In order to win the 2012 election, Mitt Romney needs to (1) hold on to the Republican vote, (2) and entice some independents to vote for him, and (3) if at all possible, entice some Democrats to vote for him. For Romney, even job 1 (holding onto Republicans) was going to be a bit of a problem. Why, because he has held so many sides of an issue that no one really believed him when he would say where he stood. We all knew, that no matter where he was today, he might be somewhere else tomorrow (or even later today). Further, of course, is the income tax issue. Did he pay his fair share? A lot of people don’t think so. Loyal Republicans might just choose to stay home.
So, here we have Paul Ryan to the rescue. There is really no doubt in what Representative Ryan believes. He has proposed legislation, and has spoken many times about his ideas. People like that quickly get followers as well as detractors. That is to be expected. The Republican right wing and “tea partiers” probably like Ryan a lot. Hence, it might bring out a few of them to vote when, in the absence of a candidate like Ryan, they might have opted to stay home. So, score one for Mitt!
Well, maybe not so fast. There is one problem: Mr. Ryan is not running for president! He is running for an office that doesn’t mean much as long as Mitt remains healthy. Eventually, everyone will remember that Mitt is still Mitt. If Mitt chooses to, and is elected, he can move Ryan to an “undisclosed location” for the next four years. Further, Mitt has already pointed out that the policies will be his (Mitt’s) not Paul Ryan’s. That comment was made in the process of refuting some of the Medicare suggestions that Ryan had proposed. Ryan’s suggestions regarding medicare are actually pretty frightening.
Howard Kurtz, in the Daily Beast said: Ryan is going to have to explain away his push to privatize Social Security — which George W Bush couldn’t even bring to a vote in the senate. A privatized Social Security is something that Floridians might not like too much. This fiscal hawk voted for the TARP bailout as well as Bush’s Medicare prescription drug program. So at the very least, he shifts the campaign focus from Obama’s economic record to what the Romney-Ryan team would do to entrenched social programs. That may not be so good for the Romney/Ryan ticket. It could be toxic!
So, what about plan 2 (entice some independents)? That is always possible but I wouldn’t count on it. Even if Mitt said that he liked Ryan’s budget plan, I can’t imagine many independents going for Romney/Ryan. Plan 3? Forget about it!
All in all it is still up to Romney. Maybe we will find as we get closer to November, that the choosing of Ryan was neither a win nor a loss — but, possibly the best that Mitt could do.