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Don't fear Ryan
Politico ^ | 08/09/2012 | Rich Lowry

Posted on 08/09/2012 8:09:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

If you are a Republican political consultant, you are almost professionally obliged to be shocked and appalled at the prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

With reliable reports that Ryan’s on Romney’s short-short list, the weeping and rending of garments among the Republican political class has already begun. You mean, they lament, he’s going to pick the Republican who embodies messing around with entitlements? The chairman of the House Budget Committee, for God’s sake?

Ryan is the guy political consultants see right before they wake up from a nightmare of a really bad focus group.

That the hyper-cautious Romney is seriously considering him counts as one of the biggest surprises of a campaign almost entirely lacking in them. Picking Ryan would represent a Romney revolt against conventional wisdom. And appropriately so — since the conventional wisdom is wrong.

In political terms, picking Ryan is supposedly like hanging out with the No. 2 of an Al Qaeda affiliate somewhere in the badlands of the Middle East. He’s a target. If the missiles haven’t yet taken him out, it’s only because the drone is hovering silently overhead before hurling down its bolts of death.

Ryan tops the Democratic target list for the offense of proposing serious reform of Medicare, as part of a budget that puts federal obligations on a sustainable path. It’s been a cardinal rule of Republican politics that it’s OK to talk about balancing the budget, so long as no one talks about touching the entitlements that drive the long-term debt. Ryan broke the rule.

He’s already featured in one attack ad, pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff. If he’s on the ticket, this will seem quaint.

There’s no doubt that the heart of the Ryan budget, Medicare premium support, is a major political risk. But the GOP is wedded to it. House Republicans passed the Ryan budget — twice. Romney himself endorsed it. He is already a “little bit pregnant” on Medicare reform. You don’t get to re-cross the Rubicon once you’ve boldly marched your legions to the other side. Even if you wanted to, David Axelrod would block the way.

The Democrats’ assault over Medicare will be ferocious — not to mention lowdown and dishonest. Hell, they’ve already all but accused Romney of killing someone, and they haven’t even gotten around to Medicare. When the barrage starts, Romney won’t be able to duck and cover or look at his shoes. He’ll have to win the argument — or at least hold his own.

This is the broader point. Romney has to carry the argument to President Barack Obama. The state of the economy alone isn’t enough to convince people that Romney has better ideas to create jobs. Neither is his résumé. Romney needs to make the case for his program, and perhaps no one is better suited to contribute to this effort than Ryan.

Ryan is an ideologue in the best sense of the term. He is motivated by ideas and knows what he believes and why. But he’s not blinkered. He is an explainer and a persuader.

Before there was a House-passed Ryan budget, there was Ryan meeting with Republican freshmen, walking them through the numbers and convincing them that true fiscal restraint was impossible without addressing entitlements. When the House took up and passed his budget, there was Ryan plugging for it — as comfortable with Charlie Rose as Rush Limbaugh.

On top of Medicare, worried Republicans fear Romney becoming too identified with House Republicans. But anyone looking at Ryan for two minutes will realize he runs completely counter to the stereotype of the wild-eyed, bomb-throwing House Republican. He is invariably civil, sure-footed and good-natured. He never loses his cool, even under extreme provocation. If anything, he is over-earnest.

The debate would not become all about the budget, as some anxious Republicans fear. At least not for the duration of the campaign. The economy remains the biggest issue, and Ryan has always been clear that his budget is best understood as a tool of economic growth rather than an expression of austerity. He is, at heart, still the protégé of Jack Kemp, his sunny, growth-obsessed political mentor.

The idea that Ryan is too important to steal away from the House Budget Committee is also a misapprehension. He’s done his work there. Now, anyone else can take up the template.

At the end of the day, Ryan is not such an odd match for Romney. It would be characteristic for Romney to consider his VP choice as an employment decision. And characteristic for him to hire a wonky young talent. If Ryan had been into finance instead of politics back in the 1990s, you could easily see Romney picking him up for Bain Capital.

Romney is, at bottom, a data-driven technocrat. The question has always been whether he wants to bring that skill to managing the federal government — or transforming it. If he chooses Ryan, the answer is inarguably transforming it.

Ryan would be Romney’s adjutant in the most consequential turnaround operation of the former Massachusetts governor’s career.

Romney has other worthy VP options that don’t provoke such agita. Overly safe is its own risk, though. Tim Pawlenty would offend no one, but might create a VP letdown in the party. Rob Portman is highly capable but is a former Bush official at a time when the Obama campaign is eager to define Romney as Bush redux.

Ryan would inject a jolt of energy into the campaign and reorient the debate around policy. The Romney campaign doesn’t have to be reckless. It does have to have a pulse. It doesn’t have to commit ideological hari-kari. It does have to have an unmistakable substantive content.

At times over the past few months, it has seemed that the Romney campaign has embarked on audacious experiment to see if it’s possible to run a presidential campaign devoid of real interest.

With the choice of Ryan, that would change in an instant.

-- Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: paulryan; vicepresident; vp

1 posted on 08/09/2012 8:09:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I agree with Ryan completely on entitlement reform, but he would be a bad choice politically in a national race. Lowry is just mistaken here. And I like Lowry, too.


2 posted on 08/09/2012 8:12:45 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: SeekAndFind

I believe it is Ryan, maybe announced today or tomorrow.


3 posted on 08/09/2012 8:13:22 AM PDT by Perdogg (Let's leave reading things in the Constitution that aren't there to liberals and Dems)
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To: SeekAndFind

I would respect a Ryan pick.


4 posted on 08/09/2012 8:15:52 AM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: SeekAndFind
Yep, Ryan is my first choice, (though I would love to see Chris Christie debate Joe Biden just for the comedy value...)
5 posted on 08/09/2012 8:17:58 AM PDT by apillar
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To: Perdogg
If he picks someone other than Paul Ryan, we will still hear this littany of "throwning grandma out in the cold, starving children, yada yada yada."

It makes no damn difference to the Marxist party and their enemedia cheerleaders.

Paul Ryan has a compelling life story. He grew up poor. Nobody handed him anything. He is not only good with details, he is excellent. The only rap on him is that he's a white guy.

The GOP could do one hell of a lot worse.

6 posted on 08/09/2012 8:20:18 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: MestaMachine; DarthVader

Gov Bob McDonnell of Virginia would be a 1000 X better selection for 1000 reasons.


7 posted on 08/09/2012 8:22:10 AM PDT by kingattax (99 % of liberals give the rest a bad name)
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To: SeekAndFind

I love Paul Ryan, although I hate to lose him in the House.

Romney/Ryan has a nice ring to it, although I’d like Ryan/Romney even better!


8 posted on 08/09/2012 8:22:56 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (ABO)
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To: SeekAndFind

I would be pleasantly surprised if Romney picked Ryan. It's a little less bold than a Palin-esque selection. It's a little safer for the establishment. But even so, I'm not sure Romney has it in him to pick a budget-cutter for a running mate. They're not exactly 'birds of a feather'.


9 posted on 08/09/2012 8:23:23 AM PDT by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
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To: SeekAndFind
I wasn't going to vote for Romney anyway.

But Ryan wouldn't help him either. I think we can balance the budget without touching entitlements. We need more and better audits and controls to weed out fraud, but no arbitrary cuts in entitlements.

The main thing we need to do to balance the budgets is create jobs. And that can be done with import tariffs, closing the border to new workers, expelling the ones that are here illegally, and completely removing regulations on small employers.

Trying to balance the budget without addressing the economy is ridiculous.

10 posted on 08/09/2012 8:24:41 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: SeekAndFind
I wasn't going to vote for Romney anyway.

But Ryan wouldn't help him either. I think we can balance the budget without touching entitlements. We need more and better audits and controls to weed out fraud, but no arbitrary cuts in entitlements.

The main thing we need to do to balance the budgets is create jobs. And that can be done with import tariffs, closing the border to new workers, expelling the ones that are here illegally, and completely removing regulations on small employers.

Trying to balance the budget without addressing the economy is ridiculous.

11 posted on 08/09/2012 8:24:55 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Perdogg

I really hope he is picked. He would help destroy the myth that the GOP has no budget plans. Dingy Harry keeps deep sixing everyone sent to him! People are unaware of this.


12 posted on 08/09/2012 8:24:59 AM PDT by RightLady (Take out the trash the first Tues after the first Monday in Nov)
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To: MestaMachine; kingattax

I would like to Ryan as Speaker of the House and Bob McDonnel as VP.


13 posted on 08/09/2012 8:25:28 AM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: SeekAndFind

I would love to see Ryan, an articulate spokesman for conservatism, contrasted with dullards like Portman or Pawlenty.

I also think it’s high time that we start looking to the House of Representatives for leadership instead of senators, who think of themselves as ruling aristocrats. A former chairman of a House committee as head of the Senate. It will drive them nuts! And a true conservative no less. Move over McConnell, Ryan is the PRESIDENT of the senate. You’re just the majority leader.

Yes, I’m all for Ryan!


14 posted on 08/09/2012 8:27:15 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: SeekAndFind

I hope Romney pick Ryan, but I doubt he has the courage to pick someone like that. I think he will pick a dull mushy wuss like himself. I think Romney is going to be a disappointment to conservatives in almost everything he does. I hope I am wrong.


15 posted on 08/09/2012 8:29:17 AM PDT by Reddon
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To: SeekAndFind; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; NFHale; Impy; ...
RE :”Ryan would inject a jolt of energy into the campaign and reorient the debate around policy.

????

Ryan has shown himself to be nothing special and he didn't go far in selling his ‘plan’ (it wasn't a real bill as he pointed out many times on the defensive) when he got House Republicans to vote for it. He started saying ‘its only a idea to start the conversation, not a real bill’ to defend himself

Ryan did join Pelosi, Boehner, McConnell, Obama in voting for the debt limit deficit reduction bill, the one that the same Republicans are now calling the doomsday budget cuts and and trying to repeal. This was a real accomplishment passed into law that they braggged about and now they disown it claiming it's all Obama's.

I personally think the whole thing was a non-serious scam to hold off primary challenges.

Ryan is not especially charismatic either.

16 posted on 08/09/2012 8:30:45 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: SeekAndFind
I've been in Ryan's corner from the get-go.

The WSJ has an excellent and insightful lead editorial on why Ryan, btw.

This looks pretty good, doesn't it?...

ROMNEY/RYAN!

.

17 posted on 08/09/2012 8:32:27 AM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: SeekAndFind; mickie; flaglady47; seekthetruth; seenenuf; Chigirl 26
For lo, these many months, I've been touting Ryan on this forum as the best candidate for Veep....and I've been posting a multitude of extremely positive reasons for his selection that I won't re-enumerate here.

Needless to say, if Romney is as politically-astute and intelligent as I, he will choose Ryan, LOL......and I think he will!

Leni

18 posted on 08/09/2012 8:38:03 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: sickoflibs
I've never been impressed with Ryan.

-Supported TARP
-Auto Bailouts
-Medicare Plan D
-Every Bush budget, no cuts
-No Child Left Behind
-And, his 'plan' increases the budget and his 'cuts' aren't deep enough

19 posted on 08/09/2012 8:38:17 AM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: DarthVader; kingattax

I said I could respect a Ryan pick...not the same as choosing Ryan myself.


20 posted on 08/09/2012 8:39:03 AM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: DannyTN

“I think we can balance the budget without touching entitlements.”

No, the current set up of “entitlements” creates long-term structural imbalance in the budget that CANNOT be rectified through other means. “Entitlements” must be addressed or we are going to go bankrupt, just like Greece.

And this is the hard part for everyone to accept; EVERYONE must give up something in order to make it work. NO ONE can be exempt, because once you start making exemptions, then you wind up reforming nothing.

Some “entitlements” need (social security) to be tweaked, others (welfare) gutted. But unless you accept the premise of making some significant changes AND sacrfices, we are just wasting our time. Might as well party until the crash.


21 posted on 08/09/2012 8:41:55 AM PDT by henkster (We're the slaves of the phony leaders...)
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To: DannyTN

Well you’re wrong in every part of your post, so at least you’re consistent.


22 posted on 08/09/2012 8:50:33 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: SeekAndFind

If the options are Ryan, Portman, Pawlenty or Christie, I’m all in for Ryan.


23 posted on 08/09/2012 8:52:16 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind

That is precisely why Romney won’t pick Ryan. I’m afraid Willard is a candidate who thinks he can manage the welfare state better than the Democrats. And not that he wants to destroy it. The Mittster is trying very hard not to appear to be one of those awful Tea Party types who believe in the constitution and limited government. So we’ve got Mitt The Bland as our candidate. I’m prepared to eat crow if he picks Ryan. But I don’t think I’ll be wrong. (Where’s that bottle of ketchup?)


24 posted on 08/09/2012 8:58:18 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: SeekAndFind

Best of the four, if you count Krispy Kreme.


25 posted on 08/09/2012 8:59:05 AM PDT by Sybeck1
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To: Theoria; stephenjohnbanker; IbJensen; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; Impy
RE:”I've never been impressed with Ryan.
-Supported TARP
-Auto Bailouts
-Medicare Plan D
-Every Bush budget, no cuts
-No Child Left Behind
-And, his ‘plan’ increases the budget and his ‘cuts’ aren't deep enough

Good list. His master is the party, not principle. Only the blind miss that.

I was very critical of his medicare ‘idea’ ‘proposal’. There were a number of things wrong with it and I could see early on that it was never serious anyway.

How are you going to sell a plan that promises all Seniors born before a certain date that they get the full golden medicare benefits that are given now, with zero cuts, and the rest born after a certain date are pretty much on their own to find a private insurer? Talk about high risk pools/

Then the defense was that that splitting of Americans was necessary to ‘get it passed’. Hell, only those over that magic age ~ 55 vote?? How could that possibly sell?

There was no real bill, nothing ‘passed’, Ryan convinced no one, in fact a Romney POTUS led Republican party congress would never write a bill like that symbolic one they all voted for. Nor would any Republican POTUS congress that had to run for re-election. The whole thing was a scam.

26 posted on 08/09/2012 9:06:02 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: SeekAndFind
Would you like to know what these threads are teaching me? I have learned that the gop/e do not believe that we are on a path to economic destruction... that they do not want to shrink government or roll back unaffordable feral programs... they want to continue the path to communism... they just want to rule over the collective and control it themselves. They are also convinced that America needs to become a failed European styled socialist experiment... a putrid Petri Dish of failure.

LLS

27 posted on 08/09/2012 9:09:32 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Don't Tread On Me)
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To: SeekAndFind

Romney/Ryan sounds good, but Romney/Rubio sounds better. This is a race mostly about demographics. Romney has the white male vote, and needs to appeal to either Hispanics or women much better than he currently does. If he picks Rubio or Martinez he grabs a lot more votes than he would by selecting a wonky white guy, and this type of VP pick more greatly neuters the rabidly leftist media. Like it or not, Hispanics and women will greatly decide this election and many more to come, so it’s high time for the GOP to get ahead of the curve.


28 posted on 08/09/2012 9:44:38 AM PDT by BlueStateRightist
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To: MestaMachine; kingattax

So do we respect the idea and Ryan is not a bad choice at all. We just think the other option is better because Ryan can provide fresh new leadership in the House which is greatly needed. McDonnel as the VP is a great choice because he is a good Gov with solid executive experience


29 posted on 08/09/2012 9:49:12 AM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: SeekAndFind

I will be most happy if Ryan is chosen, over all of the other front runners. Forty two, three kids, Catholic, sounds great to me. One odd, sinister item about him from Wiki, his great grandfather died at 59, his grandfather at 57, and his father at 55, all heart attacks....


30 posted on 08/09/2012 10:08:33 AM PDT by matthew fuller (They'll have to pry my gun, my bible, and my chikin from my cold dead fingers.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The Democrats’ assault over Medicare will be ferocious — not to mention lowdown and dishonest. Hell, they’ve already all but accused Romney of killing someone, and they haven’t even gotten around to Medicare. When the barrage starts, Romney won’t be able to duck and cover or look at his shoes. He’ll have to win the argument — or at least hold his own.

This is what I think Sarah Palin would handle well. She took on the political establishment in Alaska with a "Make my day!" approach ... and WON!

31 posted on 08/09/2012 10:27:09 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: Theoria; sickoflibs; stephenjohnbanker; IbJensen; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; DoughtyOne; ...

” I’ve never been impressed with Ryan.

-Supported TARP
-Auto Bailouts
-Medicare Plan D
-Every Bush budget, no cuts
-No Child Left Behind
-And, his ‘plan’ increases the budget and his ‘cuts’ aren’t deep enough “

Ryan hasn’t shown anything, or proved anything....except that he has voted for TARP. Medicare Plan D, and “No Union Teacher Left Unfunded”.

By the way, it’s easy to advocate something you KNOW your own party won’t vote for : )


32 posted on 08/09/2012 12:20:33 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: DarthVader; MestaMachine
So do we respect the idea and Ryan is not a bad choice at all. We just think the other option is better because Ryan can provide fresh new leadership in the House which is greatly needed. McDonnel as the VP is a great choice because he is a good Gov with solid executive experience

+1

33 posted on 08/09/2012 4:48:20 PM PDT by kingattax (99 % of liberals give the rest a bad name)
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