RNC Schedule of Speakers: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney, Obama Reddit Questions and Answers, and Everything You Should Read on Thursday

Hot Read – Ryan, Rice Wake Slumbering Convention – (via Politico) "With a one-two punch, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wednesday brought to life a Republican convention that so far had been weighed down by Todd Akin, Hurricane Isaac and a keynote speech that fell below high expectations. Filled with pride over Rice and buoyed by the promise of Ryan, GOP delegates left the hall here unmistakably more energized than they had the previous night. The talk among delegates was of the country’s first black female secretary of state, the remaining star of an administration some conservatives would rather leave in the past, but even more about their 42-year-old vice-presidential nominee. For the Republican activists who’ve been lifted by Mitt Romney’s selection of Ryan, it was a galvanizing first glimpse of the House Budget chairman, who has injected new energy into the Republican campaign."

How the Speeches Played – Paul Ryan delivered his much-anticipated speech on Wednesday night, introducing himself on a national stage for the first time in the presidential campaign. Ryan made a specific bid to appeal to young voters. (5 highlights hereKey quote: "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. ... We are a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And in some ways, we are different. There are the songs in his iPod, which I have heard on the campaign bus ... and I have heard it on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, 'Look, I hope it is not a deal-breaker, Mitt. But my playlist starts with AC/DC and it ends with Zeppelin."

From PolicyMic's millennial correspondent Nick McNiff: "Both men and women around me were crying when he said his mom is his role model, generating a lot of excitement throughout."

CNN's David Gergen: "This was a speech about big ideas. … Throwing down the gauntlet, he's inviting major conversation in the debates ahead about very conflicting views of what government should be.”; NY Times' Jeff Zeleny: “RYAN: A pitbull with a smile. His upbeat tone raises the question of how challenging it might be for Democrats to brand him as extreme.”; MSNBC's Chris Matthews: “I thought it was a very constricted, very negative, very nasty speech.”; Tampa Bay Times' Adam Smith: "Did I miss him saying anything specific about how they'll save medicare, how they'll create jobs?"; Slate's John Dickerson: "Paul Ryan was supposed to be the idea man. So far he’s been the attack dog."

Condoleezza Rice received the biggest ovation of the evening for her address, which wove together her future for the future of American power, both in terms of foreign policy and domestic progress. (5 highlights here). Key quote: "And on a personal note – a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham – the most segregated big city in America – her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant – but they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter – she can be President of the United States and she becomes the Secretary of State. Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect. But of course it has never been inevitable – it has taken leadership, courage and an unwavering faith in our values."

That line draw huge roars from the crowd and prompted speculation about Rice's future political ambitions in 2016 and beyond. MSNBC's Chris Matthews: “I thought Condoleezza Rice’s speech was spectacular, it was thrilling, it was American. I thought Condoleezza Rice was presidential tonight.” GOP Strategist Steve Schmidt: “Condoleezza Rice lives in America’s most broken state, our biggest state — California — where the Republican Party has collapsed. ... It’ll be interesting to watch her over the weeks, the calls for her to run for governor.” MSNBC's Christopher Hayes: "Did Condi just declare she's running for Pres? Also, this is by far the best speech given so far." 

Despite this enthusiasm, Rice said earlier in the day she would not take a position in a Romney administration if it were offered. "I am a very happy professor at Stanford," she said on CBS. "That's a no."

Inside Obama HQ – Stephanie Cutter responded to Ryan's speech: "Paul Ryan offered Americans forty minutes of vitriol and a half dozen previously debunked attacks, but not one tangible idea to move this country forward.  This from the man Mitt Romney called the intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He blamed the President for an auto plant that closed under the previous administration, for not advancing a deficit reduction plan that he voted against, and for cutting Medicare even though he used those same savings in his budget to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy."

“While hard truths were promised tonight, they never arrived. Congressman Ryan failed to level with Americans about the implications of the Romney-Ryan budget which funds tax cuts for millionaires by raising taxes on the middle class, and makes seniors pay more for their health care while limiting access to higher education. And he never explained how he and Romney would reduce the deficit while increasing defense spending and refusing to ask the wealthiest Americans for a dime. That's not bold leadership—it's a breathtaking, cynical evasion.”

Romney's Moment – Now, the spotlight turns to Mitt Romney, who delivers his address on prime-time television on Thursday evening. Romney will betinkering his speech up until the last moment. Romney's challenge at hand? USA Today/Gallup poll taken on Aug. 20-22: "Is likable": Obama, 23-point advantage (54-31); "Cares about the needs of people like you": Obama, 16-point advantage (52-36); "Would better handle ... the economy": Romney, 9-point advantage (52-43).

Day 3 Schedule – RNC Day 3 Speakers:

7:00 PM Newt and Callista Gingrich, Craig Romney
8:00 PM Fmr. Governor Jeb Bush (FL)
10:00 PM Senator Marco Rubio (FL), Mitt Romney

Obama on Reddit – President Obama took questions on Wednesday from the public in an online chat on the popular website Reddit. 'Hey everybody - this is barack,' he wrote. 'Just finished a great rally in Charlottesville, and am looking forward to your questions.” Best Question: "I am recent law school graduate. Despite graduating from a top school, I find myself unemployed with a large student loan debt burden. While I'm sure my immediate prospects will improve in time, it's difficult to be optimistic about the future knowing that my ability to live a productive life -- to have a fulfilling career, to buy a house, to someday raise a family -- is hampered by my debt and the bleak economic outlook for young people. I know that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Many of us are demoralized. Your 2008 campaign was successful in large part due to the efforts of younger demographics. We worked for you, we campaigned for you, and we turned out in record numbers to vote for you. What can I say to encourage those in similar situations as I am to show up again in November? What hope can you offer us for your second term?" Read Obama's response here.

Obama ignored a wide range of chatter and questions such as 'Do you like cats?' When asked for the recipe for the White House's beer, Obama replied, 'It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.'" Read more of his responses here.

Top PolicyMic Stories – Paul Ryan RNC Convention Speech: 5 Things He Got Right (Jesse Merkel) – Wisconsin Congressman and Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan needed to hit a home run tonight. He did.

Susana Martinez RNC Speech Never Happened as Far as ABC is Concerned (Amy Sterling Casil) – ABC is locked in a race to the bottom of the network jerkstakes by airing Univision's Jorge Ramos talking over New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez's RNC speech.

Despite Presence of Condoleezza Rice and Mia Love at RNC, Republicans Don't Appeal to African-Americans (Chad Bascombe) – A closer look at the Republicans' Black Convention speakers reveals the challenges they face garnering support among African Americans.

Mia Love Wikipedia Page Allegedly Hacked: N Word Insult is Insulting to Everyone (Camira Powell) – The recent onslaught of insults against Mia Love are unacceptable.

What We're Reading – The one graph you need to see before watching Romney's RNC speech (Washington Post, Ezra Klein); Donors invest millions in Romney for billions in return (Bloomberg); Virgin Airlines to offer top frequent flier a free trip to space (US News); The correlation between income and SAT scores (The Society Pages); 2012 Paralympic Games: in panoramic photos (The Atlantic).

Must View Graphic of the Day – Chick-fil-A Confessional: Forgive me, gays, for I have sinned.

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