Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate

In choosing Mr. Ryan, Mr. Romney was looking for a running mate to help shake up the race in the final three months of the race. He is seen as a rising star in the Republican Party and a favorite among conservative activists who view him as deeply committed to their fiscal principles.

But Mr. Ryan, a member of Congress since 1999, is also a lightning rod for Democrats who view him as the epitome of the Republican vision of deep cuts in social spending and entitlement programs. Unlike Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan has spent nearly his entire career in Washington either in or around the federal government.

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, he pushed his colleagues to boldly stake out an uncompromising position on the nation’s fiscal burdens.

Read it all. (For those who are blog history buffs, you may be interested to recall Barack Obama opts for ”˜bare-knuckle fighter’ Joe Biden).


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General

34 comments on “Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate

  1. David Hein says:

    Great choice–and it will make the whole discussion much more serious.

  2. Cennydd13 says:

    An excellent choice!

  3. Kendall Harmon says:

    This is an interesting choice for sure. What I like about it is it isn’t safe and Paul Ryan is above all about ideas.

    It sure feels like the campaign over the last couple of months has been small ball on both sides.

    I sincerely hope going forward we could have a debate about ideas–it would be good for both parties and the country.

  4. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I think this is a tactical error myself. Ryan is a lightning rod and a Washington insider in an atmosphere that is extremely anti-Washington at this point. This isn’t going to help Romney with Wisconsin, and most people in the South I know are not all that enthused about having a Republican ticket with no Protestants. Personally, I think Romney just lost the election. (I say this as someone who will vote 3rd Party.)

  5. Sarah says:

    It’s an interesting choice, I think — he chooses more of a “star” than a plain-vanilla guy.

    While I’ve been pretty sure that Obama will win a second term — though I’m not as certain as I was when McCain was nominated that Obama would win the Presidency — that was plain as soon as McCain was announced as the nominee and I had a long time to prepare for it . . . it’s possible, I guess, that Romney wins in a squeaker.

    I knew I wouldn’t be voting for Romney regardless of who he chose as VP, but I think Ryan is probably an okay choice all things considered.

    Unlike Archer, I haven’t gotten any sense at all that people in the South give a hoot about not having a Protestant on the ticket. As nearly as I can see, people in the South who are conservative and/or Republican are divided into two groups: people who aren’t going to vote for Romney because they simply will never vote for a non-conservative put up by Republicans again, and people who are going to vote for Romney or anyone else that the Republicans nominated. And then, the folks in the South who are liberal or Democrats will be voting for Obama regardless of who Romney picks.

    So that leaves the non-conservative independents [as opposed to conservative independents like me] often called “moderates.” Is Ryan a good choice from the perspective of a non-conservative independent?

    Very hard for me to say. I have no clue as to how non-conservative independents think or how they make decisions. I suspect that they mainly go on some kind of warm feeling that somebody somewhere engenders and I don’t know if Ryan/Romney will engender that.

    I just don’t know.

  6. Cennydd13 says:

    I never vote along party lines, my reasoning being that both parties have been remiss in making promises and breaking them when it’s convenient for them to do so. I was fooled the first time around when I mistakenly voted for Obama, but I won’t make that mistake twice. The damage done by his administration speaks for itself. As for Romney and Ryan, I’m willing to listen to what they have to say, and if I like what I hear, and if they convince me that they can do the job, they’ll get my vote. A third party? No chance.

  7. Dr. William Tighe says:

    Long ago I decided that I would vote for any Republican nominee, save for Gingrich, to get rid of Obama. Ryan’s selection for the VP nomination doesn’t affect that in the least. I would, however, have been strongly tempted to vote for neither one of them had he selected the “pro-choice” Condoleeza Rice for the position.

  8. Br. Michael says:

    Well I have to admit that I am still debating whether to vote at all. To vote gives legitimacy to the system, yet our constitutional system is dead and neither party will restore it. Robert’s drove a pretty good nail into the coffin. And Obama is ruling outside the constitution without a peep from the Congress. To vote is simply to choose who will manage an unconstitutional system. I am not sure that I much care which statist rules. And make no mistake the president is now our ruler and despot regardless of party.

  9. sophy0075 says:

    A “not voting” or a “third party” vote, while philosophically satisfying, means one less vote for Romney, which increases the chance/likelihood of an Obama re-election, especially if there are more voters who choose these options in the swing states.

    While there may be positions held by Romney and/or Ryan that I dislike, there are far fewer of such positions than when I look at the positions held by the incumbent. The ideologically pure among you will slam me for this, but I prefer pragmatism and the chance to get rid of Obama.

  10. AnglicanFirst says:

    Ryan will quietly with facts, logic, courtesy and a winning personality that is ‘home-town’ and which evokes trust and confidence make Biden look like the “mouth of the Potomac” that was his nickname while he was in the Senate.

    Biden will try to use negativity and ridicule against Ryan and Ryan will come back as a gentleman with “reparte’s” that will skewer and dominish Biden and which will elicit a positive image in the eyes of voters who are looking for a ‘way out’ of the mess that we are in a nation. They are not looking for ‘political brawlers.’ And Biden is a bad-mouthing political brawler. That’s all he can offer on the campaign trail. It may have worked somewhat against Palin, but it won’t against Ryan.

    Obama had better replace Biden either before or during the Democrat Convention, though I hope that he doesn’t do so.

  11. Pb says:

    I think this puts the budget and finances back in the debate where it will remain. Ryan is the best person to defend the Romney budget. I do not see a southern reaction to this ticket other than the Mormon issue since there is doubt whether the president is a Christian.

  12. Sarah says:

    RE: “And Biden is a bad-mouthing political brawler.”

    See — I don’t think most people see Biden that way. I think they see him as a grandfatherly type who bloviates and blusters randomly and not very rationally but in a harmless manner.

    RE: “The ideologically pure among you will slam me for this, but I prefer pragmatism and the chance to get rid of Obama.”

    I don’t know anybody here commenting who is “ideologically pure” or desiring to be. That’s a bit like saying that conservative Episcopalians wouldn’t vote for Parsley as Presiding Bishop because they are “the ideologically pure.”

    No, there’s simply a limit below which some conservatives won’t go. I, after all, happily voted for Dole, which Romney is significantly less than in every way — in no way comparable.

    RE: “A “not voting” or a “third party” vote, while philosophically satisfying, means one less vote for Romney, which increases the chance/likelihood of an Obama re-election . . . ”

    Yes. And a “not voting for Romney” vote also increases the chance/likelihood that the Republican Party will nominate 8 years hence someone even worse than Romney, who himself will be a slightly worse version than the last two years of GWB’s second term. It increases the likelihood that the Republican Party will continue down its path of nominating people who don’t believe their own party’s platform. It increases the likelihood that there will be a massive split between the conservatives and the establishment Republicans into two parties, which will be an unmitigated disaster for America for 30 and more years, far longer than another measly term of Obama’s.

    I have to ask. When this happens . . . when Romney governs in a slightly worse way than GWB did in the last two years of his Presidency . . . what do you think will happen to the Republican Party?

    I think what will happen is a definitive third-party split. And it will all be because the Republican party nominated a man whom they knew was a liberal, and they cravenly did it in order to merely indulge in their lust to “beat Obama” without any regard to the ultimate consequences to their party’s integrity, identity, and inevitably, the loyalty of a huge clutch of conservatives.

    Ah well.

    Come the end of Romney’s term — *if* he manages to get elected and I still think the odds are that Obama wins, so the Party sacrifices its integrity, identity and loyalty for naught — and come the defining split of the Republican Party into two parties, the moaners and the hand-wringers will be talking about How Perfectly Awful It All Is . . . and it’s all so utterly predictable.

  13. Br. Michael says:

    But a vote for Romney will not restore constitutional government.

  14. Ad Orientem says:

    First a caveat; I have no dog in this fight as I won’t be voting for either Romney or Obama. In my book they are philosophical twins (big government, crony capitalist, war mongers who think the state should tell people how to live their lives).

    With that out of the way I agree with Sarah (don’t faint please) and Kendall.

    Ryan is a competent choice who brings some gravitas to the question of budgets and the national debt. Politically I see a double edged sword. Ryan will play very well with the right wing of the GOP and the Tea Party types. But how he will go over with the critical independent vote and more moderate Republicans (there are a few left) remains to be seen. And that is where Romney’s big weak spot has been.

    With about a third of the electorate occupying the middle ground no one can be elected President without the support of moderates and independents. For months polls have been showing that Romney was soft with that demographic. And three polls that came out within the last 48 hours from sources as varied as CNN, FOX and Reuters all show Romney trailing Obama badly (between 7-9%). Unless those numbers change drastically that’s a landslide election we are looking at. The CNN and FOX News polls both showed that he was getting killed among moderates and independents.

    So the choice of Paul Ryan will be a very interesting one. Given his problems with the political center I might have gone for the combative but charismatic Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. Time, less than three months now, will give us a verdict on this choice among other issues.

  15. Teatime2 says:

    Well, Gary Johnson it is, then.

    Sorry, but those who try to cajole or outright browbeat third-party voters into coming back in line with a major candidate are, IMO, falling right into the politicos’ hands. We deserve more choices, better choices, and more ideas. This is the highest office in the land, probably even the world. This is a huge, diverse country — we should have more than two viable parties.

    That will never happen until more people say no to the inferior products that the two major parties are producing. IMO again, Gary Johnson beats Obama and Romney in the land of experience and ideas. He gets my vote. Call me idealistic but I want my vote to be an affirmation of the candidate and his or her principles only.

  16. Ad Orientem says:

    Gary Johnson would get my vote except for his being pro-abortion rights. That’s a deal breaker for me.

  17. Teatime2 says:

    AO #15,
    He’s a moderate on abortion, which I think is the most realistic, politically speaking. Like it or not, Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and won’t be overturned. Johnson supports restrictions, parental notifications, and states’ rights to regulate. That’s the way it is here in Texas and that’s really all you can do at present.

  18. Ad Orientem says:

    Re #16
    Roe was wrongly decided. I believe it will eventually be overturned. And being a moderate on the subject of infanticide is not a strong recommendation in my book. On most of the other issues I agree with him. But I can’t vote for anyone who supports abortion rights.

  19. Sarah says:

    RE: “I believe it will eventually be overturned.”

    I do too. And I’m always for working towards [i]overturning[/i] a grotesquely wicked and unConstitutional “law of the land.” I see no reason to surrender working hard to overturn such laws.

  20. Teatime2 says:

    How long ago was Roe decided? At least 40 years now?

  21. Ad Orientem says:

    It was almost sixty years before Plessy v Ferguson was reversed.

  22. Sarah says:

    The Slavery Abolition Act for the British Empire was approved in 1833, and the movement for that act was started many decades earlier.

  23. Teatime2 says:

    Somehow I knew that objections would be raised using racial examples. Rather different when trying to first establish personhood for someone who isn’t yet born ,then civil rights and then, finally, compelling rights over the rights of the mother. It opens up a huge can of worms, which is why I highly doubt it will ever be reversed.

    The only thing in its favor is the fact that other laws are all over the place in this regard. If a pregnant woman is the victim of a violent crime and, God forbid, is killed, then the killer faces two counts of homicide in many states. I do disagree with Johnson in his belief that leaving it to the states to decide is best even though I am otherwise a big states rights supporter.

    Still, if corporations can be declared “persons,” then nothing is impossible, I guess. 😉

  24. Jill Woodliff says:

    Sarah, #11,
    You assume our nation will survive for 8 yr, for 30 yr. I believe the current state of our nation to be precarious. Therefore, because I believe this to be such a dangerous moment in our history, I take a different view of not voting or voting for a third party candidate. I, quite frankly, see it as foolhardy.
    I’ve no doubt I would disagree with Romney on many things if he were elected, but I’ve also no doubt that he recognizes the gravity of the situation.

  25. Teatime2 says:

    Jill #23,
    I’m interested to know why you’ve no doubt that Romney recognizes the precariousness of our situation. I agree with you, and think that we are either on the verge of a positive revolution or utter chaos and destruction.

    If I had ANY faith that Romney understood this, I would vote for him. I see him, however, as one of the biggest political panderers in existence. There is a gulf the size of the Grand Canyon between his words and his actions but wait. His words will change to meet his personal objectives.

    I’d love to know why you see him in such a different light, if you’d care to share. The reason I am impelled to vote for Johnson is he seems to be very much aware that big changes are needed and isn’t afraid to act.

  26. Sarah says:

    RE: “Somehow I knew that objections would be raised using racial examples.”

    Yes — the two issues are extraordinarily similar.

    RE: “Rather different when trying to first establish personhood for someone who isn’t yet born ”

    Regrettably personhood *is* established for the unborn. Everybody understands that the baby is a person. It’s just been determined — both societally and legally — that it doesn’t matter that a person who is unborn will have his or her life stripped away if the mother deems it necessary to her.

    RE: “. . . It opens up a huge can of worms, which is why I highly doubt it will ever be reversed.”

    Well certainly if someone supports abortion, then yes, it does open up a huge can of worms not to allow women to choose to kill their babies.

    It opened up a huge can of worms to take away people’s property in another big issue, slavery, too. The issues are quite similar in so many ways . . .

    Again — I understand folks voting for Gary Johnson if they’re okay with abortion and think that affirming the right to life for a person, albeit unborn, is too messy. It certainly makes sense for him to be the choice and I don’t begrudge that a bit.

    RE: “You assume our nation will survive for 8 yr, for 30 yr.”

    Well, we won’t survive unscathed. We’ll survive with significantly fewer liberties — but what else is new for the past several decades!

    All I’m saying is that I believe that a permanent split in the Republican Party between conservatives and the establishment will devastate our country more than another four year term of Obama. For what that does is doom us to [i]many more decades of many more Obamas[/i] — the current party of the Democrats does not lack for Obamas — while a third party of conservatives goes through the decades of the necessary process of growing in strength.

    And the permanent split will happen, I believe, if Romney is the President and governs as his record demonstrates he will govern.

  27. Sarah says:

    Now see, now that I’ve disagreed faintly with Teatime on Gary Johnson, I’m having to agree with her comments on Romney. I also don’t see any indication that Romney recognizes the drastic changes that need to be made.

    I hear a lot of cliches and tropes and generalities, but mainly I see a guy who is willing to slow down the school bus headed towards the cliff from around 150 mph to, say, 90 mph.

    Unlike some people I know — and none of them, I think, are on this thread — I will be very happy and stunned if Romney turns out differently. I think it is as likely to happen as my revisionist bishop suddenly becoming orthodox! But I would still be thrilled.

    Still — I think Obama gets re-elected and we’ll never know, though it looks to me like the two different groups of conservatives will always have their strong opinions about what would have happened.

    I’d like to be clear, since the meat of the election season is here — I don’t hold it against anybody for deciding to take their chances on Romney — or hold it against those people who just won’t do it and think the bad consequences of his election too great.

    I recognize that legitimate conservatives can think differently about the extent of the dire consequences from either Obama’s re-election or Romney’s election and a supposed bad term in office.

    I’ve got family members who are going to vote for Romney, and others who won’t. I understand both sides. We’re just in a tough situation and everybody has to make their decisions based on their best “guesses” and analysis.

    Just saying this as I know passions will run high in the coming three months.

  28. Jill Woodliff says:

    Teatime 2. Ryan is a risky choice. He is not an unknown, and he has been a lightning rod for Democratic ire. Romney’s choice of Ryan is an indication of his understanding of the situation.

  29. tgs says:

    My goodness. What a lot of pessimism. And no, it’s not realism, it’s pessimism. If our Founding Fathers had thought as pessimistically as many of you, America would not have come into being. How about a little optimism blended with faith.

  30. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    A tangential aside, but I think Chris Christie, depending on any of his actual political ambitions, might rue the day he chose not to get involved in all this at this time, based on Ryan’s youth and charisma factor.

    #26 and I have different worldviews on some subjects, but I’m in her corner on this one. In my view, Obama was a “no” from Day 1. McCain was a lousy nominee and Romney is not much better. It remains to be seen whether or not Ryan on the ticket is an asset or a hindrance(his intelligence and long-term experience with the “system” are beneficial, IMHO). Again, good, bad or indifferent, the northeastern intellectuals/elitists are going to have a field day with catfish wrestling, etc., just as they had it with the Alaskan frontier(their problem, not mine–my problems with that particular nominee were different and way more personal than people’s likes/dislikes or the region from whence they came–talk about someone who could have had it all and/or done some good, yet instead turned most everything into an erratic, strident circus). Nitpicking those sorts of “hobbies” may have undue yet detrimental influences on swing voters. And a third-party candidate has little chance of getting elected.

    It’s a sticky mess that merits the usual watching. I can only hope that someday the pendulum swings and it rights itself somewhat before it implodes.

    But, I might not be dismayed to see less people around espousing socialism with their mouths and millionaire lifestyles with their actions–hope springs eternal on that score and others. 🙂

  31. Sarah says:

    RE: “If our Founding Fathers had thought as pessimistically as many of you, America would not have come into being.”

    And if our Founding Fathers had been Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell, America would never have even have been conceived of and instead they’d all be tiny noblemen back in England, drinking sherry and contemplating the peasants.

    ; > )

  32. AnglicanFirst says:

    “And if our Founding Fathers had been Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell, America would never have even have been conceived of and instead they’d all be tiny noblemen back in England, drinking sherry and contemplating the peasants.”

    Please provide an explanation based upon the specifics of the personalities and track records of the five personalities that you mentioned above that justifies your highly judgemental assertion.

  33. Sarah says:

    RE: “your highly judgemental assertion . . . .”

    Yes indeed it is. An assessment and a judgement and an assertion.

    RE: “Please provide an explanation . . . ”

    Why would I want to do that? To convince or persuade you of something?

    I’m not presumptious enough to try that! ; > )

  34. Ross says:

    It seems clear that by choosing Ryan, Romney is trying for a game-changing play. Whether the game changes in his favor or not remains to be seen.

    From where I’m sitting, it seems as though it’s a move more designed to appeal to conservative voters who think Romney isn’t conservative enough (although if so, and if the representatives of that group on this thread are any indication, it isn’t working) than it is to appeal to moderate voters who are still wavering between Romney and Obama.

    Liberals, of course, detest Ryan; but they weren’t going to vote for Romney in any event.

    For what it’s worth, Nate Silver, who had a pretty good record in the last election, is currently showing Obama about 70% likely to win this one… although, of course, he cautions that there’s still plenty of time for things to shift between now and November.