WHO YA GONNA BELIEVE -- ME? OR MY RUNNING MATE'S LYING EXTENSIVE PAPER TRAIL?
There's a not-particularly-interesting story at Politico right now outlining what Republicans see as the pros and cons of having Paul Ryan on the ticket as Mitt Romney's running mate. The people in the pro camp are mostly movement conservatives offering the usual faux-tough talk about "going bold." The cons are cautious -- they're afraid that Ryan's budget ideas, particularly on the subject of Medicare, would be an albatross around Romney's neck.
I look at Romney's recent campaign moves -- the days and days of distorting the meaning of "You didn't build that," and now the transparently false and hypocritical attack on President Obama's offer of waivers on some requires of welfare law -- and it leads me to conclude that, yes, Romney will choose Ryan.
Specifically, he'll choose Ryan and then insist that incontrovertible, glaringly obvious facts about the Paul Ryan budget are simply not true. And he'll expect to get away with saying this.
Look at Romney. This is a guy who thought he could use Bill Clinton as a cudgel to beat Obama with on the subject of welfare; Clinton, unsurprisingly, is defending Obama, and, like Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall, is accusing Romney of distorting the factual record.
You'd think Romney and his team could have foreseen that that would happen. But the folks on Romney's team live in a right-wing opinion bubble that guarantees they never really hear contradictory ideas. And Romney himself has been the alpha male in his own life for decades -- as presidential candidate, governor, head of the Olympics, and financial-world CEO. What's the last time anyone seriously challenged Romney on anything and (unlike, say, Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum) had the clout to best him? Thirty years ago?
So, yeah, I think Romney will pick Ryan, then expect to BS his way through questions about Ryan's policies. And he'll be surprised and angry when he has trouble getting away with his lies and distortions.