Ezra (and me) on Ryan
August 11, 2012 Leave a comment
I don’t disagree with a thing Ezra writes about Paul Ryan, but I’m glad I wrote my post first so that I could actually be sure that my ideas where actually my own instead of Ezra’s . Of course, he’s got more and better ones. Read the whole post, but here are those I find most noteworthy:
2. 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…
4. Romney’s original intention was to make the 2012 election a referendum on President Obama’s management of the economy. Ryan makes it a choice between two competing plans for deficit reduction. This election increasingly resembles the Obama campaign’s strategy rather than the Romney campaign’s strategy.
I’m not entirely sure of the #4, because things may still not necessarily develop that way, but it is too Obama’s advantage if it does, and this does make that direction more likely.
7. Ryan upends Romney’s whole strategy. Until now, Romney’s play has been very simple:Don’t get specific. In picking Ryan, he has yoked himself to each and every one of Ryan’s specifics…
8. It’s not just that Romney now has to defend Ryan’s budget. To some degree, that was always going to be true. What he will now have to defend is everything else Ryan has proposed. Ryan was, for instance, the key House backer of Social Security privatization. His bill, The Social Security Personal Savings Guarantee and Prosperity Act of 2005, was so aggressive that it was rejected by the Bush administration. Now it’s Romney’s bill to defend. In Florida.
There’s real costs and real benefits to Ryan. Now, Romney is not stupid at all and he surely thinks Ryan’s benefits will outweigh the costs. That judgment should mean something. Truth is, though, there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether that will be the case. In that sense, this is definitely an uncharacteristic gamble from Romney. My guess– Ryan finally gets yoked to his actual extremism and becomes a net drag. He’s just got so many damn specifics– and specifics of the time Americans actually hate. That said, certainly possible he ends up a net positive. Just don’t expect any Political Science analyses next year arguing that Ryan ended up winning the race for Romney.