention was off to a slow start, but that has since reversed itself, with the convention recovering splendidly. While business owners in Tampa will miss the revenue being generated by the convention, after it has closed, city leaders are already calling the convention a great success, and already looking forward to more normal traffic congestion next week.