Fortitudine et Prudentia

With Ryan Pick – Everyone’s a Winner Except Mitt Romney

In News and Opinion on August 14, 2012 at 1:20 am

President Obama’s Campaign of attacks on Mitt Romney this summer took a toll. Going into August the Romney Campaign found itself on their heels from the relentless attacks coming from the left and of course a “gimme” goodwill foreign policy trip that turned into a gaffe filled comedy tour. Romney returning stateside found Harry Reid ratcheting up the tax attack, UK newspapers calling him “Mitt the Twit”, and a Bain pain that would not go away. With President Obama leading a government running trillion dollar deficits, presiding over an anemic economy growing at a measly 1.5% and a stubborn unemployment problem that will not go below 8%. Mitt Romney probably envisioned tickertape parades for him by November. But that dream was fading fast. Romney found himself answering attacks rather than narrating the attacks, the polls were saying that America doesn’t like him, and he was in danger of falling too far behind to ever catch up to Obama. So what to do if you’re the Republican nominee going against Barack Obama? Get “Maverickey” of course.

Enter Paul Ryan, a congressional “young gun” who can articulate himself as well as President Obama and better than Mitt Romney. Choosing Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate Mitt Romney excited both Democrats and Republicans. Republicans felt a sense of relief that one of their own was on the ticket and Democrats were glad to have a sharp contrast that will distract voters away from the economy.

Romney was never truly trusted by the right because of his left leaning days as Governor of Massachusetts. He was attacked vigorously by his fellow Republicans in the primary election and still presents the scars to show it. The Realclearpolitics average of polls has Romney losing to Obama 47.7% to 43.7% and Romney’s unfavorable rating of 45.4% is higher than his favorable rating of 42.9%. Simply put – Mitt Romney is not getting enough Republican support. Paul Ryan solves the Republican support problem, for now.

The immediate difference was noticeable on the campaign trail with Ryan on the ticket. The crowds got bigger and were more enthusiastic, even Mitt Romney was more enthusiastic. At a Wisconsin campaign rally ten thousand people showed up and Romney laid out a five point plan to restarting the economy while eviscerating Obama at the same time. The Republican base is rallying with Ryan on the ticket.

Rachel Maddow quipped on a Sunday talk show, effectively, now that Ryan was on the ticket with Romney the democrats could spend the rest of the campaign season drinking margaritas because Ryan’s Budget takes the focus of the election off the economy and onto an extreme Republican agenda. If you want to get Democrats riled up threaten Medicare or Social Security.

The cartoons circulating facebook show Paul Ryan pushing old ladies in wheelchairs down the steps of Capital Hill and the Obama campaign released a ready to go internet ad tying Romney to the Ryan Budget. Today at Ryan’s first solo event on the ticket he was welcomed by left wing hecklers shouting “stop the war on the middle class.” To Democrats Paul Ryan’s a bad guy they love to hate.

Democrats are happy and Republicans are happy, it seems like everybody is a winner with Paul Ryan on the ticket except, maybe, Mitt Romney. Romney may have made the fatal mistake of picking a guy that outshines him but that’s the price you pay for being dull and falling behind. At the very least there has been a respite from the tax attacks, the gaffe-fest foreign policy trip, and the Bain attacks of the summer that had Romney slumping. He is now actually able to get an offensive message out and that is a good thing. But if this so-called “America’s Comeback Team” goes the wrong way Romney could have a rogue running mate on his hands a la John McCain and that didn’t end well for Republicans last time.

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