Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney and Ryan

Sounds like two brothers-in-law in a small town law firm doesn't it?

Romney's VP Pick is, in my opinion, the most important thing Romney will do in this election season. Done right, it will reunite the party and energize the base.

Done wrong, and a lot of voters will stay at home and sit on their hands instead of voting with them.

So, how did Romney do?

Well; I'm not sure.

Ryan is an asset, in that he is a budget driven. The cost of government is hurting the economy, and the bad economy is not creating jobs. Shrink the government and its tax and regulatory burdens, and the economy will create jobs. To those of us of a certain political leaning, these things are as basic as ABC/123.

The question is the independents. Will they see a shrinking of government as a good thing or a bad thing? Based on the polls I have seen, I think they will. Ryan is a plus here.

Typically, the VP is the insider; the one who knows there way around the Capital building and its denizens. Why do you think Obama saddled himself with Biden, or JFK with LBJ? Or even Reagan with Bush? McCain didn't need an insider; he was the insider. The insider won't help you get elected; the insider helps you get things done. Is Ryan enough of an insider to help Romney get things done?

He may be. He has been in positions of power in the Republican House, so it's possible. But with only 14 years in the House; is that enough time to have earned the control he will need? Well, Romney needs to win first; this point is a wait and see.

Usually the VP pick is an electoral strengthener; again, see Reagan and the Texan Bush. Ryan is from Wisconsin, which has been reliably Democratic in the past, but is seen as being 'in play' this election cycle.

Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes may not seem like much, but remember; Bush only beat Gore by 5 electoral votes. And making Wisconsin Red instead of Blue is a 20 vote shift. Will Wisconsin go Romney/Ryan? I think with Ryan on the ticket we can call Wisconsin for the Republicans. Definite Plus.

The Two White Guys Ticket. It sounds like a bad skit from the depths of SNL's worst years. Obama has already been hammering Romney with a charge of wanting to take the country back to the 1950's; there could be points for him in caricaturing Romney/Ryan as stuck in the past, or failing to see America is now fully integrated, and has millions of citizens who are people of color.

And Obama may do just that. It will play well to his base, but how well will it sit with the independents? Especially when Ryan is hammering home the need for a budget- HIS Budget- in the Federal government? It is the independents who will decide this election, just like 95% of the time. Unless we can create some Romney Democrats. Anything is possible; there are some Democrats who are waking to just how bad Obama has been. But will they vote for Romney? At this point I think they won't. But maybe Ryan can energize them?

Romney's team obviously has access to a lot of information I don't. Polling data in particular. They looked hard at quite a few capable individuals, prior to picking Paul Ryan. They would have considered all of the points I have talked about (plus a hundred more I could only guess at), and came up with Ryan as the best candidate.

I also think Paul Ryan has the Conservative 'street cred'  to cause the Conservative wing of the party to return to the fold by choice, and not by default. That will make a difference with fund raising and campaigning. Folks may have to vote for Romney- Obama ain't much as a real choice- but Ryan may make them WANT to vote for Romney. It may not seem like a big difference, but it is.

We'll all find out if Romney was right or not in 86 days.

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