Friday, December 14, 2012

Peggy Noonan: Rubio, Ryan didn't offer specifics

Peggy Noonan came away dispirited from Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan's respective speeches to the Jack Kemp Awards dinner last week.

The gist? The perpetual mantra of "we need fresh idea and new thinking" was unaccompanied by fresh ideas and new thinking.

Mr. Ryan got points for loyalty but no one doubts he's loyal, and it undercut his central message, which is that the Republican Party needs "new thinking," "fresh ideas and serious leadership," and must find "new ways to apply our timeless principles to the challenges of today."

Well, yes, that's true. But what thinking do you suggest? In what area? Which fresh ideas? Do you have one?

.... Mr. Rubio also indulged a rhetorical tic that we hear a lot and that is deeply obnoxious. He said the words "middle class" 12 times on the first page alone. Repeating that phrase mantralike will not make people think you're concerned about the middle class, it will only make them think you're concerned about winning the middle class.