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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate.


Ryan speaks with great knowledge on a range of issues. In particular, he knows the budget better than anyone else on Capitol Hill.   He will be sharp in debates and press conferences.

He excites conservative activists and will give clear policy direction to the Romney campaign.

As a young Catholic from the Midwest, he provides some balance to an older Mormon from the Northeast.  But "balance" is a minor asset.  Though political junkies will be aware of his religion (making Romney-Ryan the first-ever ticket without a Protestant), ordinary voters will scarcely notice.  Since he represents only a portion of Wisconsin, he probably won't make much difference statewide.


Ryan has been very specific in his proposals for reforming Medicare and other programs. Democrats are already attacking those proposals. They will claim that the Republicans want to wage war on the poor and elderly.

Expect to see a lot of the following:

Stuff That Won't Matter Either Way:

He has no executive or military experience, and has spent little time in the private sector. Then again, the same was true of both Obama and Biden in 2008, and it didn't hurt them a bit.  (BTW, the 2012 election will be the first in eighty years in which neither ticket has a presidential or vice presidential candidate with military experience.)

He has no specific background in foreign policy, but that should not be a political drawback, either. He is extremely intelligent and has been voting on foreign policy issues during his 14 years in Congress. He won't make the kind of errors that hurt Sarah Palin four years ago. In any case, only about one percent of Americans cite foreign policy as the top issue in the campaign .

Ryan Lizza makes an odd claim: "But Ryan’s Washington experience is also light, at least for a potential President—which, after all, is the main job description of a Vice-President." He has spent 14 years on Capitol Hill -- the same as JFK in 1960. And unlike JFK, he has actually chaired a committee. And no, he will not compare himself to JFK and Biden will not be able to say "I knew Jack Kennedy." (Then again, one never knows what Biden will say.)