When I woke up and logged onto my computer yesterday morning, the first thing I saw on my Google News homepage was that Mitt Romney had selected Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential candidate. I then logged onto Facebook where pretty much everyone was talking about it. A lot of people I saw were suggesting this as a bad move on Romney’s part. Some even referred to it as Ryan as a “succession nomination,” meaning that this pick was the final nail in the Romney presidential campaign.
My initial reaction was the same. Paul Ryan is such far-Right candidate who is disliked by so many that this couldn’t be a good idea. After a while, though, I started seeing it differently. While it is true that Paul Ryan is extremely Conservative that could be exactly what Romney is looking for.
Previously, I would have said that Romney didn’t have a chance in hell in getting elected. He was basically the 2012 GOP version of 2004 John Kerry. He wasn’t very likable, no one could identify with him, and he was going up against a still somewhat-popular incumbent (Bush’s approval rating in November 2003 was still in the low 60s http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/bush/legacy/timeline/). Romney’s biggest appeal was to the “anyone but Obama” crowd, in much the same way Kerry was the “anyone but Bush” candidate.
By selecting Paul Ryan as his Vice President he is appealing to the far-Right Republicans who were previously going to have to hold their noses while voting for him. Paul Ryan also brings in the Tea Party Republican voters. I believe some people who were going to instead vote for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson as the true Conservative candidate may now change their vote and rally behind a Romney-Ryan ticket.
Paul Ryan is young (he’s 42. Younger than Kennedy when he took office), handsome, and very charismatic. I mean, just looking at him I want to trust him. Then, of course, I remember his horrendous policies and stances on the issues and I snap right out of it. Still, my point is made. Paul Ryan could easily be the breath of fresh air that the Romney campaign needs.
The only potential downfall with Paul Ryan is his politics. His political ideology definitely veers to the extreme Right. Anyone reading this should already know that. And that brings the problem of him potentially alienating moderate Republicans and moderate Independent voters. Before they may have voted for Romney because of his moderate stances (although he has attempted to flip-flop to more Conservative views running for president). Paul Ryan’s politics may scare them away. And if Barack Obama is smart this is what his campaign will use to attack Romney.
Where Romney’s campaign has been very stale and lackluster lately, I think this is going to be a rejuvination for him (moreso than McCain’s pick of Palin in 2008). Where Palin was a novelty choice, Paul Ryan is the real deal for Conservatives and Republicans. And while I think Romney was dead in the water come November, now I firmly believe he has a fighting chance. He has truly changed the game with this pick. I hate to say it but I have to give credit to Romney for this choice. Politically, it was a smart choice for him.
I have a feeling the next few months in the world of politics and on the campaign trail is going to be extremely interesting. Stay tuned and don’t forget to make sure you are registered to vote!