Mother Jones has published a hit piece against Susana Martinez, accusing her, essentially, of being a vindictive airhead. Headlined “Is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez the Next Sarah Palin?,” the article features a graphic of smoke surrounding her angry, disembodied, caricatured head.
The piece is a fine example of a fake news article; a piece whipped up solely for the purpose of being deployed in a future negative ad campaign, should Governor Martinez be nominated for vice-president. Most of the article is virtually content-free: the author, Andy Kroll, drones on and on about her biography for almost thirty paragraphs, briefly promising here and there to deliver the goods, which ultimately turn out to be that her policy proposals didn’t originate entirely from her own mind (“On policy, Martinez drew on borrowed ideas”), she sometimes privately swears and calls her opponents mean names, she doesn’t always get along with the state party, and that she and her aides nefariously plot to project a clean public image (“[C]ampaign emails and audio recordings also show how Martinez and her team strategized to maintain her straight-shooting image while avoiding actually being up-front with the public…”).
Stop the presses — Susana Martinez is a politician!
At one point, the article inexplicably contradicts its own headline, suggesting that while “[i]n the media, Martinez is often compared to Sarah Palin…perhaps the best comparison is to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.” In “the media”? You mean, in this very article?
Look, I know that when you write for an ideological news outlet, you’re obligated to try to discredit the opposing party’s up-and-comers. But speaking as someone who used to take part in this sort of fake journalism, it’s easily one of the most obnoxious elements of the business — and, while this article may yet serve its real purpose, should Governor Martinez run for higher office, nobody should think that it actually reveals anything damning. The worst that can said for Martinez after perusing Mother Jones’ evidence is that she is simply a politician and a human being — ambitious, calculating, and imperfect. Basically, just like Hillary Clinton. I eagerly await Mother Jones‘ hit piece comparing Secretary Clinton to Sarah Palin.
Exclusive: Christie was Mitt’s first choice for VP
One of the most tantalizing subplots of the 2012 campaign has been the curious and sometimes controversial performances of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Now, campaign insiders tell POLITICO that Christie was Mitt Romney’s first choice for the Republican ticket, lending an intriguing new context to the continuing drama around the Garden State governor.
The strong internal push for Christie, and Romney’s initial instinct to pick him as his running mate, reflects how conflicted the nominee remained about choosing a running mate until the very end of the process. At least on the surface, Christie and Paul Ryan are about as opposite as two Republicans could be: a brash outsider from the Northeast versus a bookish insider from the heartland.
And yet Romney switched from Christie to Ryan in a span of about two weeks, according to a detailed inside account provided to POLITICO.
Well, maybe. These “insider” stories need to be taken with a grain of salt. Not one source in the article is named. It could very well be true. It could also be true that Mitt seriously considered a number of candidates; each one in their turn being his “favorite”. He gives them all a fair shot that way. That is in line with what we know about Mitt and his decision making process. He likes to thoroughly investigate all the possibilities without prejudice.
The bottom-line is his final choice was Paul Ryan.
This web ad was put out by the RNC less than two hours after the debate:
It is somewhat reminiscent of the initial ad the DNC put out after the first debate. Remember this one?
Is there a difference? I would say, “Yes”. Romney was being assertive. Biden was being a jerk. Not once did Romney show disrespect to the President of the United States throughout that debate. Biden was dripping with condescension and disdain towards his opponent — which, come to think about it, isn’t that much different from the way Obama acted during the first debate. Biden was just more aggressive about it.
Paul Ryan and Joe Biden square off tonight at the Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in the one and only debate scheduled between the vice-presidential candidates. The event is scheduled to begin at 6PM-PT / 7PM-MT / 8PM-CT / 9PM-ET and will last 90 minutes. The overall topic is Domestic and Foreign Policy and will be moderated by ABC’s Martha Raddatz.
The rules are as follows:
It is scheduled to be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, CSPAN, FNC, FOX, MSNBC, NBC and PBS.
C-SPAN’s live feed can be found here. It is scheduled to go live two hours before the event — the same time this thread does.
So choose your poison and as always, have at it in the comments.
I can sum it up with three words, “Don’t get cocky!”
I have been watching presidential debates since the 1976 Ford/Carter showdown. That was the first such debate since the one-off experiment between Nixon/Kennedy in 1960.
1976 marked the beginning of what some call the modern era of presidential debates. That year they held three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate (sound familiar). Since that time, every election cycle has seen one VP debate with the sole exception being 1980. There was a VP debate scheduled that year, but arguments over whether or not to include the third party candidate for the office caused it to be cancelled.
VP debates historically have had little impact upon the race and have served little more than half-time entertainment. People vote for the president. They seldom vote for the vice-president or pay little attention to him. If the vice-president has any effect at all, it is more along the lines of confirming the voter’s choice for president, NOT vice-president. This year’s VP debate promises to conform with that assessment.
The election buzz right now has been about the first debate last Wednesday between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. That is almost all that either side is talking about. Obama entered the debate leading in nearly all the polls. The narrative was rapidly settling into “Obama has this in the bag”. The debate changed all that. What people saw that night was a competent, on-fire Romney and a listless, peevish, incompetent Obama. It blew apart the narrative and caused people to think, “Hmmm, maybe this Romney character is worth a serious look”.
Which is where tonight’s debate comes in. Tonight, the voters will be tuning in to see if what they saw eight days ago was a one-off thing, or can they really trust this Romney/Ryan team. They are looking to it to confirm what they saw.
Tonight promises to be a doozie of a debate. You have long-time Washington stalwart Joe Biden up against young Paul Ryan. Joe Biden has the reputation of being an idiot, but don’t be fooled. The guy has been around for a long time and is highly experienced in bare-knuckles fighting. Ryan on the other hand is young, brash, smart as a whip, and knows his facts and numbers inside and out and every which-a-way. Having served as the House Budget Committee Chairman, he has plenty of experience of his own in bare-knuckles fighting.
After Obama’s disastrous debate, Team Obama is eager to come out fighting. Anything short of an outright win will confirm to the voters that Romney/Ryan is worth a serious look. They have to blunt the narrative that has developed in the past week. They have to head off the stampede. If they cannot do that, they will be in serious trouble.
This places an uncomfortable, unnatural burden upon Obama’s runningmate. The bottom of the ticket has to outshine the top of the ticket. VP’s aren’t supposed to do that.
Then there is the matter of Biden’s folksy, slightly dotty uncle image. It makes him lovable, and he has used that to great advantage. The problem is it’s hard to be that AND be an aggressive attack dog at the same time. Can he pull it off? If anyone can it’s Joe Biden.
The task for Ryan is a little easier. The star at the moment is Mitt Romney. It was Romney, not Ryan that decimated the president in Denver. A win by Ryan would be a serious, perhaps decisive blow to Obama’s chances. Anything else short of a complete washout would only serve to blunt Romney’s momentum, not reverse it.
Predictions? I really cannot say. I predicted last week’s outcome almost exactly. I wish I could claim some great prognostic skills in that, but I can’t. It was blatantly obvious to any objective observer that Obama was an incompetent empty suit, and Romney was the exact opposite. The result was about as inevitable as anything in politics can be.
But this debate? Let me put it this way — Obama will not be on the stage tonight. Two proven professional, competent politicians will be. I can honestly see it going either way. All things being considered though, I give the edge to Ryan. He doesn’t have to defend the indefensible Obama record, Biden does.
I will make one observation as a note of caution. As stated above I’ve seen all the debates since 1976. Two other debates featured an older, more seasoned political veteran against a younger, more energetic opponent. That would be the 1988 Quayle/Bentsen debate and the 2008 Palin/Biden debate. The older guy won both times.
Just something to think about.
The moderator for tomorrow night’s VP debate had President Obama at her wedding. The Daily Caller reports:
President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.
The article goes on to describe what appears to be an attempt by ABCNews to cover-up the story. Read it and draw your own conclusions.
To me, this is a statute-of-limitations on stupidity sort of thing. While I’ll be the first one to point out liberal-bias in the media, and the effects of this cancer on our “free press”, the wedding happened over 20 years ago. The “happy couple” involved have since divorced and have gone on to marry other people. The article makes no mention of any more recent close ties between Obama and Raddatz other than the wedding. So I have to say that her being a member of the liberal press now is far more concerning to me than this little tidbit from her distant past.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney didn’t pick former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to become his vice-presidential running mate because she is pro-choice, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
“Condi was fully vetted to become Mitt Romney’s running mate and turned over financial records, including tax returns,” a source close to Rice tells Radar.
“Mitt thought she would add much needed foreign policy experience to the ticket, thinks she is incredibly bright and he knew she would help with the all important female vote and African American support.
“However, Mitt’s advisers talked him out of it because Condi is pro-choice and she isn’t willing to change her position on the controversial issue. Condi also supports same sex civil unions which again, put her at odds with Romney. Mitt had a hard time getting the ultra conservative support of the GOP and was told if he picked Condi that would immediately be lost and so he ultimately picked Congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate.”
First point: This comes from the infamous, “source close to …”, which could mean anyone from Condi herself to the third cousin twice removed of the man who drives the street sweeper past her house twice a month.
Second point: It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Rice did get vetted. In fact, it would surprise me more if she wasn’t. However, the highly detailed explanation as to why Mitt ultimately went with someone else is suspect. I especially don’t trust the account of his advisers talking him out of it. That makes it sound like Mitt would have gone with her if it hadn’t been for his mean old advisers ganging up on the poor lady. I suspect that somebody is putting their pro-Rice spin on the story.
From CNBC’s Kudlow Report:
So the bottom line is Hillary got asked by the White House staff if she wanted the job. She doesn’t. She’s burned out after four years as Secretary of State. She also sees it as a lose-lose for her. If Obama loses, it will hurt her in 2016. If Obama wins, she will then have to defend his far-left policies when she runs in 2016.
The wild card is Bill Clinton. He likes the idea, and may be able to persuade her if Obama gets desperate.
-The following is a guest editorial from longtime reader, Thomas Alan.-KWN
Imagine for a moment if Romney had picked a man heralded as a strong social conservative. Someone in the Santorum model that would bring gay marriage, abortion, contraception, and family values to the forefront. How about if Romney had picked up a John Bolton and made a strong foreign policy the center of his campaign?
Most of those cheering Ryan today would be downright furious with Romney for shifting the focus of the campaign away from a sure winner in order to litigate an important, but much more dicey issue. Why fight about abortion when the country is at 8.2% unemployment? Obama wants to shift the debate away from the country’s desperate condition, why help him?
But that’s exactly what Ryan does. He moves the debate away from our current economic woes and allows Obama to shift the fight to long-view entitlement reform. Specifically, Medicare, which Obama is thrilled to see become a central battleground.
Is social conservatism important? Yes. We’ve had an ongoing debate about it in this country for decades. Is foreign policy important? Yes. We live in dangerous times and Obama has done a nice job of coddling our enemies and kicking the can down the road so that there are many days of reckoning coming sooner than we’d like to think. But those issues are not what this election was about.
Similarly, reforming entitlements is also important. Critical even. But it’s not a position of strength at the moment. It’s eternally a position of weakness. People get scared when you start fiddling with Medicare and Social Security. There’s a reason Mediscare ads come out every election. It’s a position that’s very easy to demagogue, but difficult to explain. Can Romney and Ryan explain it? Yes they can.
But in politics, explaining is losing. Explaining means you’re on the defensive. While Obama can run an ad simply saying Ryan’s plan ends Medicare as we know it, Romney/Ryan need to bring out their plan, show that their plan is a choice, point to a chart showing our long-term financial struggles, and then explain it all to the voter who probably will be tuning out after the third sentence.
For those that believe that we would need to have this fight anyway. That Romney is already attached to the Ryan plan and would need to defend it. That’s not how politics work. Obama has been trying for months to engage Romney on the subject, but the nature of the campaign has foiled him. Since Romney wasn’t making it the centerpiece of his campaign, it’s had the effect of nibbling on the edges, like the War on Women and other themes Obama has tried. Romney could easily massage the controversy and maintain his focus on the economy.
What’s more, it’s currently a quixotic quest. If the election were about social conservatism, there are things a president can do about it. Nominate judges, get rid of the race baiters in the DOJ Obama has installed, support DOMA, shelve Obama’s illegal amnesty. For foreign policy, the president can essentially alter our direction at his whim.
Romney can (and will) do all those things despite not making them centerpieces of his campaign.
But entitlement reform? Never going to happen in the next Congress no matter how much time Romney spends on it over the next few months, or how successfully he makes his case. It will assuredly be blocked in the Senate, where we’re most likely going to have a small majority. If President Bush, eager to make a deal, couldn’t even get Democrats to approach the table for a no-brainer like private accounts in Social Security when he had 55 Republican Senators and only needed a couple of Democrats to negotiate with, no way do they stick their necks out to help a Republican president on Medicare.
Do we need a debate on entitlement reform and the country’s long-term fiscal crisis? Most assuredly. However, we’re not going to change the whole country’s opinion in the next 80 days. It’s a national conversation that will take years, and likely will only bear fruit after multiple years of a successful president effectively using the bully pulpit, prestige, and media advantages of the White House.
A two-year conversation on the subject, followed by a mid-term election (where voters tend to be better informed), and hoping for a robust recovery to put the wind at your back, is the strategy for putting something like Ryan’s plan into place. And to accomplish it, Romney would need to channel the ghosts of Reagan or Roosevelt to bring a skeptical country on board.
Now is not the time to go all in on that conversation. Our opponent is too strong, emotions on the subject too high, our case too complex, and time is too short. Those that want it anyway are letting their emotions get the best of them and are more interested in the catharsis of losing the right way over following the strongest path to victory.
-Thomas Alan has been an avid supporter of Romney since early-2006, and is a lapsed blogger on several websites dedicated to making Romney president.
With a few days to digest the news of Mitt Romney’s choice for his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, it can be observed that some folks are misreading the choice.
Interestingly enough, most of those who misread it are not Democrats. Publicly, of course, virtually all those who speak for Team Obama, and those who think they speak for them, are verbally celebrating the “poor” choice, now almost guaranteeing the president’s election. That is the inevitable and predictable spin. No matter who Romney chose, these partisan spokespersons would have said the same thing.
But the president himself, and most savvy Democratic operatives, are speaking very respectfully of Paul Ryan the man and public official. That’s because you don’t have to be a all-wise media consultant to know that Paul Ryan has a formidable private and political persona. These Democrats know that Romney not only made the best choice he could, but that the choice is going to make it more difficult for them to win in November. Of course, the Democrats are definitely not throwing in the towel. They know that voters do not often cast their ballot for vice president, and the liberals feel they can handily beat Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate for president.
It really is some Republicans and faux-conservatives who are misreading the Ryan choice. Of course, Mr. Ryan is not a perfect candidate, no one ever is, but he is likely to do something few vice presidential candidates ever do, i.e., notably help the top of the ticket.
In some ways, Paul Ryan brings some of the best attributes of most of his rivals for vice president, and without their liabilities. He is as smart and Washington-wise as Rob Portman. He is as young, blue collar and articulate as Tim Pawlenty, He has much of the grass roots appeal, and ability to talk back to Democrats, as Chris Christie. He brings almost as many electoral votes to the table as Bob McDonnell. On the other hand, he is an Irish-German Catholic, with a great family, a spotless background, a fine personal story, and an informal, sincere manner that is almost unknown in politics these days.
He does have some controversial votes (for conservatives) from his earlier days in the U.S. House. His reform of government plan is not without possible controversies, and he is also untested on the national political stage. But these, as I see it, are far outweighed by the many pluses he brings to the campaign, not the least of which is his seeming energizing of his now-mentor Mitt Romney.
What some Republicans and self-styled conservative analysts seem to be objecting to, ironically, is his conservative substance. “Ammunition for Obama,” “Makes the ticket vulnerable,” “Too risky ideas,” are what they are saying, as if any GOP vice presidential choice could have by-passed Team Obama attacks.
He has only been the vice presidential choice for a few days. It is always possible he might make some gaffes, or not be up to the challenge he faces. But he is far less risky than a Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew, John Edwards, or Sarah Palin, and so far he has energized his party as few vice presidential choices ever have.
Before he was elected to Congress, Paul Ryan was a staffer in the nation’s capital. Among those he learned from was the late Jack Kemp, himself a prominent congressman chosen to run for vice president. Kemp had his shortcomings and idiosyncracies, but he was an extraordinary political figure in his day, known for his mastery of economic issues, his conservative ideals, his frequent eloquence, and for being liked and respected even by his opponents. For those of us who remember Kemp with admiration, the emergence of his protege Paul Ryan is a sign of rebirth and rejuvenation of the conservative party.
-Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.
Our Race42012 Veep Prediction contest was a roaring success this year, pulling in nearly three times the predictions of our 2008 contest. And out of over one hundred ten predictions, I have to choose four of them as co-champions.
Twenty-seven people said Romney would pick Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential candidate. Out of those 27, not a single person guessed a rollout on 8/11 or in Virginia.
However, since the rollout was originally scheduled to happen on Friday the 10th, I am declaring the four people who chose that date as co-winners. They are:
Matthew E. Miller
Congratulations, and enjoy your bragging rights among the Race community!
While watching Mitt Romney’s announcement of Paul Ryan as his VP choice and the Congressman’s subsequent address, it became quite clear that they seek to move the perception of the ticket – and, consequently, the Republican Party – in a new direction.
Of course, our always-insightful Dave Gaultier already has expanded on this notion, so I won’t venture into his territory; rather, I’ll cite aspects of the speech that I considered particularly effective.
First and foremost, Mitt began his portion of the rollout with Ryan’s personal background, making it a point to discuss the challenging circumstances the Budget Committee Chairman’s family faced during his youth. Romney then proceeded to highlight Ryan’s character, integrity, and honesty and praise his bipartisan efforts, optimism, and leadership. Words cannot express the importance of this, as Team Romney must do everything it can to get out ahead of the Democrats’ Mediscare tactics by defining Ryan in a positive light.
The Governor also didn’t just talk about Ryan’s favorite issues – the debt and budgetary reform, he also branched out into the all-important topics of income growth and economic revitalization. This provides a strong signal that the Romney campaign intends to fold Ryan’s specialty into a broad, comprehensive vision they’ll offer as an alternative to President Obama’s.
Also in the realm of messaging and defining the ticket, Mitt brought up the fact that Obamacare cuts Medicare by $800 billion and pledged to “strengthen and preserve” Medicare and Social Security. While this may offend some of our ideological sensibilities, a campaign that figures to get hammered on long-term entitlement reform must frame the issue on their favored terms. The aforementioned verbiage takes care of that.
During his speaking time, Ryan took care to describe himself as a solutions-oriented problem-solver. This is music to the ears of Independents, including my fellow suburbanites (especially those of the non-ideological variety). This also suggests to voters that while Romney-Ryan’s proposals will undoubtedly have foundations in conservative philosophy, the ticket does not consist of ideologues.
Along these lines, Ryan threw down the gauntlet to address the big issues and problems facing America. As DaveG has noted, many campaigns have paid lip service to these lofty ambitions in the past, but none have pushed them as one of the key tenets of their platform.
The Congressman took Gov. Romney’s attempts to resurrect Americans’ collective spirit to another level, specifically challenging the notion, widely embraced within the Beltway, of the “New Normal” and arguing that current conditions have dampened our sense of optimism and confidence in the future.
He reminded us that the Democrats enjoyed supermajorities in both houses of Congress during the first two years of the Obama administration, helping to counter the false narrative of Obama’s reform attempts getting stymied at every turn. He contrasted the pettiness of the Obama campaign and other Democrats with a vow to take a positive message of growth and opportunity to “every corner of the country”. He defended risk-taking and entrepreneurship (“If you have a small business, you DID build that!”). He repeatedly talked about income growth. And he definitively proclaimed, “We CAN turn this thing around!”
All in all, Rep. Ryan, Gov. Romney, and the rest of the campaign team collectively hit a home run with the announcement. They kept the media (and observers like us!) guessing until the very end, they ignited the enthusiasm of the Republican base, and they boldly moved the party in a new direction, one geared toward leadership on the tough issues of the day, solutions, and reform.
Buckle up, my friends, and get your popcorn ready. We’re in for quite a show this Fall!
There you have it. So, that day off back on August 6 was evidently spent planning the new Veep rollout since the original plan had to be scrapped due to the Sikh memorial service. (And I am glad that I read the tea leaves at least partially correctly when I predicted the rollout for Friday the 10th. Heh.) Looks like once again, Pawlenty is stuck holding the “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” card. Someday, I would love to know who the other names on that list of twenty were, and when and how the runners-up were notified.
~This thread will be bumped and updated throughout the day~
Ryan Pick Means A New Campaign For Romney - BuzzFeed
Romney’s campaign raises $2M after Ryan veep announcement - The Hill
Romney’s secret VP search: How he kept it quiet - The Los Angeles Times
Evaluating the Paul Ryan Pick - Sean Trende
Smart Democrats Should Be Worried - John Fund
Just the Ticket - National Review
Already Hard at Work - @dgjackson
Romney Campaign: We’re Putting Together Our Own Plan - BuzzFeed
What the Paul Ryan VP pick means for Obama - Politico
Internal Talking Points: Romney Will Push His ‘Own’ Budget Proposal,Not Paul Ryan’s Plan - ABC News
What being said about the Ryan Pick:
Sen. Marco Rubio:
Throughout his life, Mitt Romney has made great decisions, and choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is a truly inspired choice. I got to know Paul during my Senate campaign when he endorsed me early on when I was still considered a long shot. Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama and other Washington politicians trying to tear him down.
The Romney-Ryan ticket is going to win in November because it offers the American people visionary leadership to recapture the free enterprise spirit that has empowered countless Americans to build businesses from scratch and live the American dream. I’m excited about the visionary change a Romney-Ryan team will bring to Washington, and I look forward to campaigning with them this fall.
Amb. John Bolton:
Every American and every American ally abroad should be heartened by Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Congressman Ryan deeply understands that American leadership in foreign policy makes for a more peaceful world and a safer, more prosperous America. And he and Governor Romney will restore our economic strength at home that is the basis of our influence abroad. For nearly four years, we have seen the dangerous conditions that are created when a president refuses to lead. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will restore American leadership.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
Paul Ryan is a bold and inspiring choice as Governor Romney’s running mate. Congressman Ryan shares the belief that American leadership is vital to a more peaceful and prosperous world. He will help to restore America at home so that we can lead again because he understands that America is an exceptional and indispensable nation on the world stage.
President George W. Bush:
This is a strong pick. Governor Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America, and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations.
Gov. Chris Christie:
With Paul Ryan on the ticket this is a team that understands the economic stagnation our country has been facing the last four years and the urgency with which we need to change course. The Romney-Ryan team is uniquely positioned to make the tough choices necessary to confront our fiscal challenges and get results.
Gov. Bobby Jindal:
Paul is a good friend and one of the smartest guys I served with in Congress. He has the courage of his convictions, which is what our nation needs.
Speaker John Boehner:
Paul Ryan is a reformer and a proven leader who will be a great partner to Governor Romney in his efforts to get our country, and our economy, back on track. At a time when millions of Americans are still looking at President Obama’s policies and asking ‘where are the jobs?’ Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will focus on common sense solutions to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and get the federal government out of the way of small business job creators.
I’m proud to call Paul Ryan a friend, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that he and Mitt Romney – along with our entire Republican ticket – are well positioned to win in November.
Sen. John McCain:
Governor Romney and Representative Ryan are the strongest team to return America to prosperity and to defend our interests abroad. Paul Ryan has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation’s economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration. I look forward to working for the election of the Romney-Ryan team this fall.
Gov. Jeb Bush:
I applaud Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Congressman Ryan’s command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office. This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve. And, I believe it will ensure a victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket this November
And as always, have at it in the comments!
Mitt Romney has tapped Paul Ryan to be his VP running-mate. I have mixed feelings about it.
First and foremost, I am jazzed that Romney picked such as strong fiscal conservative. Mitt has been saying for months that this election must be about giving America a clear choice. Do you want the status quo of bigger and bigger government, more and more tax hikes, higher and higher debt, and greater and greater spending; or do you wish to return America to a solid fiscal foundation. Romney/Ryan provides that stark contrast to the tax and spend spendthrift ways of Obama/Biden.
I am also impressed that Romney picked a running-mate who could end up out-shining him. Mitt went for the best man for the job, not the best man to make Mitt look good. That is a solid executive decision.
I do have two worries, however. First, Ryan really doesn’t seem to have that much executive experience. Will he be able to step into Romney’s shoes if something happens to him? Pawlenty and Jindal both have years of executive experience. Even Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House before he became Senator. What does Ryan bring to the table? Less than two years as House Budget Committee chairman. That doesn’t impress me as adequate preparation for stepping into the most challenging and difficult executive job on the planet.
To counterbalance that is Mitt’s long history and reputation of being able to pick rising executive talent. If Mitt says Ryan could handle being President, then you can take it to the bank that Ryan can handle being President.
The other worry I have is that the Romney Campaign may pull a McCain and try to over-manage their VP selection. I thought I saw a hint of that this morning when I was watching Ryan’s acceptance speech. His deliver seemed a little awkward to me. I began to suspect that maybe the words coming out of his mouth were not his but something that someone else had written for him. If that is true, it’s not a good sign. I don’t want to see the Romney Campaign make the same mistake that the McCain campaign made with Sarah Palin.
For now I am hoping that the awkward delivery I witnessed this morning was primarily caused by the excitement of the moment and the natural butterflies that had to be in poor man’s stomach. Or if someone had written his speech for him, it was meant as a one-time off because of time-constraints. Now that he is “officially” the guy, Paul should have plenty of time to put his personal stamp on his speeches.
We shall see how this plays out. But on the whole, I think it is a solid pick by Romney.
UPDATE V: Logo time!
Here we go……
“Carl Cameron is reporting tonight that Mitt Romney will announce his running mate at 9AM ET Saturday in Norfolk, Va.” More here.
UPDATE: “THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that the Romney campaign has begun to prepare a vigorous effort in support of Paul Ryan if he is selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick” More here.
UPDATE II: “NBC News: 3 Sources indicate Rep Paul Ryan is Romney’s Vice Presidential pick.”
UPDATE III: “@jonkarl: Who it is not: Portman, Pawlenty and Rubio. All told they are not the pick.”
UPDATE IV: “AP source: Romney picks Ryan for running mate”
Many of you above a certain age can remember the show Dallas. In the 1980 season ending cliff-hanger, the main character, J.R. was shot by an unknown assailant. The reaction across America was electric. “Who shot J.R”, was the question on everyone’s lips, even those of us who seldom, if ever watched the show. It was everywhere. It was on the news, in the papers, on the talk shows, in the magazines, even in the comics. Betting parlors ran odds on the likely culprits. Everyone wanted to know who shot him.
The producers of the show recognized the gold mine they had. On the show which revealed the big secret, they wrote and filmed multiple versions, each one showing a different main character as the trigger man. So nobody knew but the producers themselves which episode was going to air; which miscreant did the deed.
With the RNC set to begin in a little over two-weeks, the announcement of who will occupy the #2 spot on the GOP ticket can come at any time. Therefore, it is really no surprise that the rumors and speculation regarding just who will be Romney’s running mate are being reported non-stop across the blogosphere today.
One of the more interesting predictions comes from Josh Kraushaar at the National Journal, who predicts a surprise choice:
Every month at the Hotline, we publish our veepstakes rankings, the list of the most likely running mates to serve on Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential ticket. It’s preceded by a vigorous staff-wide debate on the merits of the numerous contenders. The process is hardly an exact science, but we use our best judgment, reporting, and intuition to make the final calls.
But I’m having an increasingly difficult time reconciling the buzz that Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty are the clear favorites, even as I’m finding it harder to see what they add to the ticket. Given Romney’s tendency to play it safe, GOP operatives insist they’re the front-runners, but my gut instinct and contrarian nature make me think we could be in for a preconvention surprise.
Portman, for all his strengths, is a consummate Beltway insider — one of the worst political sins in this antiestablishment political environment. Even more damaging, he worked for President George W. Bush as the director of the Office of Management and Budget at a time when spending was on the rise. That’s a double whammy, alienating independents who fear Romney’s economic policies will be a return to the Bush years and disappointing conservatives who could view Portman as complicit in the excess spending.
Pawlenty, meanwhile, has been an unfailingly loyal surrogate for Romney, could appeal to working-class voters, and hails from the upper Midwest, an important swing region. But his own political track record isn’t impressive: Pawlenty failed to win 50 percent of the vote in his two gubernatorial races and didn’t come close to meeting expectations in his own short-lived presidential campaign. He may well be the safest pick, but that’s not saying much.
Given that Romney is a largely undefined figure, his selection of a running mate matters a lot more to him than it did for past presidential nominees. Voters know he was a successful businessman, but don’t have a sense of how he would govern. Romney has been unusually hesitant to tout his own story so far. Polls and focus groups show that the wave of attack ads blasting him as out-of-touch with the middle class is beginning to take a toll on his image.
Romney holds a fundamental advantage over President Obama in the November election: He controls his own destiny. Obama already has used up most of his best attack ads against Romney and is merely hoping that the economy doesn’t get any worse. He’s largely at the mercy of forces beyond his control now. Most voters have already made up their minds about him. But by picking a talented running mate and delivering a winning convention acceptance speech, Romney has the opportunity to convince the skeptics and redefine the election.
Secondly, Sen. Rob Portman doubled-down on his previous statements that he does not expect to be selected in an interview with CNN reported earlier today:
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman threw cold water on the idea of becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate on Wednesday, saying he thinks he’ll “end up staying” in the Senate.
“I just got elected two years ago. I think that’s where I’m going to end up staying,” Portman said when asked his thoughts about possibly leaving the Senate and becoming vice president.
“I think it’s a very important position right now,” Portman continued. The senator reasoned there are pressing issues facing the nation – including the debt, the deficit, developing energy resources and health care issues.
Portman then added: “And right now Congress is paralyzed. And we’re really in kind of a partisan gridlock. We need leadership, and that’s where I intend to stay. I think I can really help in there.”
“That’s where I think I’ll end up being.”
And finally, David Frum posits that Paul Ryan would be the worst choice that Mitt Romney could make:
The clamor you are hearing for Paul Ryan for VP is not about helping the Romney candidacy. It’s about controlling the Romney campaign—and ultimately the Romney presidency. It’s about forcing a platform on Romney, and then dictating the agenda for that presidency’s first year. The platform happens to be suicidal, and the agenda impossible, but that does not matter to the Ryan advocates. They take the old Tammany Hall point of view: “Better to lose an agenda than lose control of the party.”
In that sense, the Ryan proposal is a test of Romney’s leadership. If he accedes, it’s a big surrender of control—and a surrender to many of those who most opposed (and who inwardly continue to dislike) his nomination.
We will all find out shortly just who Romney has selected. Until then, let the speculation (and hyperbole) continue!
Hat-tip: The Argo Journal
The deadline to enter the Romney campaign’s contest to meet “America’s Comeback Team” has been pushed back to midnight on Friday, August 10. Many are taking this as a sign that the VP announcement will not be made until after the contest ends. However, I happened across an interesting tidbit this afternoon while searching for Romney’s public schedule on Friday (which, quite interestingly, still remains undisclosed).
The website ncvictory2012.com is a website set up as part of the Romney Victory Fund, and is managed jointly by the North Carolina GOP (NCGOP.com) and the national GOP (GOP.com). On their news page, they saw fit to share this story from a Washington Post article yesterday:
Mitt Romney will embark on a multi-state bus tour on Aug. 10, a campaign aide confirmed Tuesday, setting off a new round of speculation over the presumptive GOP nominee’s choice of a running mate.
Now, this may be absolutely nothing — thin as tea leaves usually are — but it may be something important. Note the date the bus tour begins: August 10. Friday.
Up until now, the media coverage has been about a bus tour beginning August 11 in Virginia (see here, here, here, and here just for a few examples). If a Romney aide now confirms that the bus tour actually is beginning on Friday, shouldn’t that be big news?
And if that aforementioned bus tour actually begins on Friday, but not a single event on Friday has been made public yet, shouldn’t that pique some interest?
I report, you decide…
Well, in a nod to the secrecy of Team Romney, folks here at Race42012 predicted sixteen different people as Romney’s Vice Presidential pick. With 110 predictions logged (up nearly 300% from the 40 entries we had in 2008 – nice work!), here’s how the chips fell:
We also chose dates ranging anywhere from today through August 29:
Roughly half of Race42012 readers predicted Obama would choose Biden four years ago, so that bodes well for Paul Ryan and Tim Pawlenty this time around…
Our full slate of picks is below the fold. Once again, the winner will receive front page kudos for your political crystal ball skills. Date and location will be used as a tiebreaker if necessary, and the notification via Romney’s VP app does not count as the date of the actual announcement. May the best armchair politico win!
Plus, was there a secret meeting between Romney and Petraeus in New Hamphsire? Cue the Drudge siren:
President Obama whispered to a top fundraiser this week that he believes GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus to the VP slot!
“The president wasn’t joking,” the insider explains to the DRUDGE REPORT.
A Petraeus drama has been quietly building behind the scenes.
Romney is believed to have secretly met with the four-star general in New Hampshire.
Bumped from 8/4/12: The contest closes at noon today, so make sure you get your prediction in! We’re close to a hundred entries now – thanks for reading and commenting!
Bumped from 8/3/12: We’ve already had 60 entries in the Romney Veep Prediction contest – make sure you get yours in soon! The contest will close tomorrow at noon. Check out the existing entries below the fold and add your own in the comments!
With the rumors flying that Romney will announce his Vice President next week – and the near certainty that the pick will be announced within the next 15 days — it’s time to open everyone’s favorite quadrennial guessing game: predict the Veep!
In the comments, leave three predictions: who the VP candidate will be, the day the announcement will occur, and the location from where it will be made (as in physical location – Romney’s VP app doesn’t count). I’ll compile all the predictions over the next several days and close the contest sometime at the beginning of next week, I imagine.
For what it’s worth, my prediction is Ohio Senator Rob Portman, announced on Friday, August 10 from Cincinnati, OH.
Also for what it’s worth, my pick four years ago for Obama was Tim Kaine… so there’s that.
Go crazy in the comments. The winner will be whoever chooses the correct candidate and comes the closest on date and location — and will get a front page mention for their crystal ball skills.
Mitt Romney has taken the day off of campaigning, according to the press pool following him around this morning. He is in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where he will be spending the entire day at his summer home “huddling” with senior advisers (and other guests?):
Mitt Romney is huddling with senior advisers at home, per campaign aides, after running errands in downtown Wolfeboro this am
— Shawna Shepherd (@ShepherdCNN) August 6, 2012
Outside NH grocery store Romney tells protective press pool: “I’ve got some folks coming over today.” Laughs when asked if veeps coming by.
— Jim Acosta (@jimacostacnn) August 6, 2012
Romney ran some errands in downtown Wolfeboro before the all day meeting began, hitting a hardware store, a drug store, and a grocery store. The press seemed to get a kick out of detailing his purchases, which included corn, bottled water, caffeine free Diet Coke, and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi.
But seriously, what else is worth taking a day off the campaign trail at this point for, other than finalizing the Veep choice and the details of the rollout? It’s coming soon…
Another day, another set of tea leaves in the Romney VP watch. First, this juicy tidbit came out of Wall Street on Friday afternoon:
@jimpethokoukis Rumor circulated on Wall St. yesterday that Chris Christie’s wife had resigned from Cantor. Was taken as Christie 4 VP sign
— Joseph A. Tranfo (@JATranfo) August 3, 2012
Christie’s wife, for what it’s worth, is Mary Pat Foster, and she works (worked?) part-time at the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. If she indeed did resign from the firm, it would be curious timing if it wasn’t related to the Romney campaign in some fashion. On the other hand, rumors also have Chris Christie as the yet-to-be-announced keynote speaker at the RNC, meaning he wouldn’t be the VP pick. The battle of the dueling rumors continues…
Speaking of the RNC, this morning the Republican party announced its first batch of speakers for the four-day Tampa bash. It’s safe to say none of these folks will be the VP pick (but I think you knew that, once you see the list):
It’s pretty easy to see Mitt Romney’s influence in this lineup, focusing on executive governing experience. Perhaps surprisingly, the lineup contains less-than-popular governors such as Kasich and Scott who are no doubt looking to use this opportunity to rehabilitate their political images. And I guess the dream of having Condi on the ticket is now officially dead. Heh.
More notable, of course, is who was not included on the list: Ryan, Rubio, Christie, Pawlenty, Thune, Portman, Jindal… a lot of heavy hitters are missing. We will be waiting anxiously for the gaps to continue being filled in. For now, we finally have the first confirmed piece of the puzzle.
The final Vice Presidential rankings are here!
1. Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota
Since dropping out of the race and endorsing Mitt Romney, Gov. Pawlenty has become a top surrogate for the campaign, proving he could fit seamlessly into the VP role. Pawlenty would seem to fit the same role Rob Portman would, except that he is better tested on the national campaign stage and is equally as accomplished. Gov. Pawlenty is one of a number of potential picks who is rumored to have key boosters within Romney’s high command in Boston, significantly raising his prospects. The former Minnesota governor seems to check all the boxes that Gov. Romney set as his requirments: qualified to be president, pro-life, and has a good personal rapport with the nominee. His working-class, midwestern roots and his performance on the trail seem to have won over much of Romney’s team, and rumors indicate he is the new frontrunner to join the ticket.
2. Paul Ryan, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
Paul Ryan’s buzz has picked up in recent days, with the Wisconsin congressman becoming the most probable “bold” choice for Gov. Romney. Ryan is a favorite of conservative activists and policy wonks alike. Midwestern, Catholic, and beloved by both the establishment and the activist base, Ryan checks a number of boxes for the Romney campaign. He reportedly gets along very well with Romney, and his wonkish reputation fits Romney’s own data-driven management style. Ryan’s budget would be a big target for the Democrats, but Ryan is it’s most impressive and effective defender, more than capable of taking punches and throwing them back.
3. Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio
The junior senator from Ohio was once the consensus choice among political professionals inside the party. Elected to seven consecutive terms in the U.S. House, Portman would go on to serve as both U.S. Trade Representative and OMB Director under President George W. Bush before becoming a senator. His extensive knowledge of policy and government and his popularity in his home state make the Ohio senator a solid, safe choice for the Romney campaign. Portman has significant support in Boston and continues a string of public appearances that signal he is prepping for a possible vice presidential candidacy.
4. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana
The young Louisiana governor has been a rising star in the GOP for a few years now, despite his fumbled State of the Union response speech. Jindal, at just 40, has amassed an amazing resume of varying experience; governor, congressmen, state secretary of health and hospitals, and president of the Louisiana University System. He has reformed and revitalized one of the most corrupt states in the country and has impressed many in both the establishment and the conservative movement with his brilliant grasp of policy.
5. Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida
This choice seems to be the most obvious on paper. Sen. Rubio is uniquely both the darling of the Tea Party and a rising star in the GOP establishment. Rubio’s youth, Cuban heritage, popularity with the base, and home state are all seen as adding significantly to the GOP ticket’s potential. Rubio’s youth and inexperience could work against him during the selection process, but the Florida Senator does have a key backers in Romney’s camp in former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, as well as support from Jeb Bush and Karl Rove, indicating the real weight behind a potential Rubio bid.
6. Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia
The Virginia governor is currently one of the most popular politicians in the country, hailing from one of the key general election states, and carrying with him a solid record on jobs and the economy. A strong social conservative with the ability to attract independent voters and Reagan Democrats, McDonnell has positioned himself strongly for the VP nomination. Along with his statewide experience in the legislature, the attorney general’s office, and now as governor, McDonnell also brings 21 years of military service, which would make him the only veteran on either ticket.
7. John Thune, U.S. Senator from South Dakota
The junior senator from South Dakota has been a rising GOP star for several years now. John Thune made a national name for himself as a “giant-killer” by defeating then-Senate minority leader Tom Daschle in 2004. Since his victory, Thune has quickly risen through the GOP ranks in the Senate, and has been a VP favorite for a number of Beltway republicans. He was even considered a top choice for president this cycle before bowing out of the race early on. While unknown to much of the country, Sen. Thune’s midwestern, small town roots and evangelical faith combined with his legislative experience could make him a dark horse selection for Gov. Romney.
8. Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
The brash New Jersey governor has become one of Mitt Romney’s most trusted and powerful surrogates. In some cases, he seems to make a better case for Romney than Romney has himself. Christie’s attitude and tough talk have earned him rave reviews among both establishment republicans and conservatives. However, in many corners of the conservative movement, Christie is viewed as a moderate, and pairing him with Romney could turn off these voters. But a Romney-Christie ticket could potentially realign the map, putting into play states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey that have not gone to the GOP since 1988.
9. Kelly Ayotte, U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
The junior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire just might become the top female choice for Vice President should Gov. Romney decide to select a woman as a running mate. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is both highly accomplished and a close ally of the former Massachusetts governor. The Senator is also the most experienced of the fresh-faced crop of potential female candidates. Her academic, legal, and public service credentials are very similar to other popular VP contenders, like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, both elected in 2009. Should Romney value adding a woman to the ticket, this mother of two would certainly have both the stature and experience to fit the bill.
10. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State
The former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser has become a much buzzed about candidate lately, with rumors swirling that she may be the frontrunner for the VP nomination. Dr. Rice would bring several obvious advantages, and some equally obvious disadvantages, to the national ticket were she to be the surprise selection. Sec. Rice would add significant foreign policy experience to the ticket, which would compliment Gov. Romney’s domestic and economic experience. She would be a history-making selection as African American woman, while being immune from the Sarah Palin treatment due to her extensive academic and foreign policy credentials. However, her public position on abortion and her connection to George W. Bush could cause as much strife as excitement among the GOP faithful.
Honorable Mention: Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jon Kyl, Eric Cantor
PS: The Power Rankings will be on hiatus for a few months. But win or lose, they will be back in November (hopefully to rank President Romney’s 2016 opponents)!
Exceedingly odd. He gets into the Veep stuff at about 1:35.
Ok, does this happen unless Jindal’s already been told he’s not the guy? I don’t see how.
These ideas began as a comment on my colleague Matthew Miller’s helpful reminder of Paul Ryan’s sheer brilliance when it comes to philosophical framing of the choice we face this November. I decided to turn it into a full-fledged post, to open up some debate on one of my favorite political topics, the Veepstakes, just ahead of Gov. Romney’s final decision.
Back in April, I advocated Congressman Ryan as Gov. Romney’s best choice for VP. Despite the scuttlebutt that Tim Pawlenty has pulled into a commanding lead on Mitt’s Veep depth chart, I maintain my preference of Ryan (and this comes from someone totally in the tank for T-Paw back during the primary campaign). I also take the view that Ryan would actually help more than Pawlenty among younger voters and moderates, by improving the ticket’s – and the Republican Party’s – brand.
First and foremost, Rep. Ryan would bring enormous intellectual heft to the ticket, as evidenced once again by the videos in the aforementioned Matthew Miller post. I don’t mean this to denigrate T-Paw as an intellectual lightweight, but few, if any, can better articulate the merits of capitalism, free enterprise, and limited government than our dear Budget Committee Chairman. This would go a long way toward changing the perception of the GOP (among young voters, moderates, suburbanites, and other growing demographics) from a rural-dominated group deficient in critical thinking to a liberty-focused, philosophically sophisticated bunch – closer to the positioning the party established during the Reagan years.
Many in Romney’s corner have voiced concern that tapping Ryan would shift the conversation away from the economy and onto his budget proposals. I may stand alone here, but I would welcome this shift if it changed the target of the Democrats’ attacks from Romney’s wealth – their current topic du jour – to entitlement reform. Class warfare is very powerful politically. It plays into voters’ insecurities and jealousies. People can do scary things when their emotions take over. And like it or not, Mitt already struggles with the “empathy” test. That, along with the electoral efficacy of class warfare, largely accounts for why Democrats have trained their fire on Mitt’s wealth so often in the campaign, and they show no signs of discontinuing. If he figures to get attacked for his success, anyway, why not at least strive to extract some benefit from it, by going all-in on long-term, structural budget reform with Rep. Ryan?
And that brings me to my next point: adding a counter-punch to the Romney campaign. Mitt has drawn criticism for relying too heavily on negativity, instead of following up his critiques of the President with proposals of his own. What better way to do that than to add arguably the biggest policy wonk among Republican elected officials in Washington, not to mention one of the most persuasive salesmen of conservative reform? Instead of simply arguing, in effect, “Obama’s policies stink,” Team Romney can go on the offensive with, “Obama’s policies stink, and we can do better. Here’s how.” We must not underestimate the significance of this; voters don’t always just want to vote against someone or something, they prefer to vote for something else, if given the chance. This especially holds true if the person they would have to vote against retains strong popularity on a personal level.
Last but not least, Ryan has spent 13 years in Washington. While that in itself carries some risk, it also means he has forged valuable relationships and connections on the Hill. Recent administrations have demonstrated the advantages of a vice president well-versed in the legislative process. As such, a Vice President Ryan could prove invaluable with spearheading a President Romney’s agenda through Congress. All the executive experience in the world doesn’t matter very much if the president can’t get any legislation passed. Ryan’s ability to help in this realm adds the figurative cherry on top for his case.
In the end, Paul Ryan may not have the greatest chances of getting the eventual nod from Gov. Romney, but when we take a step back and analyze the long-term implications of this campaign, he remains the best option.