On August 11, Paul Ryan delivered his remarks on his vice presidential nomination (full speech below). Here's why the speech will ring true with conservatives:
He focused on the economy. Ryan has earned his reputation as an economics policy wonk through his extensive and detailed budget work. No one can accuse Ryan of not knowing his stuff-and that's a reassuring sign.
He gave a real appeal to conservative principles. Republican politicians can often get away with a vague nod toward family and religious values that could easily apply to a wide spectrum of beliefs and policy priorities.
Here is what Ryan said on the nautre of America:
"America is more than just a place...it's an idea. It's the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.
"This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed."
This paragraph reveals that Ryan is capable of thinking about politics on more than just a purely pragmatic level. It is reminicient of the 2013 Budget Report, which states:
"Like last year’s budget, it is committed to the timeless principlesof American government enshrined in the Constitution — liberty, limited government, and equality under the rule of law."
These two statements emphasize the dependence liberty has upon responsibility. The one point it lacked was an assertion pointing out the duties inherent in government — a point Americans are fond of forgetting. The emphasis of Ryan's most recent speech was clearly attempting to draw a correlation between economic reform and prosperity.
He supported his running mate. Romney's name appeared 16 times in Ryan's speech from Saturday. Mitt Romney took a big risk in choosing Ryan, a relatively young politician with many grudges against him over controvertial budget decisions. Ryan will need to pay Romney back for his confidence by throwing all of his weight behind this campaign.
These factors, combined with Ryan's youth, experience, personability, and humble origins, will help Romney overcome the lukewarm feelings conservatives bear for him and his campaign.