Ryan Tonight

by Rich Lowry

I expect him to be very good. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him make a real false step in an interview, and the only time I’ve seen him even show any irritation is after that interview ended with the (clearly ax-grinding) local reporter the other day. I think the main risk is seeming the over-eager young guy. So he should avoid talking too fast or waving his hands around, and take it nice and slow. On the other hand, I hope he hasn’t been talked into speaking in generalities because otherwise he’ll supposedly lose ordinary people. He’s a great asset as an explainer. He shouldn’t be afraid — so long as he doesn’t lapse into jargon — of getting into details. The one thing that unites the most effective political performances so far in this campaign, Bill Clinton’s convention speech and Mitt Romney’s first debate, is that they were quite substantive. If Ryan makes the case for the Romney/Ryan program — and rebuts the Biden attacks on it — coolly, calmly, and with specificity, he’s going to have a very good night.