Is Choice of Ryan a Dream Come True For Democrats?
The long wait and speculation over Romney’s choice of a VP nominee are over. No more protracted conversations over why Romney should choose Condee Rice – even though she repeatedly made her disinterest publicly known – or General Petraeus – a long shot choice at best, does anyone think he was seriously under consideration? Of course the radical right wing of the party, composed mainly of Tea Party adherents, were still pushing for Sarah Palin. Palin however has long since been dismissed by rational thinkers as a intellectual lightweight more concerned with capitalizing on her fame from her disastrous moment in the spotlight during the last election. Many observers were predicting a safe and predictable choice – another white man as boring and uninspiring as Mitt himself -Tim Pawlenty was tipped as a likely choice. But..
Romney Chooses Ryan
The choice of Ryan is, as has been said to death already, “a bold choice”. Is Ryan really who Romney wanted? Mitt now claims he was for Ryan all along. This is unlikely to be true. There was a big push for Ryan from the conservative base, power brokers in the GOP and conservative publications like the Wall Street Journal. Governor Romney probably would have preferred a safer choice but, in the midst of a flailing, gaffe prone campaign that was losing ground to Obama in every recent poll, something had to be done to shake up the race. It seems that a sizeable number of Republicans and Democrats are both thrilled with the choice.
Is Ryan A Smart Choice For VP Nominee?
Whether Ryan will be a good choice for the Romney ticket remains to be seen. Research over the years on the selection of Vice Presidential running mates shows that the choice of VP rarely makes a significant difference in the election outcome as voters are looking at the top of the ticket. Will it play out differently in 2012? The Romney camp seems to believe that Ryan can help place the crucially important electoral votes of Wisconsin into play and Democrats seem to think that he just gave up the much more important state of Florida without a fight. Whether the choice will turn out to be a shrewd move or a gift to the Dems is anyone’s guess at this point – and there are lots of guesses. It is however, in this commentators opinion, a good choice for America. Ryan seems to be an intelligent, articulate thinker who has actually spent some time thinking about the issues critical to America’s future. Whether you agree or disagree with his policy proposals for smaller government, reducing debt, cutting Medicare, etc., these are debates that the country needs to have. The choice of Ryan changes the focus of the race and puts these issues front and center.
Reactions To The Choice of Ryan
Former Democratic Congressman Martin Frost says “Ryan is an incredible gift to the Democrats. Romney can not be elected without Florida and Ryan’s position on Medicare concedes the Sunshine State to Obama. In politics, it’s always better to be lucky than smart.”
Aaron David Miller from the Wilson Center says “Vice presidents really aren’t determinative in presidential elections and Ryan won’t be either. The intriguing thing about Ryan is that Romney has chosen a running mate who is smarter, more authentic, politically savvy and charismatic than he is. When’s the last time that happened?”
Democratic strategist Celinda Lake says “Great choice for Democrats. Horrible choice for Romney. It shows how much he is worried about solidifying his base. This squarely puts Medicare and Social Security on the table and should help Obama do better with seniors. Ryan clearly fails the test of someone ready to be president.”