August 11, 2012

Now that it's official, is Ryan the sensible pick?

Mitt Romney has chosen a running mate - Paul Ryan. Was it the right choice? In a lot of ways yes, and in some ways, no.  Here's some quick, top-line thoughts, after the video from the Washington Post:

Why it makes sense:

1. It will re-focus the discussion on the economy instead of the distraction and misdirection of Bain from team Obama. 

2. It makes fiscal sense. Yes he's a target for the left, but I don't think he'll pull any punches in fighting back on fiscal matters.

3. It reinforces that Romney might be telling the truth on repealing Obamacare. That's been a nagging doubt for many conservatives concerning Romney.

4. Wisconsin is definitely going to be a battleground state this cycle as a result of this pick (in part).  That puts Obama on defense on another front he probably hoped he wouldn't have to defend.  With Romney's roots in Michigan, it may be interesting to see if Romney pursues some sort of Great Lakes strategy this cycle.

5.  There is some possibility that he can appeal to independents.

Why it doesn't make sense:

1. It opens up the Republicans once again to the grandma off the cliff advertising from Democrats. Yes it's off base advertising, but it gets noticed. Obama can position this as Romney selecting Romney junior and and reinforcing the notion that he's rich and doesn't care about the poor.

2. Timing - this was early, and smacks of worry about the Obama negative ad blitz. Regardless of who the nominee was, could it have been a knee-jerk reaction to polling trends?

3. Ryan is not the complete conservative package. He voted in favor of TARP and the Medicare Part D, for example. Clearly a better pick than some of the other nominees, but he does come with a bit of conservative bona fides baggage he will have to explain.

4. Did he just introduce Paul Ryan as the next president of the United States? Way to take away that 57 states jibe we have against Obama, Mr. Romney.

5. It may energize Democrats as much as, or more than Republicans.

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