Via commentor Comrade Mary, enjoy President Obama welcome the Robot/Undertaker 2012 act (h/t commentor Max) to the Big Show:
CHICAGO — Just over 24 hours after Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, President Obama today welcomed the Wisconsin congressman to the race, branding him the “ideological leader of Republicans in Congress.”
Addressing donors at a campaign fundraiser on the south side of Chicago, Obama slammed his rivals’ belief in “top-down economics” as a solution to the nation’s economic woes, insisting the approach has been tried and failed.
“This kind of top-down economics is central to Gov. [Mitt] Romney and it is central to his running mate,” Obama told roughly 1,000 donors huddled inside the Bridgeport Arts Center.
“Just yesterday, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan. I want to congratulate Mr. Ryan. I know him. I welcome him to the race,” Obama said.
Some members of the crowd began booing at the mention of Ryan, but Obama cut them off.
“He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision, but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” he said….
Yet Brutus is an honorable man; so are they all — all honorable men! Or as John Heilemann explicates the horse-race in NYMag:
… So this was not a safe or conventional pick… This was a pick about ideas, about policies, about core convictions. But it was also a pick driven by political weakness. All along, Team Romney’s bedrock strategy has been to make the 2012 election a clean referendum on Obama’s economic management and leadership, an election about unemployment, growth, and wages. In elevating Ryan, what Team Romney has done is execute a sharp U-turn, embracing the theory that 2012 will not be a pure referendum but a choice election, and one in which the two sides’ contrasting approaches to the deficit, debt, entitlements, and taxes will take center stage. And while this is surely not a Hail Mary pass on the order of John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, it is almost as much, as some Romneyites admit, an attempt to (pardon the expression) change the game.
All of which helps explain why the Obamans are grinning madly. It’s not simply that they, too, see the pick as an admission by Team Romney that its strategy was failing. Or that Ryan doesn’t clearly pass the test of being (and, crucially, looking) ready to be president. Or that his utter lack of private-sector bona fides undercuts, however mildly, Romney’s attacks on Obama for lacking same. It’s that Chicago and the White House perceive this as a broader capitulation regarding the core dynamic of the race: an acceptance of the “choice election” framing, which is exactly the frame that the incumbent and his people have embraced and attempted to propagate from the start.
And just why have they done that? Because they knew full well that if the race were purely a referendum on Obama, they would likely lose — but if bright lines could be drawn on values and visions regarding fiscal choices, that was the kind of election they could win. This was why Chicago was planning to hang the Ryan budget around Romney’s neck regardless of whether the congressman was on the ticket or not. Obama’s data jockeys have been polling and focus-grouping on this for months, and they are over the moon about what they have found. And while that data is guarded by lock, key, and Uzi-toting thugs (kidding — sorta), anyone interested in the topic should take a look at the work that Stan Greenberg and his team at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner did recently on the Ryan agenda and its electoral implications for Democracy Corps. To put it mildly, their conclusion is fairly bracing:
At the outset, the Ryan budget (described in Ryan’s actual language) barely garners majority support. And voters raise serious doubts when they hear about proposed cuts — particularly to Medicare, education, and children of the working poor. President Obama’s lead against Romney more than doubles when the election is framed as a choice between the two candidates’ positions on the Ryan budget — particularly its impact on the most vulnerable. The President makes significant gains among key groups, including independents and voters in the Rising American Electorate (the unmarried women, youth, and minority voters who drove Obama to victory in 2008).
Be of good cheer, Democrats!