The Ryan Rollout
Ryan is the only fresh face of the 4 on the national ticket, so he will get lots of attention. He has a very attractive family, and an appealing life story. Lots of energy. He is not boring. He will get all the attention Palin did and more, and it will help our side. No skeletons, no closet, and he is a great talker and an idea guy.
He may help cut Obama's margin among young voters, if he can skillfully discuss the dangers for their generation of the present course, and the rewards of a different one.
The attack will come on Medicare and it will be fierce, to dislodge seniors, the GOP's strongest group. One missed opportunity today: to specifically identify that Ron Wyden is a cosponsor of Ryan's Medicare plan.
Rove had some good numbers: 500 billion spent on Medicare this year, 850 billion in ten years under Ryan plan. Does that sound like a cut? It slightly slows the rate of growth compared to present unsustainable course, and does not change anything for anyone over age 55 who likes current plan.
Romney mentioned that Obamacare cuts 700 billion from Medicare. This needs to be brought up over and over again. So too, the Obama website identifies $1.5 trillion in new tax revenues over next ten years. This is in addition to about $600 billion in new taxes from obamacare. Over 2 trillion in new taxes, a killing blow to entrepreneurs. Is that how you restart the economy?
One of my readers came up with a new slogan: America needs some R and R.
This is very important: Ryan gets under Obama's skin. He is smarter and better informed than the President. Already, the GOP is beginning to go after Obama's likability as a result of the outrageous cancer ad they won't condemn, lied about, and of course teed up. Romney talked of the nasty campaign today. They will try to set up a comparative message of a vision for growth versus the gutter, which is pretty accurate at this point. Already some evidence of backlash against cancer ad in tracking polls this week. I think Ryan will sell better than negative Bain ads at this point.
As for electoral politics, Wisconsin is now in play and winnable. That means GOP ceiling without any real upsets (Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan) is 301 electoral college votes -- Bush's 286 in 2004 plus 6 more due to 2010 redistricting, minus 5 for New Mexico, plus 4 for New Hampshire, and 10 for Wisconsin. That means Romney could lose Ohio's 18 (uphill at the moment) and still win. Ryan pick is a pitch for the Midwest. May help a bit in Ohio, though less than Portman would. Maybe he can bring Michigan or Minnesota into play. Pennsylvania may depend on a judge's ruling on new voter ID law. if GOP wins, Romney has a better chance there, though still an underdog.
Romney is doing very badly with Hispanics. Ryan is Catholic and that may help a bit. So will his appeal to small business people. Colorado is winnable, Nevada will be very tough.
Ryan may have appeal to independents, as Obama did in 2008.