My Reaction to the Republican VP Nomination Acceptance Speeches (2/2) The Rest

Here’s a full playlist of every Republican VP Nominee’s Convention Speech!

Mike Pence (2016)

I initially thought Mike Pence was an awful choice from a strategic point of view. I thought Trump ought to have emphasized his outsider/anything goes status by doing something unexpected that “flipped the script” in the way a lot of his moves during the primary seemed to do. Another non-political celebrity might have sent the message that no one in his team actually knew politics, so I think he needed an actual politician who could work with DC. Many on Reddit were talking about Jim Webb, and had Webb been willing to accept I actually think that would have been ingenious. I had come to believe Trump was a joke candidate by this point, someone who did not want to win and was trying to throw the election. I won’t get into why I believed that here, but in the context of a shocking VP pick I thought maybe he would troll us by choosing Dan Quayle. My second favorite joke theory was that maybe he’d pick Ivanka, who’d have turned 35 just in time for election day and if they won he’d step down to “gift” her the legacy of first woman president as the ultimate birthday president. That would have been a hilarious troll on Hillary had it happened.

This is just my wish-fulfillment, but as a realistic selection, a Ron Paul style libertarian would have been a great choice by furthering Trump’s anti-establishment cred while also getting a politician. Barring that, none of his primary challengers seemed realistic after he humiliated each and every one while painting them as impotent shills all the while. The only one whom he didn’t and therefore would have made a great choice was Kasich but he turned it down. Supposedly Trump wanted Christie, and it’s great for him that his staff advised otherwise, or else Bridge-gate would have been a Trump scandal, and Christie might have joined the ranks of Eagleton or Palin as one of the great self-destructive VP picks of all-time. With few other options available, Pence made sense from the perspective of shoring up the Christian base. I think he alienated independents and disillusioned “fuck it” Democratic voters willing to vote for a change candidate whoever that may be just to stick it to Clinton. Apparently not enough were alienated to cost Trump the election, but I was personally fascinated by Trump’s inexplicable rise until the general started and I realized that a) no pivot was coming and b) Pence was as bad as Cruz.

While he may be as despicable of a guy as Paul Ryan, at least Pence has the decency to be somewhat charismatic. That makes Pence more dangerous, but at least it makes sitting through this speech easier on me. That said, we get off to a really rocky start when Pence introduces himself as “a Christian, a Conservative and a Republican—in that order.” So…where’s the “I’m American” huh? And oh boy the theocrats aren’t even bothering to pretend anymore. Separation of church and state doesn’t exist to men like Mike Pence, as he just made clear, and soon we can all look forward to being held to his religious standards. This one sentence just sums up so much wrong with the GOP today. Even Barry Goldwater, the Grandfather of Modern Conservatism, hated and feared the then-minority of religiously motivated members of right-wing politics. He famously issued a warned on the danger of their coming to power. Another complaint, this one a pet peeve, is provoked as Pence begins with the hokey family introductions. Finally he says his mom created everything that matters: “a family, a business and a good name.” Ugh.

Like Lieberman and Cheney, Pence has this obnoxious habit of making weird goofy faces whenever he says a line that he considers a zinger. Like every Republican, he also invokes the ghost of Ronald Reagan. There’s shout-outs to law enforcement…which by itself is nice…but in practice is often a dog-whistle for beating back against black people and sucking up to surveillance and police brutality. Pence goes out of his way to hit every right-wing check-box in this speech, for better or worse.

I dont believe Trump and Pence are particularly close due to the fact their public statements are always out of step with each other, and Trump admitting he hadn’t discussed issues with Mike at the general debates. So I don’t think Pence had much if any nice things to say about Donald. To his credit though, I like how Pence doesn’t pretend to have some great respect or insight into his character either. He praises Trump for beating the odds and inspiring new voters, and outside of that just uses him as a vessel for praising the ideals of the Republican Party. Pence is absolutely truthful about the GOP establishment trying everything they could to stop Trump and how he always came back fighting. It’s surprising to see a GOP nominee openly mention this, the party allowing it, and the audience applauding it. Pence is also absolutely spot on in his criticisms of Hillary here. As Pence says, at the very time America was crying out for something new, the Democrats nominated the very embodiment of the establishment. That’s why they lost.

One thing that I would find kinda endearing about Pence (if he wasn’t a horrifying religious extremist with a shameful record as governor) is the Jim Halpert/Clarissa Darling faces he makes from time to time. These are different from the awkward “zinger faces” I mentioned before, and it’s hard to describe without watching the speech yourself. We see a return again of the hateful GOP shaming of the opposition with the “lock her up” chants. I actually don’t blame Pence for that specifically since it was happening all through the convention, though he did nothing to stop it and restore proper decorum either.

Pence literally leads the convention in a prayer—this is absolutely unprecedented for a convention speech, at least from one of the nominees. Religious pandering was a thing since Reagan but I consider this a new, dangerous extreme and proof of what we’re in for. I don’t care if you’re Christian but forcing that into politics, especially to justify discrimination, is cruel and despicable. Trying to be as objective as possible, I will say this speech is decently well-delivered and there are both some great zingers and fair criticisms of the opposition in here. What weighs it down for me is the overt Christian virtue-signalling. Overall, I hate and fear Pence more than any other politician in America right now, but I will say he’s a better speaker than the opposing nominee, Kaine or his predecessor Ryan.

William Miller (1964)

Not sure it’s even possible to top Goldwater’s speech from the same convention; I’ve said numerous times it’s a strong contender for the greatest convention speech ever delivered, at least in the 20th Century. Judging by the paltry length, it doesn’t look like Miller is even going to try. The coverage itself is literally ignoring him to show Goldwater’s car arriving. His oration is very slow and stilted—you could put a comma after every word. He wastes no time and launches right into praising Goldwater. He receives polite applause throughout but nothing spectacular. He speaks in platitudes, doesn’t really lay out any purpose or goal of the administration, and mostly sticks to humble-brags and talking up the party. It’s overall a very weak speech—similar to Ford’s and Eisenhower’s. Miller comes off like a backroom party boss or vice principle barking orders over an intercom, not a motivational speaker inspiring the party towards a greater goal. When he finally ends, you’re thinking “finally! Thank you!”

George Bush (1980)

I think Bush was a wise choice for the VP from a strategic point of view, taking the runner up to heal the party. However, from a personal point of view I loathe him as much…maybe even a little more than Reagan himself. He’s just as staunchly conservative from a social POV, he willingly hitched himself to an economic theory he knew to be a lie (putting power over principles) and he lacks even the charisma which made Reagan fun to watch if a horrible leader. Bush and his children are just awkward, awful politicians who are everything that is wrong with America as far as I’m concerned. We can only hope that Papa’s mediocre one-term presidency, W’s disastrous eight years and Jeb’s humiliating campaign mean that the family never sees higher office again. Luckily this speech appears to be short.

His trademarked awkward cadence is back: listen to how he says “I accept!!!” and “We need change!!” to know what I’m talking about. The worst example is about 5 minutes in where he loses his place and ends up speaking a nonsense sentence while he catches his train of thought. Here we also see what might be the first instance of the projection which the modern GOP utilizes—blaming your opponent for things you’ve done or will do first so that when they tell the truth about you it looks like they are lying/trying to save face. Karl Rove is credited with pioneering this tactic during the 2000 campaign, but here we see Bush doing it a full 20 years earlier. He accuses Carter of exploiting the power of the office to his advantage in campaigning, something Nixon did to an unprecedented degree during his tenure as POTUS. There were cracks during the 70s, some hypocrisy and neoliberal style rhetoric, but here in the first year of Reagan we see a sharp descent into the dirty tricks and hateful rhetoric of the modern GOP. We also see namedropping and sucking up to Eisenhower and his legacy in the same way Reagan himself would come to be a demigod of sorts for the GOP to invoke ever since. In each case, it’s pretty sad that the Party had to reach 30 years into the past to find a decent leader to remind us of.

A short, awkward speech. Nothing but platitudes and virtue-signalling. What can you expect from a Bush?

Dick Cheney (2000)

This is definitely one of the most infamous VPs of all time, and undeniably the most powerful. The Bush years were essentially Cheney calling the shots on the things that mattered while useful idiot George was the lightning rod for criticism. I wouldn’t call Cheney one of the worst picks though in terms of campaigning. I think that has to be reserved for people like Palin or Eagleton who did demonstrable harm to the campaign, or people like Tyler and Andy Johnson who took over as President and actively destroyed all the goals of their predecessors’. Cheney is just someone I think is a cold person with questionable morals at best, and whose pet project of Iraq set this country back decades.

It’s very interesting to hear a shout-out to Ford for once rather than the deified Reagan…of course Cheney eventually comes back to perpetuating the Reagan myth later in the speech anyway. This must have been the year of dry, bland convention speeches, and Cheney reminds me very much of Lieberman in how stilted and by the numbers his address is. It’s a very uninspired and plodding diatribe of all the typical convention speech cliches and right wing platitudes. I guess that’s all you need, but my point is there’s nothing especially memorable or quotable here. I don’t particularly hold it against Cheney either—I think he’s just someone who is naturally uncharismatic and knows it. He’s more suited to the smoky backrooms pulling strings and that’s where he’s content to stay. He has to make this speech because it’s part of the job requirements, so he gets it over with and then goes back to those smoky rooms pinning 9/11 on Saddam so his Halliburton friends can get rich. Ironically, I think this is a good lesson—not everyone is cut out for the limelight of being President, and those who lack the charisma or charm to do good on the campaign trail ought to get involved in some other way. (This is a lesson Hillary ought to have been taught–she might have been a more successful and beloved figure had she not insisted on being president.)

Of course, when history comes up, Cheney reminds us again about Washington and the signing of the Constitution. For me this is yet another personal pet peeve regarding political speeches. I think callbacks to history are good and effective, but why does it always have to be the lowest common denominator, everyone-already-knows-this history? If you insist on talking about Washington and the Declaration or Constitution for the millionth time, at least bring some new perspective on it, or some overlooked detail. I had the same problem with Hillary’s speech in 2016. I’ll openly admit that this wouldn’t bother me as much if not for the fact that I’m watching all these back to back so the cliches stand out a lot more.

And speaking of 2016, we see Cheney implement maybe the first use of turning Democrats against each other, as he quotes Bill Bradley against Gore. Trump made use of this technique the past election where he brought up the collusion against Sanders to further delegitimize Hillary. I look at this republican stratagem and say “This is why the progressive wing of the Democratic party should not be ignored, and the second place candidate in the primary ought to be given the VP.” While Cheney and Trump are despicable people, and they’re only bringing up these quotes to divide and conquer, they do have a point. And Democrats who turn around and get mad at Bernie or Bradley for daring to run, and daring to criticize their opponent during a primary, are just as much a part of the problem and in their own way also allowing themselves to be manipulated by such tactics.

So many hypocritical attacks are lobbed here. He accuses the Democrats of throwing accusations around as the Bush campaign just slandered McCain to win in SC as one example. Accusing Clinton of exploiting our armed forces and over-extending us militarily is another, considering what was about to happen at Cheney’s command. There’s even a precursor to Ted Cruz’s “New York values” attack, as Cheney scoffs at the idea of “the man from Hope goes home to…New York” with clear disdainful inflections on those last two words. Cheney’s chorus is also one of the more bland and unexciting I’ve yet to hear in one of these speeches: “the wheel has turned, and it is time for them to go!” Ironically the latter half of it is cribbed from Gore, yet nobody criticized Cheney of plagiarism like they did Melania to Michelle Obama.

Overall, one of the worst convention speeches. Monotone delivery, by the books rhetoric, hypocritical attacks, no sense of pacing or building to any kind of climax. It’s just Cheney fulfilling an obligation and glad to let his puppet take center stage again. It’s not as bad as some of the others I’ve heard, like Quayle’s, Paul Ryan or (if we’re gonna count Presidents,) Bush’s himself. But it’s not much better either.

Dan Quayle (1988)

This was an infamously poor VP choice. What was Bush thinking? Would Dole not accept or something? Was there no one else? Was he trying to groom Quayle as a successor and it backfired? Who knows. This was a man whose sole legacy in government is misspelling “potato” and getting burned in the most iconic debate put-down of all time. He’s not the worst VP of all time, those would be the Whig VPs and Andy Johnson who shit all over the agenda’s of their predecessors. Nor was he the most disastrous choice campaign-wise, since Eagleton and Palin destroyed their candidates’ chances of winning almost single-handedly. But in a way, Quayle’s overall legacy may actually be worse. He’s just a semi-obscure footnote best remembered as the butt of a million jokes (including on Clarissa Explains It All) who played second fiddle to a mediocre one term president.

It’s amazing what these audiences cheer on and don’t, watching these speeches back to back. Spiro Agnew talking about providing a good living to every American regardless of color or creed? Polite applause at best. Dan Quayle saying “we will win one for the gipper” directly into the camera with a deadpan serious expression? Rapturous applause. It’s mean, but Dan Quayle reminds me so much of a willfully ignorant roommate I had in college once it’s not even funny. Similar look, the same lack of self-awareness, the same inflamed sense of importance. Both make me laugh, but there’s also something unsettling there. When I hear Dan talk, there’s nothing there and you can sense it. Listen to Quayle describe his daughters in a series of “My _________.” sentences, with a completely expressionless monotone delivery, and how he continues this line of speech just a little bit longer than he has to. It’s so off-putting, but I can’t really explain how or why. There’s just zero real passion or care in it, and it’s impossible not to feel it. The crowd fucking eats it up though, and I just don’t get it.

The awkward trademark Bush cadence is here (same speaking coach?) but combined with that vaguely unsettling set of blank eyes and hallow delivery. It really is like a robot with rudimentary programming of human expression giving a speech. Or a really bad actor trying to play “generic politician.” I think Lloyd Bentsen was more accurate than even he could have known when he called out Quayle for being a mediocre wannabe Kennedy. I think Marco Rubio is the same thing, except he is a wannabe Obama (young, handsome minority rising star). In both cases, the GOP counterparts are significant downgrades of the originals—they lack the sincerity, the charisma or the eloquence. Both were also the proteges of a Bush, which is another interesting parallel. Another example I could make would be to Paul Ryan, who was also groomed to be some great up and comer in the party, but felt too robot to really connect with anyone in his oration. Ryan and Quayle have the same dopey expression when they look directly into the camera.

It’s disgusting how Quayle calls out all Democratic nominees (plus Ted Kennedy) starting with McGovern to be booed one by one, all with a smug little grin on his face. I was holding off on throwing this word at him, because I think it gets used too much, but that struck me as pretty sociopathic, especially with the aforementioned “emptiness” I sense in Quayle. These are men with families and well meaning goals for the country just like Quayle or anyone else. It doesn’t sit well with me to make them into objects of ridicule like that. Democrats aren’t perfect and I have many issues with the party (especially now) but they never stooped that low. Maybe they should, if they’re gonna be treated like traitors anyway. Might as well fight fire with fire. But it’s disgusting that it has to be like that, and it wasn’t this way before the Reagan/Bush years. For talking so much about decency and values, the modern Religious Right undeniably sucked away all that was noble and respectable in politics.

There’s another lie when Quayle says that Bush will not raise taxes “period!” and he ultimately did. This was the great gaffe that would help cost Bush the next election. Overall, bad speech. Full of stupid empty platitudes, nastiness, and broken promises all delivered with Quayle’s awkward rhythm and off-putting demeanor. This was maybe the hardest to sit through, made even worse because it’s long. Dan actually manages to make Bush seem kinda tolerable by comparison…and honestly, maybe that’s why he was chosen…anyone else would upstage Bush?

Dick Cheney (2004)

Once again, plunging into that godawful year 2004, where the only thing anyone cared about was shitting all over freedom for the illusion of security, and enthusiastically so. It blows my mind how these people could be chanting for 4 more years after everything that was going on even just by this point in the administration.

I will say, I did like the attack against Edwards. It wasn’t mean spirited, it wasn’t below the belt, and it wasn’t calling him out to be booed by the audience. Just a harmless joke that also had the effect of neutralizing Edwards’ appeal. I found it similar to Reagan’s comeback when asked about his age in 1984. That’s what political zingers ought to be, tactful and witty, not nasty and slanderous.

I found this speech to be surprisingly more engaging than the previous outing. Not that it was in any way good or exciting, but at least this time around Cheney had something to talk about. It seemed like in 2000 he had no message to convey and was just going through the motions. He even does what I’ve recommended in the past, and saves the family shout-outs for midway through, rather than bogging us down in the beginning with it. To my surprise, he also kept the 9/11 and terrorism stuff off until partway through as well. I was expecting that to be the first thing outta his mouth, much the same as it was the first topic addressed in many 2004 speeches and debates. That said, it’s still annoying listening to this man who masterminded the Iraq fiasco try to talk it up as some big success here. Then it’s all about fear-mongering that terrorists have nukes and we’re all gonna die unless we continue to rape and pillage the Middle East.

Like the previous speech, Cheney just has no sense of timing, building to a climax, or riling people up. It’s difficult to describe, but he just does a lot of droning on, going back and forth into the typical platitudes, and with no memorable quotes or moments. Once again we see a return to the GOP’s more mean-spirited public shaming of their opponents, as Kerry’s voting record is read off to be booed point by point. For better or worse, Democrats don’t seem to do this kinda thing. Honestly, maybe they should? That seems to work, though I think it’s sad that it does. I honestly had to skip ahead as well, because this went on so long and I got sick of it. I did hear one final barb–”the signs are good, even in Massachusetts” again said with a very obvious disdain for a traditionally liberal state. Admittedly this IS something non-politician Democrats stoop to as well, when they dismiss the Midwest as “fly-over states” or the South as “dumb rednecks.” It disgusts me both ways. I may not like how the majority of Kansas people see the world and vote, but they’re my countrymen too and I ought to show them respect, not scorn. Hearing people running for the highest office of the land show open disgust and condescension to half the states they represent is absolutely repugnant. It’s completely inexcusable and I’m surprised they get away with it.

And then the speech just kind of trails off and ends unceremoniously. Another bad speech by Cheney. I think he was more focused and forceful here, but also we saw a return to that really unsavory GOP attack and slander mentality which more than negates those positives for me. This was a hard one to sit through and it joins the ranks of Bush Jr’s two addresses, and Chelsea Clinton’s from 2016, as one of the few convention speeches I could not bare to sit through.

Dan Quayle (1992)

I guess Bush was too nice to drop this lead weight from the ticket, but I think he should have. This speech is further proof of why Quayle was doing more harm than good. He comes out with this big show of righteous fury and indignation, and again it just feels so forced. You have to see it for yourself, but “bad actor told to play angry person” is the best I can describe it. I’d call it a combination of low intelligence and sociopathy. He’s incapable of knowing general emotions and too stupid to learn how to fake them, so what you get is a weird performance befitting a high school play. And with the awkward cadence as the cherry on the shit sundae. Aside from my old roommate, the only other thing I can think about every time I see or hear Dan talk is Ferguson from Clarissa Explains It All (he idolizes Dan on the show.) Just the annoying, sycophantic pain in the ass little brother archetype. Dan Quayle, for those 4 years, was America’s obnoxious little brown nosing dweeb of a brother sucking up to Papa Bush.

That’s about it. Typical right-wing talking points delivered by the annoying character archetype I just described. Even when he mentions his mother in law’s death to breast cancer, he still comes off so robotically that what should have been a touching moment falls flat. Had the camera not panned to his wife’s face (who looked genuinely touched) the moment would not have registered at all. Now, I sincerely applaud Quayle for being able to poke fun at himself with the “if Clinton is a moderate, I’m a world class speller!” joke. That was a good line. However, I think this same tactic fell flat when he used the “You’re no Jack Kennedy” line on Clinton but replaced Kennedy with Reagan. The difference is, the first instance was his own line in reference to an embarrassing situation, while this was literally cribbing someone else’s most iconic statement—directing at Quayle personally no less—and trying to reclaim it as his own. To me, it comes off like thinking of the perfect comeback a day later in the shower or something similar. It’s just weak—and how sad is it that his biggest applause of the night was from another man’s insult which had originally been directed towards Quayle himself?

And then we go back to non-stop off the wall Democrat bashing which by this point was par for the course. We see the genuinely frightening, personalized chants (a precursor to the “lock her up” of 2016) of “Ted must go!!” another first. It blows my mind that the older folks on Reddit and even “professional” outlets were so surprised and horrified by the rowdiness at 2016 when this behavior started far, far earlier. The media and Democrats should have been calling this behavior out decades ago, but they allowed it to fester and become the norm. Not that this in any way excuses the GOP themselves for creating the trend. Reagan, Bush and Quayle began the non-stop Democrat bashing and taking it to a needlessly personal level. Along with Gingrich and Buchanan, they are all more responsible than anyone else for America’s currently toxic political climate. Outside of the party proper, you can add Rush Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch to the sorry list.

Paul Ryan (2012)

I hate Paul Ryan. I don’t think anyone likes him after these past few years either. Democrats hate him because he’s an Ayn Rand worshiping fundamentalist nut job, and Republicans hate him because he either a) didn’t stand up to Trump enough or b) didn’t support Trump enough. I don’t see how Ryan is ever going to become President someday but it is clearly his goal. He was being hyped up as the GOP’s golden boy but his programs, like a voucher system for Medicare, are deeply unpopular. I also think he showed himself to be a feckless and conviction-less wimp as Speaker when he tried to play both sides of the Trump issue. Especially as someone in the LGBT community, you know he’d sell your soul to the devil if it would earn him a couple of votes. There’s just nothing to respect about Ryan, even if you lean right-wing. Ryan is basically the rightist equivalent of the blue-haired Tumblrina insisting there are actually 47 genders–that is to say a living caricature of the worst aspects of his party.

From a strategic sense, I think Ryan was as good of a pick as Romney could have offered. It was the reverse of the Obama ticket, with the new blood up-and-comer paired with the elder party insider. On paper, I think that’s the perfect kind of ticket, but in practice I don’t think it worked very well. I think the reason why it failed with Romney/Ryan is that Romney seemed out of touch rather than wise, and Ryan seemed unrealistically dogmatic rather than charmingly idealistic. The whole ticket always felt phony and off-putting to me like an off-brand product. Romney tried to act like a big tough guy at the debates and ended up humiliating himself in the last two. Ryan tried to pretend he was some great intellectual and got shown for the vacuous empty suit he is by Biden. Romney was a dumb person’s idea of what an “alpha male” is like, while Ryan was a dumb person’s idea of what a smart person is like. One of the worst things that has come out of 2016 however, is a whitewashing of the past. I now see more and more people claiming that Romney was a good guy and what a Republican ought to be, or some variation of “I didn’t vote for him, but I never doubted his ability to do the job!” Trump is so awful he’s making previously awful candidates and people look decent by comparison.

ASIDE: I wrote these reviews before Trump’s impeachment and Romney broke rank to condemn Trumpism. I will give him some props for that, but I still think he’s overall not a good person nor a strong candidate and my complaints of his 2012 campaign still hold true. Sorry.

Watching this speech, I don’t see how anyone could have ever been excited for Ryan. Literally not one minute in, and his off-putting mannerisms, the awkward cadence and rhythm of his voice, and that dopey look on his face has just got me wanting to turn the video off. He’s so transparently fake, and his bug eyes make him look like a deer in the headlights. I only use this word when I genuinely sense it, not as an easy slander against people I disagree with, so please believe me when I say…sociopath. In fact, I’d even bet my life that if any one person in government is or ever was a sociopath, it’s Ryan. He’s got the most overly scripted, phony delivery of any speaker I’ve ever seen—and if you’re reading these, you know I’ve seen a lot. Just the way he talks about people being in poverty, the shallow, forced inflection in his voice…you can tell he doesn’t really feel what he’s saying, he’s only saying it with that “pained” inflection because that’s what he’s seen other people do. Remember this is a guy who’s admitted his dream since college has been to cut welfare programs for poor people.

Hearing this gutless…person…drone on and on about Medicare, how it helped his family, how it’s a promise…it makes me want to scream. HE WANTS TO TURN IT INTO A VOUCHER SYSTEM AND SCREW THE MILLENNIALS OUT OF A SYSTEM WE’VE PAID INTO. And here he is, with the gall to act like its savior. He also has the nerve to blame the Democrats for America’s downgraded credit rating which only happened because Ted Cruz was spiteful enough to shut down the government over Obamacare. The young Republicans on my Facebook at the time praised this move and called it “trimming the fat.” Then they blame the negative repercussions of their recklessness on their opponents without a hint of shame. It’s almost as bad as Ryan going to a homeless shelter to get his picture taken washing dishes and then as soon as the cameras were gone, he dropped them and walked out. This is a person with zero inner warmth, humility or humanity. This is a particularly unrepentant hypocrite.

I couldn’t do it, guys. I couldn’t make it through this one either. After about 20 minutes I had enough punishment for a lifetime. Everything about it just pisses me off, the robotic TV anchorman delivery, the lies, the refusal to take responsibility for his own party’s actions…just on and on. Even if you lean right, this is a very weak speech for the same reasons. I’m glad Ryan essentially became Trump’s whipping boy, joining him at rallies to be mocked to his face and having to pretend he likes it in order to please Trump supporters. He’s like the insecure high school kid who thinks sucking up to the cool kids will make him popular by default, but human nature doesn’t work that way and nobody respects a whipped dog. I feel pretty confident saying Ryan’s time has come. I don’t think he will ever have the Trumpists’ respect, and as Speaker of the House, he made far too many enemies to ever be President. He can do a lot of harm in the meantime but I’ll at least take pleasure that his life’s ambition amounted to nothing, same as Hillary.

Overall, Ryan may not have been one of the worst picks in terms of effect on the campaign: that’s Eagleton, Lieberman and Palin. But along with Lieberman, Dick Cheney and now Mike Pence I think he’s one of the worst people to ever be picked as VP nominee. That’s just my opinion, and you can chalk it up to partisan bias if you want but I stand by that assessment as a connoisseur of political oration.

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