There is something you did not hear at the Republican convention last week that you are almost certain to hear at the Democratic convention this week: excuses. And there is something you saw that has seldom been seen from the White House in the last three-and-a-half years: leadership.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan set the tone in the second sentence of his Wednesday night speech when he said, “I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity — and I know we can do this.”
Duty, leadership, responsibility. Those were the themes of both Ryan and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and they contrast tremendously with the themes of the Obama administration: blame, shame and complain. President Obama is engaging in precisely the sort of nasty, dishonest politics he said four years ago he hoped to end. Hope and change are gone, replaced by excuses and demagoguery.
Enter Ryan and Romney, with actual ideas, not just sound bites.
Romney and Ryan pr opose serious changes to fix serious problems before they become insurmountable crises. On jobs, the economy, the debt and our unsustainable entitlement spending, they offer plans with measurable results. They are asking Americans not just to vote for them, but to hold them accountable for the promises they are making.
“We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead,” Ryan said. “We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.” That would be a truly refreshing change.
Romney on Thursday night noted that things were supposed to be different by now under President Obama. “This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits. This was the hope and change America voted for.”
But instead we still wait.
“How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?” he asked. “Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as President when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”
The hope is faded, here in New Hampshire and throughout the country. The reality is setting in: This President just can’t get it done. It’s time for a President who can, who will roll up his sleeves and work until he gets results instead of one who expects to move mountains with his speeches and then blames others when his words fail.