David Gergen: Have Republicans found a young Reagan? (CNN)
David Gergen: Have Republicans found a young Reagan?
The delegates here in Tampa loved Ann Romney Tuesday night and loved Condi Rice Wednesday night. But Paul Ryan delivered the speech they have been longing for, and they exploded in enthusiasm. Conservatives will surely wonder whether they have found a young Reagan.
On the biggest stage of his life, Ryan spoke with the assurance, clarity and humor of a man of far more experience. He understood that the best way to make an effective indictment of President Barack Obama was to tell a story, and he did that well. As a CNN focus group said after, he seemed to do it as well without scaring people as an extremist.
Democrats will rightly take him on next week as they have sharply different views of how to create a fair and growing society. The press will rightly check his facts. Critics will rightly charge that he didn’t spell out the Romney-Ryan economic plan. But Ryan accomplished something important: he pushed the debate onto a higher plane where we might get a more serious conversation about the tough, tough choices ahead.
David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.Follow him on Twitter.