Paul Ryan's big moment arrives, but can he deliver?
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Wednesday 29 August 2012
Paul Ryan – once a little known Wisconsin congressman who specialised in the federal budget – will complete a remarkable political ascent tonight when he accepts the nomination to be Mitt Romney's running mate in the Republican bid to retake the White House in November.
At a send-off rally in the gym of his old high school on the eve of his arrival in Tampa, Mr Ryan offered a taste of what he will be telling convention delegates today, urging cuts in both government spending and taxes to revive the country's flagging economy.
Calling President Obama's America "a nation in debt, a nation in doubt, a nation in decline," he pledged that a Romney administration would not dodge the tough issues, as Republicans accuse Mr Obama of doing. "We are going to lead" he declared.
The choice of the 42 year-old Mr Ryan has sent a jolt of excitement through the party's conservative wing, still unconvinced that the party's presidential candidate is truly one of its number. That boost in morale has not yet been reflected in the polls – most of which show Mr Obama still narrowly ahead – but it has increased Republican chances of carrying Wisconsin, a state that Republicans last won in 1984.
Tonight however, Mr Ryan must deliver the red meat conservatives expect without putting off moderates among the 20 to 30 million Americans likely to watch his acceptance speech on television.
Two problems dog him. One is abortion, where their co-sponsorship of bills that would give full legal rights to a foetus from the moment of conception has tied Mr Ryan to the Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, whose remarks about rape earlier this month caused uproar.
The other is his proposal to part-privatise Medicare, the popular but extremely costly government healthcare programme for the elderly.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...