Politico is seeing signs that Mitt Romney really might run with Paul Ryan:
The Paul Ryan-for-VP chatter has heated up in the past two days, thanks in part to him updating his Federal Election Commission filings for his PAC, suddenly canceling a planned appearance at an anti-Obamacare rally and winning praise from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as the best pick.Is Romney ever going to stop trying to mollify the base? He just can't stop. If he really wanted to make a "bold pick," he'd go with Condi Rice, who might actually help him at the polls, and he'd ask wingnut voters where the hell else they think they can go if they want to beat Obama.
His aides have cautioned not to read too much into anything. From the Politicker story on this:
Mr. Ryan was scheduled to speak at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation's Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington tonight, but he cancelled the appearance. ...... for Republicans, there is a feeling that, if Romney went in that direction, he would be making the bold pick some in the party have urged him to.
The cancelled speech isn't the only thing that caused speculation to swirl around Mr. Ryan this afternoon. Eagle-eyed Politico reporter Ken Vogel also noted Mr. Ryan's political action committee, Prosperity PAC, filed amended versions of its three most recent monthly fundraising reports today....
But Romney won't do that. He seems to think he's undergoing the political equivalent of a fraternity initiation (or gang initiation), except it's one that never ends. He doesn't seem to think he can ever do enough to prove he's a member.
The Ryan budget is extraordinarily unpopular, especially the Medicare changes -- but this is how Romney's going to try to wriggle out of that trap if he picks Ryan, per Politico:
A senior Romney adviser told the traveling press corp late last week that Romney still does not agree with the Medicare cuts in the Ryan budget...So that would be the plan, I guess: Oh, that budget my running mate has tirelessly championed -- the one that ends Medicare as we know it? He may be in favor of that ending-Medicare part, but I'm against it! So don't trouble your pretty little head about the fact that he'd be a heartbeat away from the presidency if I were elected!
And as for the rest, I guess Romney will lie about the likely consequences of the provisions he does admit to supporting, and he'll be rebutted by Democrats, liberal pundits, and fact checkers -- and maybe we'll be told "opinions differ," but we'll probably also get some more very effective attack ads from Team Obama.
I think Romney feels the Obama campaign is daring him to pick Ryan -- and he may be doing it for that reason as well as to placate the right. If so, nice psych, Obamaites.