Paul Ryan Wins The Veepstakes: Reax

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 11 2012 @ 10:14am

by Patrick Appel

Romney accidentally introduced Ryan as the next president of the United States during the roll-out this morning:

Text of Ryan's remarks here. How Ezra Klein sees the 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. And, right now, the numbers don’t look good for Romney: Obama leads in the Real Clear Politics average of polls by more than four percentage points — his largest lead since April.

Red State's Erick Erickson says he's "encouraged":

Paul Ryan exposes the left’s great lie. They think they can just raise taxes on those who make $250,000.00 a year or more and never have to cut spending or fix entitlements. Paul Ryan not only exposes that lie, but he has plans to solve it. He does so as a fresh, young face who is not at all scary to old people and relates to them and to young people. He himself is in his early 40?s with small kids. He’s from a swing state, out performed John McCain in his home district, and is telegenic and articulate. Paul Ryan is what Mitt Romney needs.

Larison doubts Ryan is ready to be president:

Now many movement conservatives have their consolation prize to make Romney’s nomination a little less offensive, and they won’t be able to say later that Romney ignored them or failed to be “bold” (a.k.a., desperate and trailing). In terms of political risk in the general election, choosing Ryan is certainly bold, but at the same time it is not a very surprising outcome. In the end, Romney gravitated to the one person on his reported short list that would generate enthusiasm among movement conservatives, and in so doing managed to sabotage his campaign’s theme of competence and readiness. 

David Frum wonders why Romney picked Ryan:

Romney has transformed a campaign about jobs and growth into a campaign about entitlements and Medicare. Romney will now have to spend the next months explaining how and why shrinking Medicare after 2023 will create prosperity in 2013. Economic conditions are so tough—the Obama reelection proposition is so weak—that Romney may win anyway. But wow, the job just got harder.

Ed Morrissey supports the choice:

Ryan has solid policy credentials, but also has enough media presence and charm to make people listen.  Team Obama will hang Ryan’s budget on Romney, but they were going to do that anyway.  Why not have the man himself as the VP to explain it?  Ryan also gives the ticket solid Washington experience, while giving conservatives more hope that a Romney presidency will aim for serious change.

Jonathan Bernstein emphasizes Ryan's inexperience:

 I don’t think it will doom the campaign or anything like that, but it is worth noting that this is a shockingly inexperienced ticket, especially when it comes to national security and foreign policy. Dan Drezner wrote about Ryan and foreign policy back in the spring, and it’s worth looking at, but there really isn’t much there, I don’t think. Governors almost always pick someone with serious foreign policy or national security credentials, and one would think that would be particularly true with the nation still at war.

Timothy Noah can't believe Obama's luck:

If it is indeed Ryan, then that's the final demonstration that Romney will never, ever move to the center. He will never stop trying to establish his bona fides with the Republican party's hard right wing, even when doing so demonstrably harms his own interest, as it does here. The inmates will run the asylum.

Guy Benson celebrates the choice:

Any way you slice it, this is a game-changer. As I wrote earlier this week, Paul Ryan is one of the sunniest, most likeable conservatives on the scene today. He’s also the party’s top wonk and is completely fluent in fiscal issues. I predict that Democrats will publicly gloat over this pick (“he’ll be so easy to demonize!”), even as they privately worry. Paul Ryan is earnest, smart, articulate, attractive, calm, good-humored, and exceptionally gifted in explaining his case in persuasive and unthreatening terms.

Jazz Shaw is less confident:

I confess that I’m still nervous about whether or not the rest of the country is ready to lace up their boots and seriously discuss tough medicine for an ailing system. Perhaps it’s just because I’m out in New York and we are still smarting from the 2011 debacle where we lost what was considered the safest GOP seat in the New York delegation to a county clerk who ran a blistering campaign, 24/7 with absolutely no other message than the fact that her Republican opponent would not completely disavow the Ryan Plan.

Tomasky predicts the future:

[Ryan will] get some good press, and he’ll generate great enthusiasm among conservative intellectuals. But the introduction of him to the American people will inevitably involve some other things, too. It will involve explanations from the media that he is the GOP’s archconservative theoretician. It will involve explaining who Ayn Rand is. It will involve going into detail on his budget, and in particular his plans for Medicare. Learn that now, folks, if you don’t know it already. It will involve endless interpretations exactly like mine, about Romney sending a signal that he is running an ultraconservative campaign. The Ryan controversy will overtake the campaign. Romney will become in some senses the running mate—the ticket’s No. 2.

Nate Cohn weighs the pros and cons of the pick:

I don’t think the Ryan plan is assured to cripple Romney’s chances, as many Democrats suspect. For starters, Romney was already vulnerable to attacks on the Ryan plan. Now, perhaps the reporting about Priorities focus groups is accurate and voters didn't find these attacks especially credible, but will now once they see Romney's association with Paul Ryan, but I find it hard to imagine that the Romney campaign volunteered to walk down the plank. As I’ve said before, I do not assume that campaigns make cataclysmic strategic errors, and the Romney campaign undoubtedly tested this extensively and still felt comfortable picking Ryan.

And Ryan Lizza thinks "Romney has made the most daring decision of his political career":

Romney’s choice of Ryan will undoubtedly be criticized as capitulation to the right, and this pick does seem to demonstrate that Romney is not able or willing to distance himself from the base of his party. But the good thing about the Ryan pick is that the Presidential campaign will instantly turn into a very clear choice between two distinct ideologies that genuinely reflect the core beliefs of the two parties. And in that sense, Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan is good news for voters.

In response to the selection, Andrew Kaczynski has rounded up "defining videos" of Ryan.