August 11, 2012


Ryan and the Spirit of 2010 (Peter Lawler, August 11, 2012, Big Think)

[R]omney needed to rekindle the Spirit of 2010 and show he's not merely a businessman, but a statesman.  His concern needs to be clearly the future of the country and the lives of all its citizens. He needs to be more than a can-do manger; he needs to be an encouraging and confident leader.

Well, Ryan is the man when it comes to that Spirit.  The Tea Party battle cries are echoed in Ryan's speeches all about rights not being a gift of government, but given to us by nature and God.  The future of our country is threatened because we've wandered away from that Founding insight.  The result is unsustainable debt, rooted in degrading dependency.  We need to stop trusting in Big Government, and start trusting in ourselves.

Ryan has never been a businessman.  Political ideas have been his whole working life.  His faith is in the "opportunity society" championed so eloquently (if rather ineffectively) by his always-optimistic mentor Jack Kemp.

So the mainstream media is already attacking Romney for his hypocrisy:  He's says business experience is SO important, and he constantly reminds us the president doesn't have any.  But Ryan hasn't met a payroll either!  

Romney's obvious response is that the VP won't be governing.  I will be.  My experience will allow me to moderate Ryan's bold--often at least too much, too soon--ideas with an experienced appreciation of what will actually work.  Sure, Romney can say, I need Ryan's thoughtful advice, but I'm the guy who'll be in charge.

We can even see that, by taking Ryan out of Congress, Romney is actually enhancing his prospects for effective presidential leadership.  His proposed changes won't be as dramatic as what Ryan has recommended, and so Congressman Ryan could easily become his powerful rival and certainly a thorn in his side (or pain in his ass).  But VP Ryan will be a part of his team--a subordinate part!

Neither of those points--that Rep. Ryan's executive inexperience is a big negative in a VP and that removing him from the House may harm the prospects for a smooth legislative process--is really answerable on its own terms.  

Of course, Mr. Romney need not address either.  His emphasis can just be that rather than a candidate who believes in nothing, he's one who shares the Kemp/Bush/Ryan vision of an ownership society, indeed, shares it so deeply that he wanted Mr. Ryan on the ticket, irrespective of other factors.  

Meanwhile, despite the conventional wisdom that Mr. Ryan's intellectual pedigree opens him to winning attacks by the Democrats, the fact is that the candidates most closely tied to reforming the Welfare State--Reagan, Clinton, and W--have never lost a presidential election.  As regards the two Republicans, it would seem that Democratic hysteria simply served to convince voters that they were serious about reform. Mr. Romney must be hoping the same effect will rub off on him, giving him a patina of consequence he currently lacks. 

Will Paul Ryan's Ideas Overshadow Mitt Romney's? (Terry Moran, 8/11/12, ABC News)

[H]as there ever been a vice-presidential pick whose ideas/ideology so overshadowed the presidential nominee's? Has any presidential nominee ever essentially run on his vice-president's ideas?

Posted by at August 11, 2012 4:59 PM

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