Our friend Jason Ivey weighs in with his assessment of the Romney pick for Veep — Wisconsin seven-term congressman Paul Ryan:
Here are my thoughts on the Ryan choice:
I argued here a few weeks back that I thought it was better to keep Ryan where he was and go with a more boring choice. That didn’t happen, so hopefully that assessment will be wrong. Upon hearing the news, I was excited by the choice of Ryan, less because of Ryan himself and more because of what it says about Romney.
I’ve read a smattering of analysis this morning, so here’s my own list of pros/cons, and feel free to disagree or expand:
*Ryan will open the door wide open to the predictable Goldwater type attacks regarding “Mediscare”, gutting and privatizing Social Security, taking your health care and benefits away, etc. The choice of Ryan will drag Romney into a fight I’m not sure he’s willing or able to fight. We may see Romney do more backtracking from Ryan’s proposals than put up an informed and tough defense. Romney has that Clintonian “all things to all people” streak of happy-sounding vagueness, and I can see him backing away from some of the bolder Ryan proposals. Hopefully this won’t turn into Dole/Kemp, or McCain/Palin with Ryan getting thrown under the bus.
*We lose Ryan from the Congressional Budget Committee, where he could arguably do greater good.
*We gain his talents at the forefront of a Romney administration.
*In regards to my first ‘con’ above, it must be assumed that Romney picked Ryan knowing exactly what this will bring to the debate, so we have to be cautiously optimistic that this is a debate he wants to and is willing to have. If he does backtrack and go on defense in opposition to Ryan, then why choose him in the first place? I’m hopeful Romney is not that stupid.
*I’m trying to avoid using the word “bold”, because that’s the cliche I’ve read everywhere today. But this choice does say certain things about Romney the man: he’s inherently conservative despite his penchant for people-pleasing, he’s secure in that he’s chosen a running mate more articulate and informed than he is, and he’s ready to have a fight about our most pressing issues (assuming I’m wrong in what I said above).
*It represents the maturing of the new generation of conservatives, people like me and many of you who grew up with the right intellectual influences. It’s said that the veep choice doesn’t decide elections, which I agree with. But it WILL decide future elections. Consider that since 1980 a Bush has been on the ticket in every election year except ’96 and ’08. A 50 year old President Ryan eight years from now is a welcome thought, as is the choice of people we can assume he’d surround himself with.
These are a few of my own points I haven’t seen elsewhere today. In short, Ryan is nearly everything I want in a politician. He’s one of a very few who is more informed and articulate than I am. That’s not to tout my own intelligence, but a statement about the very lack of in most of our politicians, and what makes him exceptional.
The pros heavily outweigh the cons, as long as Mitt is willing to fight. And if he’s not, then it would be a very curious choice.