Jonah Goldberg writes in the latest G-file newsletter:
But the two most effective and representative lines of the whole convention came from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (as it should be).
From Romney: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”
While this isn’t necessarily red meat, it’s got a nice pinkish hue bordering on red at the center. It also shows why red meat can be effective. Liberals hate this line because they think making fun of global warming is sacrilegious and “anti-science.” So they’re attacking him for it. But the average voter doesn’t hear anti-scientific blasphemy, they hear, “Obama talks a big game about things that either don’t matter or he can’t do. Meanwhile this guy says he’s going to focus on the economy and getting my kid a job that gets him out of the basement.”
Which brings me to what I think was easily the best line of the night, from Paul Ryan.
We are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy that Barack Obama inherited, not the economy as he envisions, but this economy that we are living. 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.
That is brilliant and one of the few lines of the whole convention that elicited serious pangs of writerly envy. It works so well because it is poignant, funny, and feels very, very true. It captures the faded coolness and fizzled hype of the original Obama frenzy. That’s a great message from a young (younger than me!) politician aimed at young people. But it also works very well for older people. People who are no longer all that young understand the pain and anxiety of wasted time and unfulfilled potential. The image makes you feel for the young adults effectively trapped at the bottom of an economic escalator that seems to be moving down as they try to climb up.
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