Liberals are proclaiming that by choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has changed the strategy of his campaign — when in fact, he’s doubled-down on it.
In a Slate post headlined “Romney/Ryan 2012 Means We’ll Ignore the Biggest Issue of Our Time,” Matthew Yglesias writes:
But attention is to an extent a zero-sum game. And focusing attention on the big-picture disagreement between Democrats and Republicans about long-term fiscal policy means we won’t be focusing attention on what ought to be the most pressing economic policy issue of our timeâ€”mass unemployment and the tragic waste of human and economic potential it represents
Talk about wishful thinking!Â I think it’s safe to assume that unemployment will continue to be a major focus of the campaign.Â Policy wonks and partisans may consider deficit reduction and unemployment as separate issues, but for swing voters I think it all conflates into responsible stewardship of the economy.
… the choice of Ryan pushes against what has been the central theory of Romneyâ€™s campaign: make it less of a choice between himself and Obama and more of a referendum on the incumbent president and the languishing economy.
Actually, no matter who is on the ticket, a presidential re-election campaign will always be both a choice between two candidates and a referendum on the incumbent.Â This time, Obama doesn’t have the luxury of running against the incumbent.
Romneyâ€™s original intention was to make the 2012 election a referendum on President Obamaâ€™s management of the economy. Ryan makes it a choice between two competing plans for deficit reduction. This election increasingly resembles the Obama campaignâ€™s strategy rather than the Romney campaignâ€™s strategy.
More wishful thinking.Â Although Paul Ryan certainly is the primary focus of election coverage this weekend, that will soon fade.Â Ultimately the election is a choice between Romney and Obama.
No matter how much Obama partisans want to wedge Paul Ryan into a Sarah Palin narrative, that won’t work.Â Watch Ryan’s famous three-minute “Path to Prosperity” video above and you’ll see an articulate spokesman for fiscal responsibility. What you won’t see is a target-rich environment for Tina Fey.