Alright, apparently the news is that Mitt Romney will be tapping Wisconsin Republican Representative Paul Ryan to be his Vice-Presidential running mate. Well, that’s actually the wrong way to put it. Actually, Paul Ryan is the Right’s pick for Romney’s running mate, and like most arranged marriages, this one is probably not going to sit well in the end.
Ryan has long been a devote of Ayn Rand, even though he has now had to deny that he ever was just because of the political weight that this meant for him. In 2005, he stated about Rand “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”
Ryan’s policies are toxic. While they appeal to the core of the Republican Party, they are likely not to be all that great when it comes to the rest of the nation. Americans do not want to dismantle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, throughout the attacks on “Obamacare”, there was a constant theme even within the Tea Party- keep your hands off of Medicare.
What is more, Ryan is not likely to be a great draw when it comes to many Southern states. Back home, Ryan is not very popular with polling suggesting that he might actually be vulnerable to a defeat in his own district- one that he has held since 1999.
In fact, Nate Silver noted that:
Mr. Ryan would surely do more to excite the Republican base, and he could be a more dynamic figure on the campaign trail. But having never represented anything larger than a Congressional district, he is not as well vetted as Mr. Portman. Mr. Ryan, also, would introduce an ideological element to the campaign in the form of his conservative budget plan, which polls poorly with independent voters.
Four years ago, John McCain pulled a similar gambit hoping to win the election. Unfortunately for him, his choice was a real disaster. The unpopularity of Ryan’s policies outside of the GOP base is going to be an albatross around Romney’s neck.
More about this later