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Ryan Chosen As Mitt Romney’s Running Mate

August 12, 2012

August 11, 2012, John Dickerson, Slate, ‘Rejoice! It’s Ryan!’ – covers how Romney picked Ryan at the will of the conservative base; he’s an injection of energy, not a complement or a new stance. Some Republicans are nervous that it will shift talking points to Ryan’s widely touted views on Medicare. Will likely create the vote between Obama and Romney as between two different choices, rather than a referendum on Obama, which could play to the President’s favour. Ryan also lacks executive experience, but has the image of being heavy with detail – a policy wonk, with detailed plans. Given Romney’s vagueness, it’s hard to tell how this will end.

May 3, 2012, Matthew Yglesias, Slate, ‘Why Everyone Thinks Everyone Else Has Gone Bonkers’ – terrible article, demonstrates perfectly how the mainstream media doesn’t analyse what’s actually in the Ryan plan, comparing “radical liberals” who actually look at the facts with “radical conservatives”, whose ideas are not formed on any rational belief but from corporate influence – these two ‘divergent lines’ are both slanted clearly to the right. Praises the Simpson-Bowles plan which again, would cut Medicare and Social Security greatly. Terrible, terrible article.

Coupled with a decent article here (August 11, 2012) about how Romney appears to be taking a more ideological line by choosing Ryan – instead of running as Mr Fix-it, which inherently concedes that Romney doesn’t think he can win by challenging Obama’s record alone.

August, 11, 2012, Emily Bazelon, ‘Did Romney Just Give Away Florida?’ Slate – Notes how Paul Ryan is very much associated with the notion of privatising Social Security and cutting Medicare and Medicaid. Although his plan would not affect people who are currently over 55, it is unpopular with senior citizens, 17% of Florida’s population, and has polled at over 50% opposition to the proposals.  Rubio would have been a better pick for Florida, giving Romney a 2% bump if chosen.

August 12, 2012, Thomas Schaller, ‘Ryan Pick in 5 Easy Steps’, Salon.com – Lists five reasons why Romney went for Ryan:

1) He’s a safe pick, not an ethnic minority, a seven-term congressman who has some experience, congruous with Romney’s general safe and reliable image he has been trying to present.

2) Romney is relying on motivating his base to turnout, not attempting to swing voters – the election of 2010, not 2008.

3) Ryan is like Romney: a plutocrat, a “Koch Republican”, whose budget plan will cut taxes for the rich and destroy Medicare and privatise Social Security – Romney is attempting to win through divide and conquer means, which will potentially involve racially tinged attacks (there have been many already, most recently the attacks on Obama and welfare, with the title “Obama isn’t working”) amongst another generationally fuelled politics.

4) The complete lack of foreign policy experience is irrelevant, so Romney has played to his biggest strength by choosing Ryan, who is embodies the party’s fiscal vision, as this election looks like it will only be about domestic economic matters.

5) The GOP is currently dominated by its House representation – the Presidential wing is weaker than it has been for many decades, and the House is where most of the power and representation lies. It would be foolish of Romney to ignore the power base of the party, or at least this represents an almost complete transformation.

Pretty reasonable, explains why Romney went that way. We will have to see where it takes the him, the Republican Party and the election as a whole.

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