Why Ryan Is A Strong Choice For VP

Saturday morning, Romney announced his VP pick to be Ryan — no, not Ryan Seacrest — Paul Ryan, budget wizard and Wisconsin representative. Ryan is arguably the most prominent Republican in the House. He is young (42), personable and energetic and has over a decade in Congress. He knows how Washington works and why it doesn’t.

Also, like Romney, he appears to be clean. Everyone has skeletons, especially politicians, but as far as anyone knows to date, the Romney-Ryan ticket may be the cleanest duo since Batman and Robin. It would be a surprise if a real scandal related to either man was uncovered. This may not win them an election but it should win them some fence-sitters.

Ryan is considered the go-to-guy regarding the budget. Nobody in Congress possesses the detailed knowledge he does which is why he chairs the House Budget Committee.

Ryan also knows how to campaign, in fact, he’s never lost an election. He’s 7-0. He has successfully defended his seat against both Democrats and Libertarians. During his first campaign Ryan received 57% of the vote. This is the lowest of his career. Since, he has never dipped below 63%, typically pulling in 67-68% range. In 2010 he earned 68% of the vote.

He is one of the three co-founders of the Young Guns Program, an electoral recruitment and campaign effort by House Republicans. He, along with Rubio, Walker, and other young conservatives is symbolic of the future for the Republican party.

But like all of us, Ryan is not perfect.

He has been on Romney’s short list for months so there’s no doubt the Left has a dossier and media packet on Ryan already prepared for shipping. The Left will also unroll articles comparing Ryan to other short-list folks like Portman (much more “real” experience) or Rubio (could have delivered Florida) to make Ryan appear a weaker pick than he is.

A lack of foreign policy experience will be something the Left tries to exploit. This will create a few headlines but Republicans should be capable of over-coming the criticism by pointing out this election is more about getting our house in order than world affairs. Besides, Obama had no foreign policy credentials a few years back and he was running for the top spot, not VP.

Ryan has proposed an aggressive plan that includes substantial changes to entitlements. Obama mocked it on live television — with Ryan seated in the front row — and the Democrats have already sliced and diced it. Now, with Ryan directly involved in the election, this plan will become a prominent issue. Already distorted, the Left will continue to have at it. To his credit, Ryan is a communicator, so if anyone can effectively walk the common folk through some of the plan details, it’s him.

He’s also likely to be labeled extreme or a hard-Right tea-bagger with draconian outlooks. This is a heavy distortion as Ryan’s “yes” votes on the bank bailouts and on Medicare expansion program prove. But it fits in well with the Left’s tired rhetoric — ‘Republicans want dirty water, polluted air and will abandon the old and poor’.

Many will ask if Ryan on the ticket will put Wisconsin in play? Except it already is. Sure, Obama won Wisconsin by 14% in 2008. That’s huge. But today, that has been trimmed down to about 6%. And don’t forget the message Wisconsin sent during the Walker recall. The better question is — can Ryan deliver Wisconsin? That is unknown but what is known is that Obama and the Democrats, still black and blue from the beating they took during the recall, will now be compelled to spend time and money in Wisconsin, perhaps to the detriment of a different swing state.

Because Ryan is a communicator he should hold his own during the VP debate. Ryan is not a punch-line kind of guy so Biden may score a jab or two. But if properly prepped, Ryan should be able to counter. And if the debate actually delves into issues of substance, Ryan is likely to badly embarrass Biden and show him as the buffoon he is. Ryan’s expertise on budget matters should help bring Romney up to speed, too.

Romney’s selection of Ryan has, intentionally or unintentionally, changed the nature of election. Probably not as much as most pundits think. The economy will remain the primary issue but now political ideology has been introduced. Team Romney must be confident the common folk want to hear about fiscal responsibility and changes to entitlements — complete with fine details. Ryan offers this. Obama wins here also as he now has ideological distortions to exploit. Both sides, particularly the super PACs, will play to this — do you want the anti-America radical Left or the rich loving polluters on the Right — but the reality is voters that answer to strict ideology have already made their decision. Independents aren’t likely to be swayed by the well worn cliches. It is likely to boil down to who the voters feel can get us out of this mess.

People vote for president not VP. But if there is one politician in America currently capable of explaining America’s nasty financial situation, in painful detail, it is Ryan. The Left, by pushing ideology, will guarantee Ryan has to break out the charts. But that’s a Ryan strength.

Like every candidate, Ryan has some shortcomings. But his positives far out distance his negatives. And compared to Biden as a VP, he’s gold. Ryan is informed, intelligent, and a proven leader. He isn’t an elite live audience orator but there are few better with television interviews and presentations. Romney definitely could have made a worse choice. He may not have been able to make a better one.

Follow I.M. Citizen at IMCitizen.net

Bookmark and Share

Cain, Gingrich Make Headlines; Paul’s Missed Opportunity

Cain’s Race Card

I have no respect for candidates who play the race card, and so far Cain hasn’t.  In what is an obvious smear against Herman Cain, the candidate has not resorted to what the left finds so natural.  In fact, Cain traced the allegations back to a former campaign staffer who was hired by Rick Perry as Kempite wrote earlier this week.  This hasn’t stopped Cain’s supporters from making the connection.  After Clarence Thomas and the racism that blacks on the right have experienced, the attacks on Herman Cain for doing some undisclosed thing to some anonymous women is just enough to get any conservative’s blood boiling.

This is especially true when you look at how the media has portrayed the whole thing.  Immediately questions were being asked about if there was a double standard on the right because conservatives were not as upset with Cain for having allegedly done something to someone as they were when it came out that Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern (Monica Lewinsky), possibly raped a woman (Juanita Broderick), sexually harassed a woman (Gennifer Flowers), lied about it under oath (like Scooter Libby, who lost his career and faced jail time), and coached witnesses (obstruction of justice).  Of course, Bill Clinton also kept his job as President.

The attack on Herman Cain is already starting to backfire on both the media and the left.  And finally, Uncle Tom is getting the attention it deserves as an often used racist “codeword”.

Gingrich Keeps Rising

There is plenty to be negative about on the GOP field.  But there is also plenty to be positive about and that is the angle Newt has used to kickstart his second wind in this race.  The Hill questions the wisdom of Gingrich’s refusal to go negative on his fellow candidates.  I think he is making the best decision.  While Mitt Romney gets torn down by the Social Conservatives, and Cain and Perry continue to duel, Gingrich has been slowly sneaking back into the top tier through his focus on Obama and better ideas.

In fact, I gained interesting perspective from my vacation in Connecticut.  No matter where I go, red state or blue state, and who I talk to, I get the same response on Gingrich.  He is the smartest man in the room.  He knows what he is talking about.  He has the best ideas.  We would pay money to see him debate Obama and enjoy every minute of it.  But he has baggage.  In fact, Newt entered this race with the most personal baggage.  But now voters are taking a new look at the man who reigned in Bill Clinton and produced balanced budgets and record growth, two things our country desperately needs.  Depending on how Cain’s unnamed issues with unnamed people turns out, Newt could end up being the cleanest of the top tier candidates.  Every debate makes him look better and better.

Paul Could Be A 3rd Party Winner

I love talking politics with friends and family.  Actually, I just plain love talking politics.  It is always interesting to hear different perspectives, often from where you least expect it.  Well, here’s one for you: Ron Paul could win some electoral votes as a third party candidate by running in blue states.  In many blue states, it is not so much a matter of fiscal liberalism winning out over fiscal conservatism.  In some cases it is a matter of social liberalism overriding fiscal conservatism.

The fear of a Paul third party run has been that he would steal votes from the Republican candidate.  But Paul would actually have a hard time winning any red state in a national election.  On the other hand, put Paul with his limited social conservatism and strong fiscal conservatism and anti-war stance into California, New England, New York and other blue states, and he has a message that would resonate.

Part of Paul’s problem though is missed opportunities.  Ron Paul is like a cult classic movie.  Low budget, but adored to the point of insanity by many.  In 2008, there were Revolution signs strewn across the country in conservative and liberal districts alike.  Somehow Paul supporters manage to stack every conservative straw poll that comes out.  Yet Paul has failed over and over to convert that ravenous support into electoral votes.  Now, put Paul in to states like Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine where a Social Conservative will never win but there is a strong libertarian under current, and Ron Paul could have a huge impact in the general election.  For the Libertarian movement, winning even one state could be a huge victory for their future.

 

Hung Out to Dry

If ever there was a time for conservatives to stand up for Sarah Palin, now would be it. Palin is certainly a front runner for the Presidency, even as a TEA Party outsider in the Republican Party. This makes her an easy target.

Oops, did I say target? The absolute ridiculousness with which the left has attempted to tie Jared Loughner to Sarah Palin should have every Republican up in arms. The ease with which Loughner’s actual political leanings and mental stability can be documented should add fuel to a conservative fire that overturns years of a subtle left-wing bias in the media. It should be pretty obvious right now which way the mainstream leans.

So why aren’t conservatives standing up for Palin? When given the chance to stand up for Palin and shred the media’s unjust attacks, Newt Gingrich stated that Palin is the one who needs to be more careful about what she says. Immediately left-wing bloggers seized on Gingrich’s words and reposted them with glee.

Shortly after the Tuscon shooting, left-wing loudmouth Keith Olbermann associated Loughner with Palin. Though he obviously put his foot in his mouth, speaking out of ignorance, mainstream Republicans did not respond. Finally Palin did.

The result? Palin was attacked by the left for responding. But she was also attacked by the right. Ross Douthat, supposedly a conservative New York Times columnist (yeah, I hear they found bigfoot and UFOs too), echoed the establishment complaint that Palin’s response was unpresidential. I wonder if anyone ever confronted Andrew Jackson, blood flowing from an open wound, gun still smoking, fresh from winning a duel (or losing as he did on one occasion) that he was acting unpresidential.

This one was a slam dunk. Loughner was a druggie, fed on 9/11 conspiracy theories and hatred of women in power. He didn’t listen to talk radio and certainly wouldn’t have followed the details of Palin’s TEA Party successes this past fall. Republicans had a chance to take on the the lies that were coming out and show the country exactly how the left had chosen to politicize the shooting. But they didn’t.

I have tried to reconcile the lack of conservative response. The person who came closest to defending Palin and the TEA Party movement was the President himself when he called on Americans not to blame each other or point fingers.

Most likely, mainstream potential candidates are trying to avoid putting themselves in a situation where they face the same grueling attacks that Palin has. Possibly, some establishment candidates may be secretly satisfied to see their stiffest competition for the 2012 primaries knocked out as a result of the media’s unnecessary roughness.

%d bloggers like this: