Romney Blows His Opportunity by Selecting Ryan

1rr.jpgI’m getting texts and messages asking what I think of the selection of Paul Ryan by Mitt Romney to be his running mate.  So here are my condensed thoughts.  (Well, as condensed as I ever get, which isn’t very condensed.)

I like Ryan in general.  He obviously a family guy, talks the conservative talk, understands sound economic policy, is extremely smart and will be able to eviscerate Biden in the debates on a level that has the potential to as epic as it will be historic.

That said, in typical establishment Republican fashion, Romney blew a great opportunity in his selection.  Here’s why I think so…

1. Could you find two MORE stereotypical Republicans to run in a country that is teeming with diversity?  As some predicted, Romney played it safe and picked a boring white guy.  No real risk, not even a nod toward minorities, not one step out of his whitebread box.

2. Can you think of anyone, ANYONE who is more likely to vote for Romney because he selected Ryan to run with him?  Face it, he brings nothing to the ticket except he won’t be an embarrassment and he’s smart.  But so are a lot of other of the front-runners he was allegedly considering (except for Christie who is a loose cannon.)

3. Ryan is not going to be of any significant help in any of the swing states and he’s likely to impact the Florida race negatively as the scorched-earth, thuggery of Obama’s campaign paint him as dumping Senior Citizens over the cliff (they already have the commercial.)  The retired condo commandos of South Florida are going to be so worked up by the rhetoric that they will be waiting in line for the polls to open like junior high girls at a Justin Beiber concert.  Republicans cannot win the White House unless they carry Florida, Ohio and Virginia –Romney is behind in all three states and Ryan’s name on the ticket isn’t going to move the meter forward and likely down in Florida.

4. Ryan would be misplaced in the Vice-Presidency.  What do VP’s do?  Mostly go to funerals, make speeches and stay in the shadows (unless your name is Joe Biden, then you got to strut around in full pomposity saying things so stupid that the only thing preventing the main-stream media from turning him into Dan Quayle’s younger brother is the sheer weight of their pro-Obama bias.)  Ryan would have been an EXCELLENT choice for Budget Director or Secretary of the Treasury or Chief of Staff or Secretary of Commerce.  He will be wasted in the VP’s office.

There are a few more minor reasons I would add if I had more time, but that is enough to explain my lack of enthusiasm.  For months I’ve been handicapping the race at 60/40 Obama wins reelection.  Ryan does nothing to chain that number in MY mind.

Who would I have chosen?  Marco Rubio.  At least he’s likely to be the Republican nominee is 2016 if my prediction is correct and Romney loses.  But by then, there may not be a country left.  (Yep, Obama’s THAT bad.)

10 thoughts on “Romney Blows His Opportunity by Selecting Ryan

  1. Matt

    Interesting theologically this year. The only “Evangelical” in the group is Obama. Wow. It comes down to the most hostile president to religion and his loose cannon Catholic VP vs. the Mormon and another Catholic. We could have all of the above mixed together in Rubio…former Catholic/Mormon/Baptist/Catholic. :)

  2. Dan Burrell Post author

    Not sure that Jeremiah Wright’s church should be (nor would it be embraced the him) classified as “evangelical”, but the “all mixed together Rubio” was hilarious. He actually sent his kids to a great Christian school in Miami that was in the association of Christian Schools where I served as President. He’s really a good guy and he can sound absolutely Reaganesque when he’s at his best.

  3. Kevin

    Several thoughts:

    1) I’m not buying the polls. A 43% approval rating does not equal a 9 point lead. They are oversampling Democrats and are not “likely voter” polls.

    2) Ryan’s HUGE upside is that he is one of the few Republicans who can communicate conservative principles coherently. He has the ability to put POTUS on the defensive and when that happens and POTUS goes off teleprompter, he is exposed for who he is. The scare tactics with the elderly is easily countered by asking who has already cut their benefits and Ryan can and (I believe) will do it. He also has the ability to attack without looking mad. I like him though his absence in the House will be felt.

  4. Chris Sanchez

    I don’t see Ryan as the “safe” pick you believe. Portman or Pawlenty would have been the safe pick. Because of his budget proposals, Ryan is a lightening rod for Democrats across the nation (not just Florida) who will be mercilessly demonized. Portman or Pawlenty would have drawn their share of attacks but they would have been more generic in nature.

    Ryan, much like Cheney, could have a much larger role in governing with Romeny. I do agree that the traditional role of VP is a waste of material for a man such as Ryan. Still, the debate with Biden should be “Must See TV” when they meet. Honestly, I am more likely to tune into that debate than all of the presidential debates (I anticipate three).

    I also agree with Rubio as being a better choice. He would help in Florida and provide some good debate moments with Biden as well. Still, if the Romney/Ryan ticket loses, Rubio will be well positioned to make his own run in 2016. Like you, I question Romney’s chances in November. The nation definitely has a choice to make and two VERY different tickets from which to choose.

  5. Timothy

    The left is going to work at creating walls between evangelicals and Paul Ryan with his fond affection and praise of Ayn Rand early in his carrier. She was an atheist times ten. Watch the left try to exploit that one.

  6. Dan Burrell Post author

    Tim…that’s interesting that Ryan was an Ayn Rand aficionado. Some of his economic policies make more sense to me now know that. Confession time: I too went through a period of being enamored with Rand during my college years and 20′s. It is probably what has helped make me into the Darwinian economic libertarian that I am today. I knew she was an atheist (not to mention probably bisexual) and a woman with many other flaws and oddities, but I still think her economic treatises in the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are some of the most logical and thought-provoking essays ever on the topic. It will be interesting to see if they go after him with substance arguments or thug fear tactics. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on the latter.

  7. John

    MIxed emotions. I agree with the 60/40 split and your assesment–but at least now I can vote for RR with a clear conscience…..

  8. Kevin Thompson

    I agree with the other Kevin. Ryan’s greatest asset is his ability to communicate. I lived in Beloit, WI which is just below janesville where Ryan hails from. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with him on several different occasions. I’ve seen first hand his ability to take a hostile opponent and turn him right around. His town hall meetings where fascinating. I think the comparisons to Jack Kemp are right on. But what I love most about this guy is his positive outlook. Like Reagan, he sees the economic mess but also sees the way out. He’s not a doom and gloom the end is near type conservative like Glen Beck… He said yesterday, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” This guy was the best pick.

    What’s interesting is I also lived in MA during Romney’s reign (coincidentally that’s where I met you, Dan, at a teacher’s convention). I don’t like Romney much at all. I was even considering going third party. Ryan is why I’m voting for Romney. Another short fact – I never met Romney till this summer while in Wisconsin!

    As for Rubio, that pick would have been seen as pandering. Plucking up an inexperienced Senator (just like we criticized Obama for in 08) in hopes of getting the Hispanic vote we might not have received anyway would not have helped.

  9. Chip

    I disagree. Ryan will certainly fortify the conservative wing of the Republican Party. The sweeping Republican victory in 2010 came not because of timid politics, but because bold stands were taken. I think Ryan brings that boldness to the ticket as well. As much as I like Rubio (and I like him a lot), I am glad he wasn’t tagged for VP. The last thing we need right now is to chance losing a seat in the Senate. Being from AZ, I am very disappointed that Kyle has chosen this moment to retire. I can’t wait to see the VP debate – will Biden dare take the stage with Ryan? No, I think there we a number of possibilities out there, but I am very happy with this one. I’m just relieved it wasn’t Condi.


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