Representative Ryan comes to this nomination process with fourteen years of Congressional experience under his belt. A fairly pristine record of working rather well on Capital Hill with members of both parties when it comes to forming good working coalitions, a feat made more difficult over the last four years with a very divisive President Obama pitting member against member, class against class and obsession with ideology over working policy.
Mr. Ryan is youthful, only 42 years of age yet experienced particularly in areas of budgeting, finance and fiscal responsibility. Those are a big plus for this Romney/Ryan ticket during the worst years of economic tragedy faced by this nation since the mid 1970’s and the Great Depression of 1929. Where he is weakest is in the same area that Mr. Romney is not strong, foreign affairs. However, if elected, President Romney could offset that imbalance by picking a Secretary of State and a Secretary of Defense with vast experience. Two who could fit that void quite well and bring a wealth of State Department and military experience would be Condoleezza Rice and General David Petraeus.
Republicans are pleased with the Ryan choice because it moved Romney from the too safe/wishy-washy category of politician to a more dramatic, willing to lay it all on the line kind of go-getting winner they have always admired in their candidates. Winners that reflect the charisma of a Reagan, the politically incorrectness of a Gingrich, the sassiness of a Palin and the stalwart integrity of a Ron Paul. Republicans and Tea Party members have always admired Romney for his ability to move those fiscal mountains but have been somewhat wary of his dedication to the conservative cause and ideology of smaller government, lower taxes and less intrusiveness in the daily lives of individuals and corporations. This pick of Rep. Paul Ryan has given them much hope and enthusiasm that Romney is a true convert and not just another voting tilling politico.
The Democrats are thrilled with the Ryan choice because they see this as a rallying tool to get what has become a lackluster liberal and moderate following because of Obama's dismal handling of the economy off their behinds and back into the fray of supporting President Obama and pushing for more government intervention. They also believe Ryan could help them siphon-off some of those cherished middle income, 60 and older independent voters who have a fear that Ryan will be used in a new Romney Administration to begin tearing away at both Social Security and Medicare benefits. While the reality concerning this fear is not likely to happen in this or any other future administration, you can bet your food stamps that Obama and his surrogates will be pounding airwaves and pavement with that kind of gloom and doom Social Security/Medicare message.
The truth of the matter is Ryan has been selected to be Mr. Romney’s Vice President - not President, regardless of Romney’s freudian slip on Saturday when introducing the exuberant Ryan to the stage. The economic plan and budget that will be instituted if Mr. Romney is elected President will be his plan, not the Ryan Budget submitted nearly 2 years ago to Congress. I find all kinds of things wrong with the Ryan Budget, particularly as it relates to Medicare, however, there are also many things right about the plan and for the President to decry the entire budget because of Ryan’s misguided attempt to offer “premium-support payments,” within a restructured Medicare, which the President correctly called “vouchers,” is just as ludicrous. It is just another example of divisiveness coerced by Mr. Obama instead of taking what is good about the plan and negotiating by compromise what is not and bringing a viable product to the American people. It is a case of the President still smarting and seething from the verbal and intellectual might of Representative Ryan’s assault on ObamaCare those many months ago at that hyped media event the President put together to try and convince voters just how wonderful and cost-effective the plan was. After Ryan convincingly and so publicly unmasked ObamaCare for the money-pit it truly was at that very forum the President has been unable or unwilling to work with either house of the Congress ever since, thus, three years and counting without a budget.
The Romney/Ryan ticket is a good match and could work very effectively for this country. It may well be the last ditch effort Americans can have for ensuring the United States doesn’t slide into the deep end of European Socialism once and for all, finding itself mired in much of the kind of life we have found so unattractive for the last 400 plus years. If nothing else, for the first time since Reagan went up against Carter in 1980, we have a clear demarcation of ideological candidates. Voters have an unfettered choice between what kind of America they want to live in and to pass on to their future generation.
They made the right choice in 1980. Will they do so in 2012?