Saturday, March 31, 2012


BooMan ponders Romney's running-mate choices and sees an impediment to the selection of the guy Charlie Pierce calls a zombie-eyed granny-starver (and not the fact that he is a zombie-eyed granny-starver):

I recently saw some video footage of Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on stage together and I thought they looked good together. Their statures, physiques, and overall appearances seemed to complement each other. Visually, at least, they looked like a good ticket.... But, when it comes to selecting a running mate, optics are not the only consideration. I don't know the law in Wisconsin, but it's often against the law to appear on the ballot for two separate federal offices. It's possible that Paul Ryan would have to give up his House seat in order to run for vice-president. Should the ticket lose, that would be a big sacrifice for Ryan and the movement he is leading.

Would that stop Ryan? Assuming the Romney/Ryan ticket loses, he might be just as happy to get a big book deal, to be a Fox News commentator, and to prep for the presidential run everyone expects him to make without the inconvenience of a day job. (Please note that the three guys who've won GOP primaries this year are all among the long-term unemployed.) I'm sure the plutocracy will be more than happy to stake him to some lucrative corporate-board sinecures while he's ramping up his 2016 campaign.

I hope I'm right about this, because I'd love to see Ryan on the ticket. I think the cult of Paul Ryan, and the right's hopes that he'll appear on a national ticket, are based on a bizarre level of tunnel vision among Republicans (they seem to have no idea how much ordinary Americans hate his ideas) and an inexplicable group crush on the part of Beltway journalists (they seem to have no idea that, in addition to espousing repellent ideas, he has zero charisma, and would thus give us a kind of Romney/Romney ticket; journalists may swoon over his faux-earnest wonkiness, but the rest of us don't).

Still, I think he won't take the risk. But will Chris Chriatie? BooMan again:

Chris Christie is a great attack dog, but he's on the record as saying he's not prepared to be president. Also, speaking as a Jersey Boy myself I can tell you firsthand that our abrasive bombastic style goes over like a lead balloon in the Midwest. Finally, Chris Christie is morbidly obese. His health cannot be very good.

Well, a lot of Americans are morbidly obese, so that might play in his favor. And obviously he endures the rigors of his job now. And he may have said up to this point that he's unprepared to be president, but he's headed to Israel tomorrow. Think that has nothing to do with the presidential race?

BooMan says Romney and Ryan "looked good together" in the footage he watched -- but to me the two of them look like, well, a tight-shot version of that Romney money photo from his Bain Capital days.

To me, the Romney/Christie combination looks archetypal: it's the rich guy and his muscle. The muscle makes the rich guy seem powerful, in a way that Romney never does on his own -- See? I can ask this goon to break your thumbs and he'll do it.

Would that be appealing to voters? I think it would be appealing to some. I agree with BooMan that it would be offputting to others. It's a toss-up -- but I think it would help Romney with his base even more than picking a #2 who's more ideologically pure, because the base just wants to be angry all the time.

On balance, I don't think it would work out -- but I think Romney might go for it. Romney's an angry guy, even though he's inhibited. I think Christie is what he wants to be. I think he has ethnic-guy envy.


Raenelle said...

About people hating Ryan's ideas, and that as a sort of deal killer, I wouldn't bet that the public would ever really get a full-on view of Ryan's views. The press likes the guy, like they liked Bush. Remember how accurately they portrayed Gore and Kerry. The way I remember it was the Dems sort of settled on Kerry, e.g., as a way to neutralize the war machismo of Bush. After the press was done "reporting," a great number of people though Bush was a war hero and Kerry a coward. Romney, whom the press doesn't particularly like, may well choose Ryan because the press is on his side.

: smintheus :: said...

"an inexplicable group crush on the part of Beltway journalists (they seem to have no idea that, in addition to espousing repellent ideas, he has zero charisma"

Paul Ryan is the Ryan Howard of the GOP...nobody but the utterly insensitive (Michael Scott) and total dimwits (Kelly Kapoor) can stand him.

Anonymous said...

Ryan is pretty feeble in the charisma department all right; and of course we Badgers would love to have the chance to reclaim that congressional seat for Wisconsin; but I don't think there's a statute in this state to preclude Ryan running for both offices (since technically you don't elect a Vice-President, you elect electors pledged to vote for that Vice-Presidential hopeful).

Kordo said...

"..a bizarre level of tunnel vision among Republicans.."

I get the same feeling about a lot of their recent moves. Politically, they seem to be making suicidal decisions (who decides to piss off 50-plus-percent of the voters in an election year??) and deliberate errors. But when you read/hear them talking about it, they actually think they're doing great. Fox News is having a gloat-fest over the President's (imaginary) drop in approval rating. I think they really believe that if they pretend hard enough, Reality will conform to their wishes. It's funny in a way, but it's also deeply scary; when Reality asserts itself in November, how are they gonna react? I'm not talking about physical violence, I mean emotionally. Can the GOP base get any crazier without heads literally exploding?