Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's in it for Ryan?

The cheddarsphere is abuzz with news that Mittens has chosen Wisconsin's own Eddie Munster lookalike Paul Ryan as his running mate.

This is believed to be a sop to the Koch-funded power-brokers who now control the Republican Party.  Romney's vulnerabilities among the base are primarily due to his policies as governor of Massachusetts, especially the model for the Affordable Care Act.  How better to combat that than with the architect of that manifesto of social darwinism, the Ryan Budget?

Romney's other vulnerabilities include his inability to relate to the 99% and the perceived "weirdness" of his Mormon faith.  While Ryan can't help him with the 99%, at least having a Wisconsinite with a taste for fine wine on the ticket will give Romney a designated drinker for those all-important cocktail parties.

But it's hard to understand why Ryan would risk his powerful position in Congress for a VP run.  Yes, he can run for both offices, and Joe Biden managed to win re-election to the Senate and election as Vice President simultaneously.  However, Wisconsin independent voters with recall-induced election fatigue may not relish the idea of a special election to fill Ryan's vacant Congressional seat in the event the Romney-Ryan ticket wins the White House.  Rob Zerban's chances just got significantly better.

Romney is by no means the favorite in November.  The election is very tight, and the Ryan pick will not help Romney with independents.  Is Ryan merely positioning himself for a presidential run in 2016?  How'd that work out for Sarah Palin?  Come to think of it, she's doing pretty well for herself as a Fox News personality.  So is Mike Huckabee.  Maybe Ryan's positioning himself for a career change to media pundit.

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