Paul Ryan first caught my attention during the health care debate – in particular the “summit” the president held with leading Republicans in Congress so he could treat them like straw men and dress them down in front of the cameras.
Thanks to Paul Ryan, it didn’t work out that way (Ace of Spades).
What struck me about Ryan were two things: he clearly put some thought into this issue, and he refused to raise his voice or sour his tone. In other words, he was disagreeing with the president without being disagreeable.
The first part means Romney, by selecting Ryan, has made it clear he prefers someone who understands the government needs to be less involved in health care to fix it. He (Romney) has also revealed his clear preference for the Ryan budget plan to bring us closer to fiscal sanity.
That Ryan has managed to work with prominent Democrats on these matters (Clinton OMB Director Alice Rivlin on the budget, Senator Ron Wyden on health care) will only add to his cache.
It also points to what may be the more critical reason Ryan is such a good choice. Most political activists understand that the battles over the last few years have been clashes if ideas. The rest of the country, however, hasn’t really seen that yet. Not taking (or having) the time to delve deep into politics, they assume it’s just tribal warfare.
Ryan, by contrast, not only fights for ideas, but he also reaches out to
Democrats who share them. Thus he appeals not only to the conservative idealists, but also the less-informed voter who would prefer Washington dial down the conflict and focus on the issues at hand.
This makes him a perfect foil for the president – who revealed his political bloodlust a little too much with the now infamous Mitt-Romney-killed-my-wife Super PAC ad. That Gallup suddenly showed a six point shift away from him
(from -2 to -8 on the approval/disapproval score) is telling.
Ryan will not tell anyone to dislike Barack Obama. Hd will succinctly, politely, and firmly explain why a Romney Administration would be better than the current one. That is what voters want and need to hear, and that is why Paul Ryan will be the next Vice President of the United States.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal