The Romney campaign has announced that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is their choice for Vice President. Needless to say, Ryan will be demonized in the press lickety-split - in fact, the demonization has already begun. Prepare for those throwing grandma off the cliff videos to really ratchet up. The press is already talking about what a bad choice he is - pray tell, which candidate would be a good choice in their opinion? Before anyone takes their advice, let's remember that they hailed Joe Biden's nomination as a brilliant choice because of his "foreign policy expertise". What a joke.
I have to be honest. I was really hoping Ryan would be the pick. Those on the left (and some on the right) say that he will tie Romney to the Ryan plan, which they have been demonizing for more than a year now. Honestly, if you think they weren't planning on demonizing Romney for his support of the Ryan plan anyway, you just haven't been paying attention. So if he's going to be demonized anyway, why not have the architect of the plan out on the campaign trail explaining it and selling it? And when given a chance, he really can sell it:
If the Ryan plan is the basis for Romney's economic policy, why not own it? The man is great with Q&A - calm, collected, to the point, and always with a smile on his face and pleasant demeanor, so a series of town hall-style rallies with audience questions about the economy and jobs would play well against the absolute lack of interaction between President Obama and regular citizens as well as his arrogant, patronizing delivery. Ryan could have real interaction with the people on a one-on-one level - a genuine conversation about the things that really matter. Ryan's assumption that the American people are smart enough to understand the crises facing us and mature enough to tackle them is refreshing in comparison to Obama's approach that Americans are just not up to the task of either understanding his brilliance or making decisions on even the most personal or important of matters.
Many on the right have argued that Ryan is needed in the House, chairing the budget committee. I disagree. His plan has already passed the House. It is stuck in the Senate, collecting dust. As the President of the Senate, he would be able to work closely with the leadership of both parties to work some variation of his plan through to passage.
Ryan is the wonkiest economy wonk in Congress today. The man really knows his stuff (love the look on Obama's face as Ryan tears down the fraud that is Obamacare piece by scammy piece):
The tea partiers in my acquaintance are very happy with the pick, with many of them saying they now have a reason to vote for Romney. The energy and excitement today is palpable. The left are, predictably, saying his nomination just handed to the victory to Obama/Biden, namely because they presume this pick will alienate the crucial senior vote because of his alleged "gutting" of Medicare. The problem for them is that seniors have lots of time on their hands to check out the facts behind those 'throw grandma off the cliff' ads and as a result, his popularity among seniors is actually higher than the general population because they understand the changes won't affect them but will ensure the social safety net for generations to come. He is viewed favorably by a majority of seniors - 52%, while only 29% view him unfavorably. The remainder have no opinion of him as of yet. In the general population his favorable/unfavorable stands at 39/25, with 35% having no opinion.
There will be a race on over the next week to try to introduce him to those not yet familiar, and the question will be who has done a better job of it: Team Romney, who will paint him as a down-to-earth grassroots conservative who wants a return to founding principles or Team Obama, who will of course try to paint him as dangerous, evil, stupid and crazy, just like they do with every other conservative. Oh, and we can't forget extreme! Yawn. And, of course, the media will attempt to lampoon him by making him either Frodo Baggins or Eddie Munster in Saturday Night Live and the late night shows (unless his alleged six-pack abs win over the shallow set). My money's on Eddie, which actually isn't a bad thing. After all, wasn't he the smart, semi-normal one amongst the crazies of the house (well, aside from Marilyn)? Actually, there's a pretty good skit in there - Joe Biden is a natural as Herman Munster! As for Frodo, wasn't he the brave leader who rose to the challenge at a time of dire changes to his world?
Ryan may be a mild-mannered, happy warrior, but don't let that fool you. He can do far more damage with his cheerfully delivered, pro-America, pro-growth facts than Gov. Christie can do with his sharp tongue and in-your-face attitude. It's better to leave the sharp elbows to surrogates, freeing the candidates to focus on policy.
Kudos to team Romney for going bold and choosing the best person out there to help lay out the Romney path to prosperity! I'd say I can't wait to see him debate Biden, but it might be a bit painful to see a sitting VP so heavily outmatched. Honestly, I'd rather see him debate Obama himself. Now that would be fun!