Romney Picks Ryan for VP
Mitt Romney has selected conservative Congressman Paul Ryan from the swing-state of Wisconsin to be his Vice-Presidential running mate. The possibility of Ryan as VP has been gaining ground over the last few days. Politico ran a piece over the supposed “split” within GOP over the notion:
Ryan advocates, including some of his colleagues and high-profile conservative elites, believe Romney will lose if he doesn’t make a more assertive case for his candidacy and that selecting the 42-year-old wonky golden boy would sound a clarion call to the electorate about the sort of reforms the presumptive GOP nominee wants to bring to Washington. Call them the “go bold” crowd.
Their opposites, pragmatic-minded Republican strategists and elected officials, believe that to select Ryan is to hand President Barack Obama’s campaign a twin-edged blade, letting the incumbent slash Romney on the Wisconsin congressman’s Medicare proposal and carve in the challenger a scarlet “C” for the unpopular Congress. This is the cautious corner.
Cautious indeed. As if the Obama campaign would find anything positive about any choice, right? Rich Lowry explained why Republicans shouldn’t “fear” the (at the time) potential selection of Ryan:
In political terms, picking Ryan is presumed to be like hanging out with the No. 2 of an al-Qaeda affiliate somewhere in the badlands of the Middle East. Ryan is a high-value target.
Ryan’s offense is proposing serious reform of entitlements, as part of a budget that puts federal obligations on a sustainable path. He’s already been featured in one attack ad, in which a Ryan look-alike pushed an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff.
There’s no doubt that the heart of the Ryan budget, Medicare premium support, is a major political risk. But the GOP is wedded to it. House Republicans passed the Ryan budget — twice. Romney himself endorsed it. He is already a “little bit pregnant” on Medicare.
The Democrats’ assault over Medicare will be ferocious, not to mention lowdown and dishonest. They’ve already all but accused Romney of killing someone, and they haven’t even gotten around to Medicare. When the barrage starts, Romney won’t be able to duck and cover. He’ll have to win the argument — or at least hold his own.
This is the broader point. Romney has to carry the argument to President Barack Obama. The state of the economy alone isn’t enough to convince people that Romney has better ideas to create jobs. Neither is his résumé. Romney needs to make the case for his program, and perhaps no one is better suited to contribute to this effort than Ryan.
We’ll see. In the mean time, if your looking for more background, the Weekly Standard explained how Ryan “became the intellectual leader” of the GOP.