The nation got its first real look at Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's No. 2, who is apparently supposed to win the young over because of their dissatisfaction with Obama. Ryan started with a self-deprecating "Hello everybody," indicating that he is every bit the demagogue with the fake bonhomie of a Clinton or a Bush.
Indeed, when Ryan started speaking, one was reminded of that fast talking insincere kid who ran for student council in junior high school and would say anything to anyone.
Ryan proved that he understands what focus groups tell him about America's pain: 23 million underemployed, 1 in 6 in poverty, millions needing food aid, and half of all recent college grads unemployed. He took Obama to task for not doing more about this, even though Republicans and Democratic conservatives in 2009 refused to consider another stimulus and the Republicans since 2009 have refused to do anything Obama wanted, with a record over 300 filibusters. In short, Ryan knows America's pain because he had a big hand in creating it.
Scourged for his Medicare privatization plan, he slammed the president's health care plan for cutting $716 billion from Medicare. In truth, Obama did not touch Medicare but rescinded the special incentives given to private insurance companies to offer Medicare Advantage plans in competition with the government. Core Medicare would still remain and would not be cut. Romney, however, has capped Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and to meet their fiscal goals, Romney and Ryan would have to deeply cut Medicare benefits, presumably through some voucher privatization scheme such as Ryan proposed. For the purposes of the convention and rallying the faithful (who snickered during this segment), it was enough that Ryan proved he could lie without blinking. He even repeated his charge that Obama promised to keep Janesville, Wisconsin's GM plant open even though the press revealed that it had closed during Bush's term. Ryan had no problem repeating his false insinuation that Obama was to blame.
He was especially good in decrying the deficit, caused by the failure of Obama to get his promised and popular increased tax on the rich, a move blocked at every turn by the Republicans. Ryan has already proved with his budget this year that he wants to add $4 trillion additional to the deficit and cares nothing at all about paying down debt.
The rest of Ryan's interminable rambling involved trying to pluck at the emotions while lying about his plans. He even said, it is the duty of America for "the strong to protect the weak," implying an entitlement philosophy his Ayn Rand philosophy certainly rejects. He also talked about college grads laying on their childhood beds staring up at fading Obama posters, although his smirking did not really seem sympathetic.
Romney got the best speaker the Republicans had today for his vp, a smarmy and obvious liar with undoubtedly more charm than Mitt himself. But he did not get a game changer.