So Mitt Romney has made his choice, and it is Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. At least its not Sarah Palin. But it may turn out to be as disasterous.
As you’ve probably guessed, I”m not a fan of Romney. I’m not totally enamored of how Obama has done, but in general my positions mesh more with his policies than with Romney’s, especially with regard to social positions. Obama, in general, has tried to do the right thing, only to have it stymied or mucked up by the various factions in Congress — most notably the Tea Party faction.
Romney clearly picked Ryan to appeal to this faction. He wants to return the focus to the budget, the economy, and the size of government. Ryan will do that. The problem is that Ryan’s budget slashing would be disasterous–as has been noted by many economists looking over Ryan’s proposals.
Setting that aside, my bigger concern is that the Republican ticket knows nothing about foreign policy and defense. Ryan’s congressional experience is entirely budgetary. Romney was a governor and businessman. Neither understands the geopolitical situations and sensitivites, and I’d be very worried about the safety and security of this nation. Remember the Republican ad of many years ago asking whether you would feel safe if this candidate received the call at 2am? Would you feel confident if Romney or Ryan got that call?
Further, what is the job of a vice-president? Other than to represent the President at funerals, the job should be to work Congress and get them to go along with the President’s agenda. Biden was supposed to bring this experience, and he does know how to work Congress. Ryan? Has he shown any ability to get the other side convinced of his opinions? Not to my knowledge.
The choice of Ryan was made to reassure the party faithful and to appeal to the crowd that supported Ron Paul (and that want to downsize government). In other words, it makes those who were already strongly in favor of Mitt unlikely to defect. That won’t win Mitt the election. He needs to convince the moderate Republicans and independents to his side. I’m not sure Ryan will do that. It won’t move a state to his column (it’s not close enough in WI). It will likely alienate the seniors that depend on Medicare. It will scare those who are worried about things other than the economy.
Mitt – the job of the President is more than just the economy, despite what your advisors are telling you. This isn’t a business, you don’t run a government to make a surplus. The job of the President is to see the big picture — to think about the long term health of the country, which is a combination of a number of factors, not just budget cutting. Ryan does not balance your ticket, it unbalances it.
ETA: Electoral-vote.com has a really good analysis of the risks of this choice, which pretty-much agrees with mine.
Music: Mayor: The Musical (1985 Off-Broadway Cast): I Want To Be The Mayor