Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines. It's Paul Ryan.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines.  It's Paul Ryan.

After weeks of speculation about which U.S. Senator or Governor would be picked as Mitt Romney's running mate, ol' Mitt turned the tables and surprised (almost) everyone by picking Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Ryan, of course, is a lightning rod. Someone that would be relatively unknown except that Democrats have been pushing him into the spotlight -- an argument made by Ezra Klein (who in turn cites Ryan Lizza):

It’s worth recalling how Ryan became a semi-household name. It wasn’t a Republican strategy to put him forward. As Ryan Lizza recounts in his New Yorker profile of Ryan, it was a Democratic strategy to put Ryan forward. Ryan, he writes, “was caught between the demands of the Republican leaders, who wanted nothing to do with his Roadmap, and his own belief that the Party had to offer a sweeping alternative vision to Obama’s. Ryan soon had an unlikely ally, in Obama himself.” While Republicans were trying to keep Ryan quiet, the Obama administration was trying to make him famous. They saw his plans as the clearest distillation of the GOP’s governing philosophy — and they thought it would drive voters towards the Democrats. We’ll know in November whether that was a genius strategy or an epic miscalculation.

We know that Paul Ryan will energize the Tea Party base. We know that Paul Ryan will energize the progressive base. The question is - what will be the net effect?

Brilliant move by Romney? Or a disaster? Discuss.

I'll have the results of the Punditology Veepstakes contest later this weekend.


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    Brilliant move. Maybe now the campaign staff for Obama/Biden will concentrate on policy and political philosophy instead of lies about Bain and who paid taxes when.

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        Thanks Bill for brilliantly making my point.

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          What exactly is your point?

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          And what exactly is your point about taxes? Romney refuses to be transparent, so it is hard for him to prove any lies about his taxes, since he has offered no evidence to refute what people are saying. And mostly folks are asking him to release his taxes. It's a vicious cycle for the Romneybot. Poor Mitt. Sniff

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      One does wonder what is meant by referring to lies about Bain. For instance, does that mean that you claim that it is a lie that Bain received forty percent of its start up funds from El Salvadore oligarchs that Willard Romney met with in Miami? Do you maintain that it is a lie that the Death Squads in El Salvadore were funded by the same people? Do you maintain that it is a lie that Bain averaged an annual growth rate of 88%? Do you recall the freedom fighters, Iran Contra and cocaine trafficing?

      Seriously, the home self labotomy kits seem to have worked fine. I threw mine away. You seem to have used yours completely.

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    It looks to me that the RW forced Paul Ryan on BainMitt. Announcement is a Fri. night news dump on the Olympics finale.

    Written statement makes point that there are "differences" between Mittster and Romney. RW can lead a "dump Romney" move at convention if he doesn't comply. Lovely move for Dems to talk about Medicare and SS privatization every day of the campaign when other GOP are running against Ryan plan for Medicare. And of course Ryan's Roman Catholic constituency will enjoy seeing the Youtube videos of Ryan's adoration of atheist Ayn Rand as the source of his inspiration: And his running against Pope Benedict on "inalienable right" to healthcare guaranteed by govt:

    Some believe Paul Ryan may now be the scapegoat for the inevitable loss coming for Romney:

    Team Obama calls "a gift", and they're right:

    Joe Biden will shred this youngster in the eyes of seniors, on Medicare and Soc. Sec.

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    GWB gives his ringing endorsement for this "brilliant move" sort of like GWB's decision to invade Iraq.

    And PBO gets his target:

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    It looks like WI has a nomination rule similar to Oregon, that you can only run for one office at a time. Obama narrowly took WI-1 in 2008 and even after redistricting its only slightly Republican, so that might be a House pickup.

    Also, The New Yorker just ran this week a long story about Paul Ryan, worth reading as background

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      Nope, WI has a favorite son rule like TX and CT that makes an exception for vice president. Ryan will remain on the ballot for Congress.

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    The noise from the IE Pacs on the right will be more in synch with Ryan than Romney, and I think it will make Romney look weaker and more lacking in substance than he already seems. I have never seen a vp candidate win an election, only lose them. That said, Ryan appears smarter and far more dangerous than the R's last vp candidate, and this will drive even more Koch-like money into this cycle.

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    This choice has four likely consequences: 1) it will be a short-term gain for Romney because the Right (and Tea Party) like Ryan; 2) it crystalizes the policy choices for Americans - and takes the focus off of Obama's record - turning it to a question of competence governing and likability (which is what Obama wanted); 3) it helps make Obama's reelection more likely; and 4) it puts added pressure on the Congressional/Senate Democratic challengers because it keeps many of the Tea Party people engaged in Republican outcomes. Overall a mixed blessing: Obama in the White House, perhaps at least as many (or more) Republican/Tea Party Congresspeople, and perhaps a harder slog for the Democrats in the Senate to keep a working majority. In the end, Romney served the interests of his party more than himself, and it will make winning the White House much harder. His move energized both bases, and made voting Republican more "risky" for Independents that objectively compare partisan agendas. Should be a hoot to watch...

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    This choice makes for a great platform for the GOP: More tax breaks for Mitt and friends, Privatize Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Winning agenda!

    David Frum, of the semi-rational caucus of the GOP in last night's tweet: davidfrum ‏@davidfrum "If Ryan, Republicans have converted what ought to be an easy win for the out party into the biggest gamble since 1964."

    and this: "You're counting on Medicare. Under Romney's plan, you'll get a voucher that will pay half yr costs at 65 - and maybe 1/4 at 85."

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    It's a splendid pairing. Ryan is Mitt's mirror image in many ways--both live in the same bubble of privilege. But Mitt at least tries to be covert about it while Ryan blurts it all out in his budget plan, original and revised, based on his favorite Ayn Rand novels. Will blurt or covert win out in their campaign plan?

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    Once again, ever since the '80s, it's the same old, same old: the GOP is so goddamned vile that they make the Dems look good by comparison. And so we hook our wagon to the stars of expediency, neoliberalism and triangulation (which do look good in comparison).

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    See, exactly as I predicted: Kelly Ayotte. For my next trick...

    As to the choice of Ryan. From a purely cold-blooded point of view, it's not a terrible choice. By choosing Ryan, Romney acknowledges that he's currently losing. (You don't "shake things up" when you're out in front.) Rather than give up the fight, he's going to make the election about a clear vision between competing ideologies. Ryan is smart, articulate, comparatively likable, and injects a bit of passion into a previously bloodless ticket. He's no Sarah Palin.

    I find it interesting that since Reagan, all the GOP veep selections have been more interesting than the top of the ticket. Bush senior chose Quayle to spice things up in much the manner McCain chose Palin (and it shows you how interesting Palin was that she outshone a pretty vibrant character in John McCain). Dole chose Kemp. Bush, a cipher out of his depth from the start, chose Darth Vader. And now Romney has chosen Ryan.

    I would have preferred one of those anonymous white midwesterners personally, but if team blue wins, it now means something.

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    Today the GOP based its governing philosophy on anti-religionist atheist, writer of bad fiction, Ayn Rand. This election will be about Ayn Rand's philosophy of govt. and the religionist clowns who espouse it.

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    "Paul Ryan's Collaboration With Ron Wyden Sure To Factor Into 2012 Debate"

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    I just noticed that Ryan has not yet announced that he's opting out of his rerun for his House seat. If he also runs for his House seat it will be a good indicator of how he feels the chances are for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

    Except for a few months in the Ryan family business for resume padding, as noted in the Aug. 6 New Yorker profile, as an adult Ryan has never worked in the private sector and he surely has no intention of looking for a job after the ticket loses in Nov. And so I assume he'll rerun for his present seat--

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    Democracy Corps did a study of voter response to the Ryan Budget. They found when voters know the Ryan Budget then Obama's lead doubles. Guess what the 2012 election will be about?

    The Miami Herald headlines: "Romney Choice of Ryan Could Hurt Him in Florida"

    A choice his advisors didn't want him to make:

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