I woke up this morning to the reek of piss-pants desperation emanating from my Twitter in the form of Mitt Romney’s VP Pick, Paul Davis Ryan (and yes, it is happening, because those morons can’t keep a secret). Man, this tells us a lot about just how worried, weak, meandering, insular and politically inept the Romney campaign is.
You don’t pick a base darling like Ryan unless you think you need to shore up the base, so the first thing this pick tells us that Mitt’s campaign is at least a little scared of stuff like this hundred page teabagger manifesto called “DUMP ROMinee – Why Tampa’s Republican Delegates must Dump Romney to Defeat Obama”, and the math demanded that they throw out red meat to the Tea Party.
Ryan is a indication of just how unfocused and off-message Romney’s campaign has become. The core Romney pitch was supposed to be that he’s the successful CEO who’s going to run the country the way he ran Bain and the Olympics, and that he showed us what he can do as CEO of Massachusetts. After the Obama campaign and the press got through demolishing those fables, everything about them is tarnished and off-limits. So instead of putting some interesting non-politician captain of industry on the ticket, we’ve get someone who thinks he’s John Galt but who has actually spent his entire adult life in Washington DC either working for politicians or being one.
Ryan is a celebrity in a town that’s Hollywood for ugly people, so the notion that his pick is exciting or edgy is only true if your world view is constrained by the boundaries of the federal district. I’ll bet a majority of the voters that Romney needs to convince couldn’t pick Ryan out of a lineup, and when they are first introduced to him, they’ll see what he really is: just another white, male career politician. At least the Palin pick was somewhat interesting, since she came from Alaska, which is kind of exotic, and she was only the second female VP candidate in history. Only a campaign that reads too much Politico would think there’s something new or sexy about a 42 year-old guy who’s really into the budget.
Finally, since I live next door to NY-26 and saw how Kathy Hochul won a R+6 district by painting horns and a tail on Paul Ryan, it’s clear the numbnuts running Romney’s campaign have no earthly clue about the shitstorm they just triggered. If the Romney campaign had opened up their research filing cabinet and pulled out the “No Shit, Sherlock” folder, they’d have realized that people would rather have Medicare than some free market voucher fantasy cooked up at the last Heritage / Cato invitational circle jerk.
This pick might actually have reverse coattails. Before Ryan, it was actually a bit hard to pin down Romney’s position on fucking everyone out of Medicare, and most Congressional candidates could say they were for some kinder gentler variant of Ryan’s plan to put Granny on an Alpo diet. Now every Democratic press secretary in a House campaign is busy with the wayback machine so they can cobb just the good stuff out of Hochul’s press releases.