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Peggy Noonan: Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan seem too scripted, "phony."

Former Reagan advisor and speechwriter Peggy Noonan has some interesting criticism in the Wall Street Journal about the recent speeches at the Jack Kemp Foundation by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan:

Sen. Rubio had a better speech in that it was deeper, more broadly philosophical and less prescriptive. He told of how he'd spoken, at the August convention, of his father, a bartender in banquet halls. Recently he spoke in a "fancy" hotel in New York—that was rather Sarah Palin, the "fancy"—and the ballroom workers gave him a badge that said "Rubio, Banquet Bartender." He should wear that badge on his suit every day. It's better symbolism than Mr. Romney's car elevator.

But 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. It is important to remember in politics that people aren't stupid.

I find both Mr. Ryan's and Mr. Rubio's media expertise mildly harrowing—look at the prompter here, shake your head here, lower your voice there, raise it here, pick up your pace in this section. An entire generation of politicians in both parties has been too trained in media, and to their detriment. They are very smooth but it doesn't make them seem more convincing, it makes them seem phonier.
My old boss had actually been an actor, but he didn't seem like a phony.

Full column here


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that's because they don't have any original ideas


I've been describing Rubio as phoney for years. Nobody pastes together the conservative buzz phrases more meretriciously than Rubio. Rubio is in a state of denial. He used to demonstrate 3 or 4 "tics" or "tells" per minute while extemporaneously answering journalist questions. These "tells" clearly showed he was lying...that is to say, that he did not believe what he was saying. I expect the man to have some sort of rough patch.

Thomas botelho

As an old guy whose first vote was for McGovern, I have come to realize that the politician of today is just that. He or she has spent their entire life in pursuit of public office, not for the desire to do the public's work, but to establish themselves as "public servants". The establishment of politics as a career path has taken the most brazen if not egotistical people and allowed them to scam the system to the detriment of our electoral process. The enthusiasm we felt for the process in the 60s and 70s have left many of with a bad taste in our mouths. I can only hope that no matter how much rancor the plans for our future elicit, we as voters see through the veil of lies that all candidates seem to be want to stand behind.


So, the GOP is now trying to legitimize their only non-white candidates for president. Wow, I am so surprised. Hey, GOP, how that’s working for you. The GOP has the same problem that the Beach Boys have your fans are dying and you aren’t getting many new one. Suck on that baby!

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