He did not choose the inexperienced rockstar from Florida, Marco Rubio. He did not go for the “ruffle-no-one’s-feathers” pick from Ohio, Rob Portman. He did not select the NJ firebrand, Chris Cristie. Nor did he select the former Bush Administration official, Condoleeza Rice. To be fair, most of them are on record as saying they did not want the job.
What he did do was select someone who unabashedly addresses the most pressing domestic problem in the United States, one that even surpasses the lack of jobs in importance – federal overspending and the deficits and debt it creates. Unfortunately, few seem to have yet understood the link between a government that spends like a drunken sailor and an economy that cannot produce enough jobs. Paul Ryan seems to understand both the problem at hand, and the link to the problem of unemployment.
With this selection, the focus of the presidential campaign, at least on the Republican side, becomes the role of the federal government and how much it spends in carrying out that role. Most believe the federal government spends too much money, and most people also believe that it is doing too much.
It therefore appears that Ryan’s selection takes dead aim at a clear Obama weakness: the national view that his policies call for too much spending. If the GOP turns a laser focus on that topic, it could easily burn a hole through all the personal attacks and fix the nation, as a whole, on the discussion of “how much is too much,” and how do we get it all under control.
I see the Obama campaign as desperate, doing all it can to avoid discussion of the president’s record on federal finances and the economy. The Romney campaign reminds me of the “Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, fumbling one opportunity after another to counter false narratives from the White House and then hammer the president on what the country already sees as his obvious failings.
However, this could be a game-changer. Mr. Ryan may seem a one-trick pony to some as the House Budget Committee Chairman but, in this election cycle, it’s a pretty good trick. He understands the numbers better than either Romney or Obama, and would easily expose Joe “The Human Gaffe Machine” Biden as, well, a Human Gaffe Machine, when it comes to matters financial. Check this out:
Now, Joe Biden is not as quick on his feet as Chris Matthews and, if Ryan can respectfully carve up Matthew like a Thanksgiving Turkey, Biden will not fare much better.
It is a good VP pick, because it gives voice to one of the government’s leading experts on government spending and how to control it. Not to mention, it is likely that Ryan will have a better response to the Obama campaign’s personal attacks, given that he has been slighted by the president before. He has shown a fair amount more backbone in response to an Obama attack than has Romney.
If this choice helps to focus on an important issue facing the country, and it should, then it is an excellent selection, no matter the outcome of the election in November. However, if the GOP fails to maintain focus on issues and continue to respond poorly to things like phantom tax evasion charges and thinly-veiled murder accusations, then this pick is a wasted opportunity.
Copyright 2012. blackmanthinkin.com