Romney, Ryan and the Election
First, let me say that it has been nice relaxing and enjoying the summer with the kids. Over the next few weeks, I should be back up and running on the blog - there is plenty to talk about with the Bears and the election.
So Paul Ryan became the VP pick for Romney. Terrible choice. I will say this - Ryan is a straight shooter and at least we know what he is. He doesn't care about deficits - he is a true believer in trickle down supply side economics and believes that things will get better if you just give rich people more money. Even if it were true - and there is no evidence to suggest that this works, it is hard to see how that will work with an electorate that is already suspect of Romney's wealth and perceived snobbish elitism.
If Romney had picked Marco Rubio, I would say he was bold and he picked well. Rubio is a tea party favorite, so he could excite the base, but he also would really help in the battleground state of Florida and with Hispanics across the country.
Instead, Romney chose Ryan and basically flushed away Florida, and probably will now end up losing Iowa. Forget about making Pennsylvania a battleground state. These three states are critical for Romney to win - along with Ohio and Virginia. Ryan's goal of making Medicare a voucher program and his desire to dismantle Social Security by making it an individual retirement account program has largely ensured that Florida, Iowa, and Pennsylvania are lost because of their high numbers of older workers. I don't see how Ryan helps in Virginia or in Ohio with their large blocks of older folks either.
This ends up being a pick that will somewhat energize the conservative base over the next few weeks, but it doesn't do anything to bring over independents or conservative Dems. It is just like the lunacy of picking Palin four years ago. That choice destroyed John McCain.
There is still a lot that can happen, but I am utterly perplexed by the choice of Ryan. Now Romney is going to have to explain how he disagrees with many elements of Ryan's proposed economic blueprints. It is going to take him off-message and require him to play defense. On top of that, it will further make clear that the Republican ticket is for rich folks. That is just not a winning formula this election cycle.