Ezra Klein on the Ryan pick:
This is an admission of fear from the Romney campaign. You don't make a risky pick like Paul Ryan if you think the fundamentals favor your candidate. You make a risky pick like Paul Ryan if you think the fundamentals don't favor your candidate.You also make a pick like this under pressure if you're an easily rattled coward, and have been all along.
Barack Obama was under pressure in '08 to make Hillary Clinton his running mate. He resisted that pressure. Mitt Romney has clearly been pressured this year to show loyalty to the movement-conservative ideology, especially in the choice of a running mate. He caved under that pressure.
Maybe it's true that, as one aide has insisted, Romney decided on Ryan a couple of weeks ago, before the pro-Ryan drumbeat became really loud in a public way -- but if so, I'm sure that was only because the pressure was mounting privately; Romney is terrified to cross the ideologues. Yes, he's doing this when he's clearly behind in the polls, but a couple of weeks ago he wasn't clearly behind in the polls, and even then he seemed terrified of crossing the ideologues. (If that's really when he decided on Romney, then it wasn't in response to truly bad polling news -- it was the result of his characteristic spinelessness and fear.)
Earlier this year, Obama seemed to have made an error when his campaign and allies began attacking Romney's record at Bain Capital, and fellow Democrats began undercutting him. Obama was under pressure to drop that line of attack. He didn't cave. The polls now show he's been vindicated. Romney just doesn't have guts to stick to his guns that way (what are his guns anyway?).
A bonus quote from Ezra:
... consider Ryan: He's worked in politics his entire life, beginning as an aide to Sen. Bob Kasten, then working for Sen. Sam Brownback and as a speechwriter to Rep. Jack Kemp.... how does Romney say the problem with Barack Obama is that he's "never spent a day in the private sector" and then put Ryan a heartbeat away from the presidency?The same way he does everything else -- shamelessly.