“A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours,” Ryan said. “My mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison,” Ryan said. “To this day, my mom is my role model.” [Politico]

WHAT DO YOU want to bet that Chris Christie is begging for a do over? Whatever role he might have played before Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, he’ll have to regroup. It’s a lesson in grabbing your moment while it’s nigh, because you can miss it and watch your chance slide by. That’s how good Paul Ryan was received last night by Republicans. That he filleted Pres. Obama will have Rush Limbaugh gushing at midday.

Mitt Romney’s choice for running mate doesn’t seem so dumb anymore. I never thought it was, though that doesn’t mean Romney-Ryan will prevail.

The man who rose the roof in Tampa, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, had tears running down his cheek as he listened. It was like seeing Oprah when Barack Obama won the presidency.

Democrats immediately jumped on Paul Ryan invoking the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. For Ryan, it was truly a moment of stunning chutzpah. Almost as stunning as it will be watching Democrats try to take him down through fact-checking, as Republicans exalt him, seeing Ronald Reagan’s legacy finally land. Ignored were his own votes, but details are irrelevant, Ryan’s arrived.

When Rachel Maddow got into it with Gov. Scott Walker on the subject he wouldn’t let go. Walker said that even though the plant closed during the Bush era, Obama had promised it would be open, so it was Obama’s fault. The discussion quickly turned into a tug of words in which Maddow rarely gets ensnared. Walker pushed back, said they could try to talk over him as MSNBC always does, but that’s the truth. It was very awkward, with Maddow trying to make nice as it wrapped, but the picture had been telegraphed, the message sent.

The reality is that, sadly, people don’t pay attention to this stuff on a micro level, they go on their emotions and Paul Ryan tapped into that vein. It’s the most explosive political talent to have and Ryan’s got it. As people saw with Pres. Obama, what a voter feels about a candidate often outweighs sober dissection of what the person offers through policy, based on history.

There were a lot of whoppers in the Paul Ryan speech. I doubt anyone listening cared. Yes he voted for the spending in the Bush era he is railing about today. He’s learned his lesson, you see. There was even some bipartisan admittance that Republicans spend too much, too.

Taking the Reagan mantle, all that’s left for Ryan is a picture with Nancy Reagan. If she saw and heard him speak she’d likely invite him to California and make that dream come true. The Reagan torch passed to a new generation.

Whatever happens this year, Paul Ryan’s national career is launched. If Mitt Romney doesn’t prevail he’ll run in 2016, with Romney the man who gave him the big break at the perfect moment in time.

That’s what life is about. Knowing your moment and seizing it. Chris Christie was begged to run for president and wanted to wait, because he thought there would be another moment. However, Paul Ryan just took it. Now Chris Christie seems like old news in a rumpled package.  He’ll run, but he’s no longer the first in line.

Paul Ryan is a dangerous politician. He’s also a consummate communicator and performer. He knew the camera angles and hit them with the line he wanted to deliver. He also showed heart. Now all he needs is seasoning.

Democrats, prepare.


The Democratic response to Paul Ryan landed in my inbox early on Thursday….

The Reviews Are in on Paul Ryan’s Speech”¦

 VIDEO: David Gregory:There is a kind of ideological amnesia here on the part of Paul Ryan.”

VIDEO: Chris Matthews: “I thought it was a very constricted, very negative, very nasty speech.”

Bloomberg View @BloombergView This campaign offers good sound bites but few real details bloom.bg/Politics#GOP2012

Adam Smith ‏@adamsmithtimes Did I miss him saying anything specific about how they’ll save medicare, how they’ll create jobs?

Marc Ambinder @marcambinder On the facts, Ryan left a lot out. He’d cut Medicare too; he opposed Simpson-Bowles, he voted for policies that increased the debt”¦ etc.

Andrew Sullivan ‏@sullydish If you ignore the details, and wipe your memory like an Etch-A-Sketch, it can sound like a wonderful return to fiscal responsibility.

Ryan Lizza ‏@RyanLizza  Wow, genuinely shocked Ryan would use GM plant anecdote. GM announced its closure before Obama was president. Just a straight up falsehood.

Jonathan Weisman ‏@jonathanweisman  Wow, did Ryan just criticize Obama for walking away from Simpson-Bowles when he led House Republicans on the commission to vote it down?

Andrea Mitchell ‏@mitchellreports .@paul ryan attcking stimulus but didnt he write letters asking for stimulus programs for his district? @NBCPolitics

What you may have missed”¦

VAN HOLLEN: Romney-Ryan Wrong for the Middle Class

FLASHBACK: McConnell & Romney’s Allies In Congress Refused To Act On The Economy To Try To Beat The President

FACT CHECK: Romney Didn’t Build That. He Destroyed It.

As McCain and Rice Prepare To Speak, The Reviews Are Already In On Romney’s Foreign Policy

FACT CHECK: Romney Pulled McCain’s GOP To The Extreme Right

FACT CHECK: McCain Joined Romney In Making False Claims About National Security Leaks

FACT CHECK: Romney’s Plan For The Middle Class Is A Tax Hike And Turning Medicare Into Vouchers

FACT CHECK: GOP Embraces Huckabee-Akin Agenda

FACT CHECK: Pawlenty Didn’t Always Think Romney’s Failed Record Was So Funny

FACT CHECK: Huckabee Attacks the Vice President’s Tax Returns When Romney’s Hiding His

FACT CHECK: Rice, McCain Can’t Detail Romney’s Foreign Policy Vision

FLASHBACK: Martinez Said Romney’s Policies “Alienated” Hispanic Voters

FACT CHECK: Romney, Ryan Aren’t Being Serious With the American People Because Their Policy Details Are Suicidal

FACT CHECK: The Romney-Ryan Plan Would Turn Medicare Into Vouchers And Raise Costs For Seniors

FACT CHECK: Factory Closing Ryan Cited Happened Under President Bush

FACT CHECK: Ryan’s Recovery Act Hypocrisy

FACT CHECK: Romney, Ryan Ask For Nothing From The Wealthiest Americans

FACT CHECK: Ryan Advised GOP Leaders Not To Work With The President To Reduce Deficit

CUTTER: Ryan Didn’t Offer One Tangible Idea to Move America Forward