A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What Romney's VP Pick Says About Him

It's probably pretty clear from the title of this blog that Governor Romney didn't have much chance of winning me over with his pick of Vice Presidential candidate.  I think he would have had a shot at my vote if he had picked Hillary Clinton, but even that was a long shot.  Today it was announced that Romney is picking Paul Ryan as his VP candidate, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin.

Now, of course, everyone is going to have an opinion about the pick.  Is Ryan risky?  Does he know enough foreign policy?  Is he too young?  Too conservative?  Already the handicapping has started, but here's my two cents: it's quintessential Romney.  It's a calculated risk, but I think a smart one.  Romney seems to have analyzed the data, and realized that any candidate brings risks, but that the pros outweigh the cons.  Ryan brings a lot to the campaign - he comes from a midwestern swing state and brings a fresh energy and ideas.

One of the big things Ryan is known for is his budget plan.  While I may strongly disagree with it, I admire Ryan's budget because it actually presents ideas in concrete form.  Politicians (in both parties) seem afraid during this campaign to talk about trade-offs, but Ryan's budget presents ideas and shows the actual trade-offs we have to make to get what we want.  Ryan seems like a smart, capable guy - and he looks even better when compared to Palin (who, let's be honest - was a mistake).  I just hope he won't be flogged for actually presenting a plan.  Let's debate the merits of the plan without destroying the man who had the political courage to put it forth.

I think this pick says that Romney is data-driven who doesn't take crazy risks, but that Romney is drawn to people who are problem-solvers and "doers."  I'm currently watching Romney introduce Ryan, and it's interesting - one of the things he's saying is that Ryan doesn't demonize his opponents.  Imagine that!  Wouldn't it be wonderful if both parties could *actually* do that?

The media think that maybe this will be a chance for the campaigns to actually debate issues.  I remain pessimistic on that point, but wouldn't it be great if it were true?

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