The RNC is out quickly with a brilliant ad.Â I knew before the debate that Ryan seemed more likeable than Biden, but I didn’t expect that Biden would make OBAMA look likeable by comparison.Â (Photo at right grabbed from Twitpic, I have no idea what that means in terms of copyright.)
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.
Then McCain swung for the fences with Sarah Palin, leading to a post that has lived ever since in my “Favorites” column: “Five Stages of Adjusting to Palin.”Â The stages: “Confusion; Rationalization; Annoyance; Gloom; Reconsidering My Vote.”Â An excerpt from Stage Two:
OK, so itâ€™s not a great pick, but maybe it will help McCain get elected by shoring up his relationship with social conservatives, and attracting disaffected Hillary voters who already are considering McCain.
This stage lasted the rest of the day Friday, while I hunted for reasons to reassure myself that sheâ€™s not a terrible choice.
That was then.Â This morning, up early with a touch of insomnia, I flipped on the little TV in the kitchen while the coffee brewed and listened to one of CNN’s talking heads say something along the lines of: “We have breaking news — Mitt Romney will announce his vice presidential running mate later today.”
OMG… I quite literally held my breath.Â “Sources say he will name House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan…”
Fist pump. YES!
Ryan first landed on my blogging radar screen in early 2010 as a forceful and articulate fiscal conservative, when he pushed back hard against what was not yet known as Obamacare. In 2011, I praised his “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal, in which he bluntly declared, “both parties have squandered the public’s trust.”Â At 42, Ryan is two years younger than Sarah Palin was in 2008, but he has a gravitas that she will never attain.
I continue to believe we have a ridiculous system for choosing a vice president.Â I’m just happy that this time, my favored candidate made a good choice.