As a libertarian, I approve of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential choice. Naturally, I expect this statement to inflame a certain subset of the movement - but to those of you who are invested in mainstreaming libertarian thought, particularly within the Republican Party, I hope you’ll consider why the Ryan pick is actually a victory for us - on an intellectual level.
The reality is that we’re contending with a tale of two Paul Ryans. The Paul Ryan that I like, and encourage other libertarians to embrace, is Vice Presidential candidate Ryan - the man with a natural gift for communicating; who articulates the dire need for entitlement reform and balanced budgets effectively (which I recognize and appreciate, even if I disagree with some aspects of his plans). Before we can enact the bolder reforms of, say for example, Senator Rand Paul, the public needs to be introduced to the notion that entitlement programs are no longer the third rail of politics. Vice Presidential candidate Ryan is different from his evil twin Congressman Ryan, whose voting record libertarians should rightfully reject. But we need to understand the difference between the two Paul Ryans, and how one can be our enemy while the other is our friend.
Speculation over Mitt Romney’s possible running mate has been rampant over the last few days. While other names are being floated, including David Petraeus and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, most observers seem to agree that it’s likely down to three candidates — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Out of the three, Rep. Ryan is garnering the most attention. Many conservatives seem to want him included on the ticket, and they’re laying out a strong case. David Harsanyi, for example, explains that Rep. Ryan “would add a measure of number-crunching earnestness to a campaign (and then, more importantly, should it happen, to an administration) that lives on broad strokes.” However, some want him to remain in remain in the House, where, as chairman of the Budget Committee, he has laid the blueprint to fiscal reform. My colleagues Jeremy Kolassa and George Scoville have already touched on the need for Rep. Ryan to remain in the House for exactly this reason. Over at Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis noted that, as Vice President, Ryan would be largely marginalized.
Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, unless he’s caught with a dead, Muslim, illegal immigrant boy. He will have the difficult task of facing Barack Obama in November. It is no secret that I have my differences with Governor Romney, however for the sake of wanting Barack Obama gone in November, I would like to offer him some free advice.
First thing you need to do Mitt is shut up about the sports team owners you know. We know you’re rich and successful in business, but the problem is, Obama is sending out his class warfare zombies in droves. They will use your success as their best weapon against you. Their goal is to paint you as out of touch with the American people. Also, along those lines, shut up about your dog and his road trip on the roof of your car.
Second piece of advice, be bold on the economy and fiscal policy. Be specific about your proposals and don’t be afraid to defend them. Don’t sugarcoat the fiscal problems we are facing. Propose bold tax reform including a flatter tax with a lot fewer deductions and credits. Eliminate a department or two. Propose real spending cuts and entitlement reform and more importantly, sell it. Outline a free market approach to healthcare as a replacement to Obamacare. Finally, start going after the Federal Reserve by supporting an audit of it.
Third, take a page from the Obama playbook. Set up a version of their “Fight the Smears” web page that they set up in 2008. Eventually Obama and his surrogates will drag the Mormon religion in this race and there needs to be something to address the nonsense they will be putting out.
Fourth, stay out of the social issues trap. The left will try to bring up abortion, gay marriage, birth control, and Lord knows what else to try and change the narrative. Yes, address the issues when they come up but don’t let the media trip up the message. The message needs to be about the economy and jobs first.
Late last week on CBS This Morning, John McCain was asked about the eventual GOP Vice Presidential nominee. He said, jokingly, “I think it should be Sarah Palin.”
After that comment he followed up with a line about how we have great talent in the GOP and that he’s sure Romney will make the right decision in the end. In the video of the interview, it’s clear that McCain was joking, but how much of a joke was it?
When McCain selected Palin as his running mate, she was a mostly (nationally) inexperienced politician whose presence on the ticket was to excite the Republican base and to pander to a demographic group (women) that the GOP needed to appease in order to win the election.
After the joke about Palin, McCain was quick to mention Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a qualified candidate who is in the top tier of potential running mates for Mitt Romney, but what kind of a choice would that be? At first glance, it could look pretty good, but compare the similarities between Rubio and Palin.
Rubio would be a nationally inexperienced politician whose presence on the ticket would be to excite the Republican base (Tea Party) and to pander to a demographic group (Hispanic voters) that the GOP needs to appease in order to win the election.
Rubio getting the VP slot on the ballot wouldn’t shock many people, and I’d speculate that it could even be a safe bet. Still, when you consider the reasons for picking Rubio to the reasons for picking Palin in 2008, you can’t help but wonder if the Republican Party has learned anything in the last four years.
There is no denying that Joe Biden, our gaffetastic vice president, had a rough week. The Washington Post gave him the “Worst Week in Washington” award thanks to his off-remark during a campaign stop in Virginia that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would allow Wall Street to put the predominantly African-American crowd “back in chains.”
Despite all the talk of a “new tone” that we’ve endured, it certainly does seem that the Obama campaign is lobbing most of the cheap shots during this campaign. Since Obama doesn’t really have much of an economic record on which to run, the tactics being employed are to be expected. But if Vice President Biden is supposed to score points for Obama, polls show that the campaign may want to think again before sending him back out on the stump:
Almost every recent poll has shown Biden’s numbers at a low point, with more voters viewing him unfavorably than viewing him in a positive light — though in most cases, it’s only by a few points.
Biden’s favorable rating, which was well into the 50s when he and Obama won the 2008 election and took office in 2009, has fallen to around 40 percent in most polls. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll recently pegged his favorable rating at 35 percent (37 percent negative), while a Fox News poll showed the split at 41 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.
The honest answer is that it probably means nothing. I don’t think there’s been an election in my lifetime that was impacted by the second person on a presidential ticket.
And a quick look at Intrade.com shows that Ryan’s selection hasn’t (at least yet) moved the needle. Obama is still in the high 50s.
Moreover, the person who becomes Vice President usually plays only a minor role in Administration policy.
With those caveats out of the way, the Ryan pick is mostly good news.
Here are the reasons why I’m happy.
Mitt Romney’s campaign formally announced this morning that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will be his running mate. Ryan, 42, has served in the House of Representatives since 1999 and has become the mind behind Republican budget proposals — including the “Roadmap to America’s Future” and the “Path to Prosperity” — in Congress.
In statement from introducing Ryan, the campaign called the ticket “America’s Comeback Team.” Ryan will be introduced along side Romney this morning in Norfolk, Virginia with the USS Wisconsin serving as the setting.
We’ll have more analysis and coverage later today.
Media outlets are reporting that Mitt Romney, will name his running mate tomorrow morning some time between 8:30 and 9am in Norfolk, Virginia during an appearance on the USS Wisconsin.
The choice of location is leading some to speculate that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell may be the pick. But with the USS Wisconsin serving as the setting, others to believe that Rep. Paul Ryan, who represents Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, will serve as Romney’s running mate.
For what it’s worth, The Weekly Standard is reporting that Ryan is the likely pick.
Stay tuned in the morning for details.
With the Republican National Convention just three weeks away, we’re getting closer to Mitt Romney naming his running mate in 2012. Romney’s campaign has launched a smartphone app that will tip supporters off to his pick before anyone else knows, at least in theory.
Awaiting the pick is sort of like looking at top prospects for a Major League Baseball team or analyzing draft picks before the NFL Draft. Last week, The Hill reported that Beth Myers, the head of Romney’s VP search team, was on hand for a rally with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — much like a scout at a game looking at a potential target’s stuff.
Back in April, I looked at some of the frequently mentioned names in the conversation as Romney was beginning his search for a running back. But speculation has been rampant in recent days and announcement could come literally any day now, here is look at the five most likely picks for Romney.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: Much like Ohio, the Commonwealth of Virginia is a “must-win” for Romney. While Portman is relatively unknown in his home state, McDonnell has a 55% approval rating in Virginia. Unemployment is at 5.6%, which easily bests the national rate of 8.3%.
The question of who Mitt Romney will choose to serve as his running mate has been a source of considerable speculation over the last couple of weeks. The New York Times ran a story on Tuesday giving some inside information about the grueling vetting process for prospects. But obviously, that doesn’t put to rest the seemingly endless speculation. Will his running mate be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? Or could it be someone off the wall, like Condoleezza Rice, whose name was dropped into the discussion over the weekend. Every guess is as good as the other.
Many commentators downplay the effect that a potential running mate can have on a ticket, but numbers indicate that it does indeed matter. And while the suggestion has been both dismissed and praised by Republicans, a new Fox News poll shows that Rice, who served in the Bush Administration as National Security Advisor (2001-2005) and Secretary of State (2005-2009), may actually help Romney’s campaign. But conservatives want someone more exciting given that Romney does little to inspire them.