Yesterday, Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his vice-president. There were the usual calumnious brickbats from the Left. Surprisingly, I was intrigued by the skepticism from several conservatives that choosing Ryan was a sign of desperation by Romney and that Ryan may have hurt his future on the national stage.
The choice is classic Romney.
This choice reminds me why he chose Kerry Healey to be his Lt. Gov. in 2002. He endorsed her in the GOP primary. He needed Healey to meander through the landmines of state government. He needs Ryan to meander through the landmines of the federal government. Romney understands his weakness includes not knowing the ins and outs of government. Thus, he finds and supports the best qualified person to help him in this area.
I think before today, Romney was at best a 50/50 proposition to win in November. Romney is raising and holding a boatload of cash but he is not generating much excitement on the ground. Team Romney sees Obama as vulnerable but were trying to win with the “not Obama” mantra. It isn’t enough. Romney isn’t about to lose this race which he has a damn good chance of winning.
Romney needed to tap into the TeaParty mindset that won huge victories in 2010 at the federal and state levels. The Tea Party mindset is one of fiscal conservatism and nowhere near the views of the “birthers”. Folks like Portman, Rubio, and Christie may tickle the fancies of conventional thinkers but choosing Ryan is truly inspired thinking. This is not about just winning 270 electoral votes. It is about putting some traditional blue states in play. It is why I think Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, (where some of the huge victories occurred) are now in play. There will be others like Pennsylvania. This will also force Obama and the Democrats to spend money needed in battleground states to save normally safe blue states.
To be sure, the talking heads on the Left will be parroting the mantra of “pushing Grandma off the cliff” and “teabaggers”. Team Obama has nothing in their arsenal that resemble good ideas and solutions. Their arsenals are replete with demagoguery, divisiveness, and hate. IIRC, Ryan caused Obama to scratch his face with the middle finger in response to Ryan’s questions about ObamaCare. There was also a subsequent public insult made to Ryan by Obama during a public speech at Georgetown University.
Most of all, this choice is a signal to the MSM and the Left that Romney is ready to go mano a mano with Team Obama. They are not afraid of anything the MSM and the Left will throw at them. The GOP House candidates openly embrace the Ryan budget while more and more Democratic candidates are running away from Obama. Perhaps, Obama can proficiently explain why the Federal Government has gone 1200 days without a budget.
While Romney has been raising and saving a lot of cash, Obama has been burning through his raised cash. There is more excitement among the nut-roots to raise money for Elizabeth Warren’s run for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts than there is for Obama.
Team Romney now needs to put a consistent message before the American voter. If that message is Paul Ryan, Romney will win and it will not be close. If Romney pulls a Bob Dole and under-utilizes Ryan, it will be a disaster.