Sunday, August 21, 2011
Ryan's cheerful spirit
An astute reader and sometimes-correspondent emailed me to say this of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), in response to my latest post urging Ryan to run for president:
He is equipped to persuade and inform. He is able to maintain a cheerful spirit as he argues his position.
That last is a point I've not made here adequately, to my embarrassment. I replied:
That cheerful spirit is an underappreciated key. I think it will become more obvious if he gets into the race, because I think he will start getting the kind of reaction from thirsty conservatives that will start a feedback loop.
Righteous competence and authenticity are a great foundation, and when you put the cheerful spirit above it — I just think it could be as genuinely transformative as Reagan in 1980.
Ryan comes across immediately, almost overwhelmingly, as superbly informed and relentlessly common-sensical. But there is a vein of quiet passion that peeks out, a static electric charge of patriotism and Reaganesque faith in America that sometimes attends his best public speaking. And it's not something he's reading from a teleprompter, or that any speechwriter has polished for him to recite. It's something that's thoroughly imbued in his character.
It's not flashy. It's certainly not contrived. But after four years of very contrived flash from 1600 Pennsylvania, I think America is likely to be receptive to Paul Ryan's cheerful spirit.
UPDATE (Mon Aug 22 @ 1:25pm): Mona Charen at NRO argues persuasively that being a "nice guy" is, indeed, Paul Ryan's "secret weapon."
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(1) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Aug 22, 2011 1:45:40 AM | Permalink
Dear Mr. Dyer: Can he keep this cheerful spirit when things go wrong? They will. No Prez has ever been elected who had his own way all the time. What in PR's background makes you think that he can retain his cheerfulness, or at least in Wordsworth's phrase, be a Happy Warrior?
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