One thing is certain: for the second election in a row, the Republican presidential nominee’s vice presidential selection is making huge waves, on both the right and the left. The Democrats see the selection of Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI 1) as a real target, a chance to try to attack former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) on the austerity program, while Republican conservatives are energized with the selection of someone who will lock in the economic conservative positions.
Earlier today some Democrat was on Fox News – I think it was Doug Schoen – and he basically said that seniors aren’t really interested in making any financial sacrifices so their children and grandchildren can have a brighter future. I thought it was kind of an odd thing to say, it certainly doesn’t pertain to most people I know.
Well, it looks like Schoen had it wrong. Hot Air highlighted a Rasmussen poll from a month or so ago that had some interesting findings. One of them is that the Democrats’ claims that Ryan would “throw grandma over a cliff” meme didn’t work. Ryan happens to be pretty popular with American seniors.
For even more counterintuitive results, look at Ryan’s standing among seniors. Despite the attacks on Ryan over his budget plan, he’s easily the most liked of the short-listers among likely voters 65 years of age and over, with a 52/29 favorability rating. His “very favorable” rating of 31% in the 65+ group is more than 10 points better than the other shortlisters in the Rasmussen survey (again, save Rice). Jindal did well, too, with a 44/28, as did Pawlenty with a 40/30 and Portman at 37/26, but Ryan’s draw among seniors outpaced all of them. Ryan has plenty of room to be defined in either direction with 35% of voters overall not having an opinion, but that’s only true of 20% of seniors — and Ryan already has a majority of them on his side.
More at the link.
From Allahpundit on Hot Air:
Has there ever been a campaign that went, literally overnight, from being about nothing to leaping neck-deep into the most treacherous, dangerous issue in American politics? Until last night, I thought Romney was running for president because he wanted to be president, full stop. Everything about him suggested personal ambition over vision — the endless flip-flops, the extreme caution on the trail, the negative-ad carpet-bombing of Gingrich and Santorum in the primaries. Then I wake up this morning and find he’s made the boldest move on entitlement reform in modern U.S. history, all but gambling his candidacy on the public’s ability to not only see through Democratic Mediscare smears but to embrace a reform agenda. I don’t know how to process it. I respect Romney tremendously for it, but it just doesn’t compute. It’s like watching C-3PO lead the raid on the Death Star.
I’ve seen a dozen posts online this morning marveling at how he’s now abandoned his “referendum” approach to the election — i.e. “vote for me because Obama’s terrible” — in favor of a “choice” approach, but that doesn’t remotely capture the boldness of this shift. It’s not just that he’s given Obama his wish by making the election a clear choice, it’s that he’s made it a choice about the most momentous, fraught domestic policy dilemma the country’s faced in ages. Amazing. Awesome. Baffling. As someone on Twitter said this morning, imagine John Kerry in August 2004 suddenly deciding he’d had enough of attacking Bush on Iraq and that it was time to make the election a battle over whether the U.S. should have single-payer health care. This is sort of like that.
I would have voted for Ryan for president if he had run so, as you might expect, I like the pick. To me, it’s a “clear conscience” selection: We’re going to own our agenda, let our very best salesman make the pitch on the biggest possible stage, and have the country decide. If they want to send The One back for a second term knowing that the consequences are a near-term fiscal meltdown, hey, that’s democracy. At least, for once, they’ll have made a fully informed choice on this issue; if the electorate prefers the $15 Trillion-Dollar Man’s “vision” on how to solve this existential problem to Paul Ryan’s, I prefer to have a clear statement at the polls to that effect. William Saletan is almost giddy over Ryan’s selection, not because he thinks it’s a sure winner for Democrats but because we’re finally guaranteed a meaningful argument on a matter of deepest consequence by a guy who can make it better than anyone else:
Ryan refutes the Democratic Party’s bogus arguments. He knows that our domestic spending trajectory is unsustainable and that liberals who fail to get it under control are leading their constituents over a cliff, just like in Europe. Eventually, you can’t borrow enough money to make good on your promises, and everyone’s screwed. Ryan understands that the longer we ignore the debt crisis and postpone serious budget cuts—the liberal equivalent of denying global warming—the more painful the reckoning will be. There’s nothing compassionate about that kind of irresponsibility.
Maybe, like me, you were raised in a liberal household. You don’t agree with conservative ideas on social or foreign policy. But this is why God made Republicans: to force a reality check when Democrats overpromise and overspend…
Screw the polls. Republicans will be on the right side of the spending debate. They’ll be on the right side of the substance debate, too. Instead of bickering about Romney’s tax returns and repeating the obvious but unhelpful observation that the unemployment rate sucks, we’ll actually have to debate serious problems and solutions. That’s great for the country.
Allah is worried that by giving the United States a “choice” election, Mr Romney has somehow weakened his campaign. But 2010 wasn’t so long ago, and Republican congressional candidates gave Americans a “choice” election, and the results were that the voters took the right choices. Mr Romney has gone from making this a “vote for me because Obama has failed” election to a “vote for me because Obama has failed, and this is what we will do differently that will work” election.
The conservative message worked well in 2010: Republicans told Americans that they were going to do everything they could to cut spending, and the voters approved their message. The independent voters who were, unfortunately, snookered by the vague “hope” and “change” promises of Barack Obama, appeared to appreciate candidates who told the voters, forthrightly, just what changes they wanted to make.
We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.
That last would be a nice change, wouldn’t it?
Ryan is right to point out that this is not just a battle over economic records, but of ideas — on the nature of the economy, the relation between citizen and government, and the very essence of America, herself. Obama himself has opened the door several times to making this a battle not just about the economy (though his record there is awful enough), but about ideas and ideology, about a choice between being a growing, vigorous United States populated by freeborn citizens, or being a senile, declining “North American Europe,” populated by wards of the state.
The choice is clear, and it’s ours.
LINKS: Twitchy has some fun with liberals who are busy pointing out something shocking — Paul Ryan is a White male!! *gasp!* The horror… Speculation on how Joe Biden is taking the news. Is this the speech that won Paul Ryan the VP nod? The first of the Romney-Ryan ads. It’s a good one. James Pethokoukis thinks Romney-Ryan would complete the Reagan Revolution. Erika Johnsen thinks Ryan is ready for his close up and provides great moments of the congressman taking down President Obama and
Treasury SecretaryTax Cheat Geithner. Roger L. Simon calls it “Romney’s Gutsy Choice.”
PS: ST has announced she will be at the Romney-Ryan Charlotte event tomorrow. Expect photo ops with both men.
Donald Douglas had a brief one:
For his veep selection, on Facebook:
Congratulations to Mitt Romney on his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. President Obama has declared that this election is about “two fundamentally different visions” for America. Goodness, he’s got that right. Our country cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama’s fundamentally flawed vision. We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternate vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans.
The Ryan selection will energize many of the demoralized TEA Party Commonsense Constitutional Conservatives, who will now be willing to “crawl a mile through broken glass” to vote for Ryan and will man the phones and pound the pavement to GOTV (get out the vote) for the Real Conservative and Real Patriot, Paul Ryan for Vice President. Yes, today, Romney’s chances of winning the Presidency and throwing the Socialist Constitution and Federal Law violator out of the White House has improved greatly.
I said I would not vote for Romney and gave my very specific reasons. Now, I gave evidence for some of my reasons on Patterico’s Pontifications previously (I completely forget which thread) and Daleyrocks provided information that counters my information, causing doubt in my position on that issue. Let me give a couple general reasons for my position (which Daleyrocks helped to waver):
- If you cannot get the baby-murdering issue right, what morally imperative issue can you get right?
- If you cannot even counterfeit a Bell Curve Tenther position well enough to hoodwink Tenthers — greater amperage of fail with his very recent arm-twisting of Republicans to vote to give the President authority to appoint without Senate approval nearly 200 more Government positions which were previously “nominate and Senate advise and consent” positions — why should any Constitutionalist vote for you?
Paul Ryan could be a reason. There isn’t much better than Paul Ryan. Of my 5 endorsements, 2 are clearly better (Palin and West), 1 is possibly better (Cruz) and the other two are likely equal (Love and Radtke). But a Paul Ryan is a rare find. The 50-karat blue diamond.
If I vote Republican and not Third Party this cycle, it will be just like last time. I will vote for Paul Ryan just like I voted for Sarah Palin. I will not vote for Mitt Romney, just like I did not vote for John McShame.
I knew of Mr Hitchcock’s disdain of Governor Romney; that the selection of Representative Ryan could influence him to change his mind bodes well for a lot of other I’ll-hold-my-nose-and-vote-for-Romney conservatives out there, the ones who really, really despised what President Obama and his policies have done to this country, but who were only going to vote for Mr Romney because he wasn’t Barack Obama; this is the kind of energy the Romney campaign needs now, this is the kind of energy that the 2010 TEA Party campaigns had that delivered victory. And as Karen pointed out, in her article linked above, the selection of Paul Ryan led to a surge of contributions to the Romney-Ryan campaign:
— Andrea Saul (@andreamsaul) August 11, 2012
Sister Toldjah is heading for the Romney-Ryan campaign event in Charlotte, and the highways are jammed, and so is the event:
Nuts! Hope I can get in! twitpic.com/aiiibh
— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) August 12, 2012
That’s Sis’ twitpic of the crowd on the left; click to embiggen. Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) carried North Carolina by the barest of margins in 2008; it looks like the Ryan selection is energizing the Tarheels, and Sis’ home state will be solidly red1 this November!
Foxfier was “DELIGHTED” to hear the news of Mr Ryan’s selection. Hube, on the other hand, was not:
I admit I am not exactly thrilled by this choice. Ryan is smart as a whip, no doubt. But where is the charisma factor? I don’t see it. Romney, who’s not exactly exciting himself, needed someone, well, who is. Paul Ryan is not that guy. Personally, I was a Marco Rubio fan.
Perhaps Romney was afraid of the “Palin Factor” — that “going outside the box” would have the same results that John McCain ended up with. I dunno. At any rate, Pollster Scott Rasmussen tweets: “Romney must feel he’s weathered the Obama attacks pretty well if he’s willing to go with Ryan.”
Earlier polling found that 39% of all voters had a favorable opinion of Ryan, while 25% offered a negative review. Thirty-five percent (35%) express no opinion of Ryan. The congressman is relatively unknown to the nation at large. Only a third of voters have a strong opinion in either direction.
Well, let’s see what happens!
Yeah, I guess that we will.
This election isn’t in the bag for anyone yet, and Mr Romney didn’t make a “safe” choice. But he’s the challenger, and the underdog, and safe choices aren’t always winning choices. The Republicans need to come out fighting, and with Paul Ryan they have a chance to actually fight for this election.
- I remember when red was the color associated with the Communists; how the heck did red get to be the color used on the election maps for Republicans? ↩