Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney & Ryan, Jumping the Shark...

He did it. He really did it. So where's the shark?

Oh, he's right here!

For now, Romney is still mainly running on an “I’m not the other guy” message. But his party is getting frustrated, because he’s running behind Barack Obama, and there are hints that the gap may be worsening. This is unacceptable to Republicans, who believe Romney should be leading, given the lousy state of the economy. And as with Dole 16 years ago, they’re now turning up the heat on their presumptive nominee to make their specific policy agenda the centerpiece of his fall campaign.

This is the backdrop for the growing calls from the right for Romney to choose Rep. Paul Ryan as his running-mate. The Wisconsin Republican is the author of a budget plan that serves as the Holy Grail of Tea Party-era conservatism. Where Romney is tolerated by the right, Ryan is beloved. The case for going with Romney is essentially the same as the case for Dole embracing supply-side and teaming up with Kemp back in ’96 – reassure and motivate a party base that’s apprehensive and suspicious and wake up the rest of the country by running on a Big Idea with a “bold” running-mate. [...]

Of course, as with Dole and supply-side, this is a move Democrats are dying for Romney to make. Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program provided them with priceless material last year, and they’re already at work tying his budget blueprint – which would necessitate deep cuts in the social safety net and produce “the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history” – to every Republican on the ballot this fall. For Romney to voluntarily build his general election effort around that plan would be a dream come true for Democratic ad makers.

Here in Nevada, Dean Heller and Joe Heck are learning the hard way. Yet for some reason, Mitt Romney refuses to acknowledge this.

Instead, Romney looks to be doubling down on busting Medicare, shredding Pell Grants and other forms of college financial aid, blowing up Medicaid, and all around destroying the social safety net that has made America's middle class AND economic success possible. As we discussed earlier this week, Mitt Romney has already defined himself as "Mr. 1%". Now that Paul Ryan is officially his running mate, that definition is getting plenty of cement.

And without a doubt, we'll have a stark contrast at the top of the ballot this fall. I just can't believe this is the contrast that Mitt Romney actually wants to make public! But since he's now made that choice, President Obama can now open the political gift that's set to keep on giving (to Democrats).

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