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Paul Ryan Oktoberfest Bash a Hot Ticket


Wednesday night was Paul Ryan’s night. It was his turn in the spotlight and a chance for those who don’t yet know that much about him to get a better insight into the man that he is. He did not disappoint.

Before I get into my thoughts and analysis, let me recap events from earlier in the day.

Names and faces show at convention events

I previously wrote about the first ever National Center Right meeting at which both Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Delegate David Ramadan spoke, and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor John Hager attended. Immediately thereafter, I was off to another event and who did I see at the event right next to the event but Gov. Bob McDonnell.

I had some downtime following that but it did not last for long, as a friend who within the past year had moved from Virginia to Wisconsin let me know I could have an extra pass to the Wisconsin delegation’s big Beer & Brats Bash. Since Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was named to the ticket as Mitt Romney’s running mate, this event quickly became the hottest ticket in town.

The Wisconsin event was just like it sounds — they had hometown brews, bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, and a German Oktoberfest band playing traditional beer hall music and polkas.

While waiting for my friend to arrive, I ran in to Jack Kemp’s son, Jim, who is preserving his father’s legacy as the president of the Jack Kemp Foundation. I told him that I had the privilege of working for his father I was in law school in 1993 – 94, and that he was my first paying client after I became an attorney. The high point of the event came when Congressman Ryan stopped by with his wife to greet his home state delegates. The crowd went wild as you can imagine.

Upon arriving at the convention, I immediately began running into people I knew, including Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, as well as some former Prince William County residents who have since moved out of state.

One of those, former Neabsco District School Board member Julia Lucas, may be headed back our way so keep your eyes open for that potential development.

The convention floor

Once again, the best speeches occurred in the 10 p.m. hour. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was masterful, giving her speech without the aid of a teleprompter. Her focus was leadership and the dangers that America faces today.

Finally, it was Paul Ryan’s turn. His speech did exactly what it needed to do – he spoke of the Romney-Ryan team’s plans to create jobs, reform our entitlement system which is currently on a path of insolvency for everyone, and stop the unconscionable burden of debt that is being built.

As I expected, Ryan gave credit to the late Jack Kemp for helping to shape his views.

Jim Riley is the Southbridge Homeowners Association President and writes for

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