Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan for Vice President

August 11, 2012

Romney announced his running mate this morning: Congressman Paul Ryan.

A few days ago, when everyone was speculating about who it would be, I read National Review editor Rich Lowry in Politico arguing that, contrary to what some critics were saying, Paul Ryan could be a great choice, not least because he is the face of the desperate effort to save America from “the most predictable crisis in history”:

Ryan tops the Democratic target list for the offense of proposing serious reform of Medicare, as part of a budget that puts federal obligations on a sustainable path. It’s been a cardinal rule of Republican politics that it’s OK to talk about balancing the budget, so long as no one talks about touching the entitlements that drive the long-term debt. Ryan broke the rule.

. . .

Ryan is an ideologue in the best sense of the term. He is motivated by ideas and knows what he believes and why. But he’s not blinkered. He is an explainer and a persuader.

Before there was a House-passed Ryan budget, there was Ryan meeting with Republican freshmen, walking them through the numbers and convincing them that true fiscal restraint was impossible without addressing entitlements. When the House took up and passed his budget, there was Ryan plugging for it — as  comfortable with Charlie Rose as Rush Limbaugh.

. . . He is invariably civil, sure-footed and good-natured. He never loses his cool, even under extreme provocation. If anything, he is over-earnest.

. . .

Romney is, at bottom, a data-driven technocrat. The question has always been whether he wants to bring that skill to managing the federal government — or transforming it. If he chooses Ryan, the answer is inarguably transforming it.

(Full article at Politico, shorter version at National Review Online.)  The Obama campaign’s attacks on Ryan have already begun, but then, that was to be expected.

National Review Online recalls Larry Kudlow’s high praise for Ryan last December.

He says, “The country will not accept a permanent class of technocrats that will diminish freedom, enhance crony capitalism, and allow the economy to enter some sort of managed decline.”

The National Review editors call Ryan “an inspired choice”, one that guarantees this campaign will be about ideas.

Romney could have decided to run a vague and vacuous campaign based on the idea that the public would default to the out party in a bad economy. By selecting Ryan, he has ensured that the campaign will instead to a significant degree be about a conservative governing agenda.

. . . Romney has . . . selected as his running mate the Republican most identified with replacing Obamacare with a free-market alternative.

. . . One strength he brings to the ticket is a grounding in the social teaching of the Catholic Church, to which he belongs, and a willingness to engage with those who thoughtlessly equate this teaching with support for an ever-expanding welfare state. These traits could have more than parochial interest this year, because a disproportionate number of Catholic voters are up for grabs.

Mark Steyn suggests, “This election represents the last exit ramp before the death spiral.”  With Paul Ryan part of the alternative to President Obama, at least we have a choice.


Update (August 11th, 2012):  Hot Air writers weigh in:

Erika Johnsen: “Could free enterprise get its groove back?”

Paul Ryan is one of the few politicians who has dared to suggest comprehensive, viable solutions to our dramatically unsustainable national spending habits. That is a good thing, and if we can frame it simply and correctly (ay, there’s the rub!), I think people will respond in the positive.

Ed Morrissey: “Rasmussen: Ryan favorability 39/25, 52/29 among … seniors”

 Democrats tried to proactively damage Ryan’s standing with voters by depicting him pushing an elderly woman off of a cliff in May 2011, when Ryan first proposed his comprehensive, long-term budget reform package in May 2011.

. . .  Among unaffiliated voters, Ryan scores a 36/22 favorability, compared to 31/29 for Bobby Jindal, 26/28 for Tim Pawlenty, and a dismal 15/16 for Rob Portman.  (Rice was 63/19 among indies.)  Ryan also scores best among women, albeit with a narrow 29/25 edge.

. . . Despite the attacks on Ryan over his budget plan, he’s easily the most liked of the short-listers among likely voters 65 years of age and over, with a 52/29 favorability rating.  .. .  Jindal did well, too, with a 44/28, as did Pawlenty with a 40/30 and Portman at 37/26, but Ryan’s draw among seniors outpaced all of them.   Ryan has plenty of room to be defined in either direction with 35% of voters overall not having an opinion, but that’s only true of 20% of seniors — and Ryan already has a majority of them on his side.

. . .

Update: Commenter Florah Duh reminds me that seniors actually liked Ryan’s plan best, according to a Gallup poll in 2011 . . . .

(Hyperlinks in original.)

10 Responses to “Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan for Vice President”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    Romney and Ryan? Could the Republican ticket be any whiter/dorkier?

  2. Spoken like a true liberal: Who cares about their qualifications, what color are they? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democrats have been and continue to be the party of weird racial pathologies.

    Incidentally, are you aware that our government “entitlement” programs are driving America off a cliff? Here, take it from someone even you will believe, New York Times pro-Obama columnist David Brooks:

    The U.S. government has $43 trillion in unfunded liabilities, or $350,000 for every taxpayer. Standard & Poor’s projects that in 2012, the U.S. will lose its AAA bond rating.

    . . . The facts are indisputable, and everybody agrees abstractly that something really must be done.

    Brooks notes that despite the undeniable facts, Washington turns its face from reality and prefers to live in a fantasy world.

    The U. S. did indeed lose its AAA rating—in 2011, a year ahead of schedule—but other than that, the dismal landscape Brooks observed remains essentially unchanged.

    • Snoodickle Says:

      So you’re saying that, as a voter, I’m not allowed to consider a candidate’s personal traits as part of my decision about whether to vote for him? In any event, the reference to being “white” is a colloquial one; not a direct reference to race, but rather to the good ole’ boys ethos of the rich get richer, and I don’t want poor people joining my daddy’s country club. As to weird racial pathologies, have you heard Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, two stewards of the modern Republican party? (Limbaugh for sure, Glenn Beck’s influence may be waning due to the fact that he is verifiably and utterly insane). Or are you so delusional that you continue to ignore reality despite it slapping you in the face with giant, sweaty meat paws?

      As to the debt, are you aware that John Boehner (John Boehner is the Speaker of the House and he is a Republican. He represents West Chester and most of Butler County; he’s been on the news before a couple times, mostly because he sobs like a four-year old girl who didn’t get Justin Bieber’s autograph after waiting in line for seven hours after a concert) turned down a proposal by President Obama that would have cut trillions in spending, reformed entitlements, and raised taxes to help cut the deficit?

      Are you aware that Republicans want to lower taxes even more than they currently are (lowest level in decades), expand the military even more, and still expect people like you and me to believe that they are more serious about cutting the deficit than the Democrats? Did Ryan advance a budget that would cut the deficit? Sure he did; so did President Obama. What’s the difference? Republicans rejected President Obama’s plan, Democrats rejected Ryan’s plan, so here we are. Now that I think about it, are you aware of anything that is going on in the world?

      All that said, nothing is going to fundamentally change in this country no matter who’s elected president unless the parties agree to work together. But you support candidates who deal in absolutes; candidates like Cruz from Texas whose motto is “compromise is un-American, I don’t care that our country was founded on compromise, screw Madison, Washington, and Jefferson, this is the year 2012 and a black guy is president!” Really, when you think about, you, as in Chillingworth, are responsible for the downfall of America. You and everyone else who is so mindlessly partisan that they view the other political party as an insidious enemy, and politics as some kind of war, instead of applying critical thinking and bipartisanship to solve the nation’s problems.

      If America does fall off the cliff someday, I’m blaming you.

      • Tevyeh Says:

        “In any event, the reference to being ‘white’ is a colloquial one; not a direct reference to race, but rather to…”

        Just imagine for a second that I were to say the same thing, but substituting “black” for “white”:

        “In any event, the reference to being ‘black’ is a colloquial one; not a direct reference to race, but rather to [some collection of stereotypes]…”

        My statement would be red meat to an outrage-prone liberal, and offensive to most people. Anyway, I personally didn’t read your original comment as anything more than a joke; I’m actually surprised that you decided to defend it instead of telling Chillingworth to lighten up. Were you serious?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        No, you’re correct, it was a joke. Romney and Ryan are no more white racially-speaking than Joe Biden, John Boehner, or any other white person. (Come to think of it, Boehner, arguably, cannot be classified as “white” due to the disquieting bronze tone of his what-appears-to-be-at-one-time-white skin).

  3. Assuming that Snoodickle isn’t now trying to say that everything else he said was just a joke, too:

    I’m not sure why you bring up Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck; when you’ve done so before, it was pretty clear that you didn’t have an argument (but that you were willing to smear people with baseless accusations of racism). See here; see also here. Honestly, I think that speaks very ill of you.

    Yes, I am aware that Boehner walked out on Obama when it became clear that Obama was not negotiating in good faith, and would increase his demands whenever Boehner acceded to the old demands. I’m aware that in those debt-ceiling negotiations and the national conversation, at best, reforming entitlements was supposed to be some big generous concession by Democrats to Republicans, rather than something everyone agreed was necessary to save America (and to save those entitlement programs themselves, by the way).

    “Republicans rejected President Obama’s plan, Democrats rejected Ryan’s plan, so here we are.”

    Actually, earlier that year, the Democrat-controlled Senate had rejected Obama’s proposed budget 97-0. The Democrat-controlled Senate failed to pass any budget at all—Ryan’s, Obama’s, Harry Reid’s, anyone’s—for three years running (see, e.g., here, here, and here), despite being legally required to pass one every year. (Have they passed one yet?)

    Other than that, I think it’s clear that your rhetoric has more to do with emotion than with reason, and needs no rebuttal.

    “Now that I think about it, are you aware of anything that is going on in the world?”

    Maybe you should read more conservative media.

  4. OK, so not only did Snoodickle repeat above his accusation that Limbaugh is racist after I had shown his arguments to be careless and incorrect in a previous conversation, but he then linked above to the same list of ten “quotes” from Limbaugh that he had used in that previous conversation, even after I linked to the previous conversation in case he had forgotten. Even if you don’t listen to Limbaugh yourself (and so have no reason to have an opinion on his motivations), couldn’t you do better for research than uncritically passing on the first thing that turns up in a quick Google search for “Limbaugh racist”? Even if not, and even if you couldn’t be bothered to remember your own words from past conversations about this exact subject, could you not even be bothered to refresh your memory when a link to those conversations is put before you?

    Is racism a joke to you, “Snoodickle”? Do you think you can just start calling everyone you disagree with a racist, and do some hasty research to try to back up your conclusions post hoc? “Sentence first — verdict afterwards”? Or did you think you could trust the liberal media that everyone they don’t like is a horrible person?

    From now on, you are banned, at my ongoing discretion, from talking about Rush Limbaugh in comments on this blog. More ambiguously banned, for Snoodickle, is any discussion of race.

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