Saturday, August 11, 2012


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.


: smintheus :: said...

Bruni is right. The fact that the Romney camp is assiduously putting out the (at best trivial) info that Romney kept his choice secret for more than a week is evidence that they're manipulating public opinion or inoculating Romney regarding something pretty important to them.

For that reason, I don't believe the supposed scoop at all. I think Romney caved to extremist pressure in the last few days, and realizes that he needs to dispel the impression that he can't stand up to his party's extremists.

That would also explain why the whole roll-out of Ryan seemed rushed. If you're waiting that long, why not wait for the Olympics to end? Romney desperately needed to change the topic away from himself, his incompetence, his disastrous trip, his business record, his Byzantine finances, and his bumbling campaign.

Victor said...

Yeah, why on a Saturday morning as the Olympics are winding down?

This was a shotgun wedding.

Mitt was starting to nosedive in the polls, and the Republicans needed something to give him a bump. FAST!!!

Well, they got is.
But at what cost?

Mitt was/is not a divisive figure.
Ryan's one of the Republicans favored flamethrowers.

True, he's beloved by many in the MSM, but even the Catholic Church has condemnd "Privatizing" Ryan's Plan.

I wonder the the church will hound him the way they did Kerry in '04, over his being pro-choice?

Yeah, right. THAT'LL happen!

Philo Vaihinger said...

At NRO the joy among the boys is unbounded.

They pretty clearly think Ryan will be wearing the pants in the Romney White House, much as Cheney wore the pants in GW’s day.

And they are absolutely thrilled.

That’s not quite the Norquist vision.

They see a rubber-stamp presidency, as he does.

But where he sees the congress holding the stamp the NRO guys see the Veep.

A dishwater president serving as front-man for the most dangerous and most conservative politician to get anywhere near the White House in all their years of trying since Goldwater, is what they see, rather than just fronting for a conservative senate and house.

That’s their vision and they couldn’t be more thrilled.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Victor, no way the bishops will dump on him hard for a plan to abolish Medicare and replace it with vouchers, though they might quietly mention meek disapproval from time to time.

They will not be the ones to insist the Republican plan for the uninsured – Let them die! – makes them the party of death while the Democrats’ positions on abortion and contraception do nothing of the kind.

Ryan’s position on abortion is totally Catholic.

He wants to ban it with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health or even the life of the mother.

He wants the law to recognize the fertilized egg as a person from the moment of conception and (no surprise, this) he attacks refusal to do so as analogous to denying human and legal rights to black people.

Michelle Goldberg says the Christian right is as joyous at this choice as the Wall Street conservatives at WSJ, NRO, the Weekly Standard, etc.

The Political Guide says he’s as solidly pro-Israel as any conservative.

You know.

The kind who would think it makes more sense to go to war over an attack on Tel Aviv than over an attack on Pearl Harbor.

Or maybe even Bar Harbor.

The selection of this guy should fill anyone personally dependent on responsible government with bone-chilling horror.

Once upon a time, AARP had the nerve to stand as firmly, though never as insanely, for Medicare, Social Security, and the interests of the elderly as the NRA does for gun owners.

I wonder how far they will dare to go in making it clear to the elderly this man is literally their mortal enemy.