Romney Secures His Tea Party Flank

The Romney for President campaign announced today the selection of Wisconsin House Representative Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate. Glenn Reynolds has the round up here. This move cements the emerging “Tea Party Wing” of the Republican party to his candidacy after a series of miscues that John Podhoretz and Byron York catalog here and here.

Short of nominating Sarah Palin, this move is the strongest signal Romney can give to the Tea Party that they have reliable and powerful standard bearer inside a Romney Administration executive branch for their issues. One who will be in all the rooms where decisions are made.

People are policy.

Romney’s choice of Rep. Ryan just gave the Tea Party their strongest possible policy advocate for their platform of fiscal reform by reduced federal spending.

For the Obama Administration, this is both a nightmare and an opportunity. The nightmare is that nothing they do to reduce white working class Republican turn out is going to work. Ryan represents a promise to them and hope for the future. In so many words, Romney’s choice of Ryan gives those voters something to vote FOR.

The opportunity for Obama is using Romney’s choice of Ryan as a tool to increase Democratic Party base turn out.

That looks like a faint hope for Democrats to me, but I have been wrong before.

20 thoughts on “Romney Secures His Tea Party Flank”

  1. I like Ryan. Way back I saw the economist Niall Ferguson he said that Ryan was the only one with guts enough to seriously tackle America’s looming fiscal crisis, and whom had actual solutions proposed.

    My main beef with the Republicans under the latter Bush is that they failed to use their majority to free the economy and basically used the same statist policies as the Dems.

    Even if we lose this one now we are fighting the right battles.

    Here in Illinois the Dems and Repubs are often interchangeable in terms of their useless policies which is why when the Repubs fail I am not as disheartened because they were going to fail, anyways. Illinois is thus doomed.

    GOOD choice in Ryan IMHO.

  2. Choosing someone who has already been demonized for a few years in his young life does not seem like damage control to me.

    Ryan is a serious choice; I thought he was long out of the running because smear ads practically write themselves if he has a high profile.

  3. Trent: I agree with Ginny, and disagree with you. I think it is a bold, gutsy move to seize the high ground in this campaign. Ground that the Obama campaign has vacated. The Obama campaign, will, of course, trot out the smears and lies. It is all they know.

    Aside to Ginny, the commercial showing a Ryan look alike pushing an old lady in a wheelchair over a cliff was filmed and distributed two years ago. They just have to redistribute it.

    The move far transcends nominating Sarah Palin. Palin is a nice lady, but she is clearly a person of ordinary intellectual ability, and had less than an encyclopedic knowledge of public affairs. Ryan is really smart, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of public affairs. Palin was flummoxed by the network blow drys. Ryan can and will gut and fillet them. Sadly they know that, so they will not interview him.

  4. Ryan knows all the facts and has them at his fingertips. Sarah Palin’s debate with Biden was a tissue of lies by him that she wasn’t quick enough to refute. She has the right ideas and some experience. Ryan has been fighting this fight for years and knows the facts cold. He will be hard to vilify since they have shot much of their credibility the past two months.

  5. I am very happy with this move. First, Paul Ryan is an excellent candidate in any context. He impresses me as the most intelligent and articulate young conservative leader that we have.

    If you have not already paid extended attention to Mr. Ryan, I think it would be worth your while to listen to some of these podcasts featuring him:

    Second: I think the pick shows that Mr. Romney is dedicated to campaigning on principal, and on conservative principals to boot. He has thrown down a very strong marker, that this election is about what ideas will govern the country, not what personalities.

    Third: Cue up the pushing granny over the cliff commercials, and the democrat’s hysterical cries of extremism. If that should have scarred us off of Mr. Ryan, it didn’t, and for that I am heartily glad.

    Fourth: Our downside is protected. I am still both accepting of Lex’s observation that the odds are in Hussein’s favor, and depressed about it. If the worst comes to pass, Paul Ryan will be lined up to run in 2016 on a platform of “I told you so.”

  6. Ginny, Robert, Micheal,

    Christie would have been just as inspired, but he would have been an offensive fighting move rather than a defensive consolidate the base move like Ryan. YMMV

  7. Romney-Christie? I admit I love Christie’s moxie, but – two ‘liberal’ northeasterners on the ticket? No way that ticket could win. Ryan being a Midwesterner is important. The (formerly industrialized/unionized) Midwest is balanced on a knife edge between Republican & Democrat. This could shift the balance to R.

    (See the elections analysis by David Hackett Fischer in the Appendix of his book “Albion’s Seed”. I do not think regionalization is as important today as it was after the Civil War, but still…)

    Susan Lee

  8. Susan, I have wondered how much DHF’s regionalism still applies as well.

    Trent, being more combative may indeed be the better strategy – I have no skill in the horse race aspect of politics. But there are people on the right who always think it’s the best strategy, not because they have any evidence, but because they “just feel” that the American middle would flock to a warrior if the lies of the left were exposed once and for all.

    I am unpersuaded by them. The left, greens, and libertarians have members who make the same claims about their causes.

  9. “Christie would have been just as inspired”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Christie, and I love his style, but, he is not a conservative, nor has he put the study into national issues that Ryan has. Due to his weight, and believe me, i sympathize with him fully because I am his size, he will not present well on TV.

    Christie would not be a good choice.

    Ryan is IMHO, the best choice available to us at this point. I just wish he were a few years older so he would have been a more plausible Presidential candidate.

    Trent: I really think you need to get up close and personal with Ryan. Try the Ricochet page and listen to the podcasts, your enthusiasm will grow.

  10. Let me stress, I like Paul Ryan. In my wettest of wet dreams he was my state’s junior Senator instead of “Babs” Boxer. But let’s be honest, how often does a running mate have any impact on how America votes for President? If Americans genuinely cared then Michael Dukakis would’ve been putting his hand on the Holy Bible on that January morning in 1989 instead of George H.W. Bush.

    Kemp Vs. Gore in 1996

    Cheney Vs. a universally well regarded Lieberman in 2000

    And Palin Vs. Biden in 2008

    The above four examples suggest to me a contrarian indicator that the campaign in need of the biggest boost by choosing a more dynamic or experienced running mate is the one losing the race and is hoping for some type of miracle with the selection. A miracle that has yet to come for the last 20 years.

    Paul Ryan will add much to the intellectual and knowledge base of any campaign and ensuing administration. For that I’m hopeful. However, American voters don’t care who the running mate is. This election will be decided on Romney Vs. Obama. For me that is reason enough to pull the lever for Mitt.

  11. compilation of various Ryan eviscerations of Hussein and his flunkies:

    He explains the deceit and naivete being served up really well. It is also well that he is respectful while doing it. He adheres to Churchill’s admonition about not being rude when “killing” a person (although WC may have been literal).

    I feel better about Romney and/or his advisors. It seems to be a conscious push away from business as usual.

  12. “This election will be decided on Romney Vs. Obama. For me that is reason enough to pull the lever for Mitt.”

    The real significance of Ryan is the validation of Romney and the evidence that this is real and not just a Romney ego trip. If this were the age of dueling, the Ryan pick would be a slap in the face instead of a gauntlet thrown on the ground.

  13. The grassroots power in the Republiucan Party is by far Tea Party. They have been swallowing hard over Mitt. Ryan will fully energize this most important group. They know they count and now Romney is acknowledging that openly. Ryan is scheduled for 10 fund raisers between now and the convention. Barry better get ready to be buried yet again in fund raising. If Ryan can tap into the funds of the Tea Party type business owners and bump the polls for a couple of weeks, the opportunist corporate and other deep pocket types will either switch to Romney or at least minimize their expected losses by cutting back for Barry.

    Ryans was the pick of the current litter. Romney is starting to realize where he has plant his flag. I for one will be watching the likely voter polling over the next three or four weeks, especially in the key contested states. I hope this is the beginning of something decisive.


  14. “I hope this is the beginning of something decisive.”

    I think the ground is shifting and the polls don’t detect it. Fernandez believes it is happening. The huge turnout at the North Carolina rally is significant.

    A lot of people are either lying or not talking to pollsters.

  15. I think it is a good move by Romney, nailing down the Tea Party element. The split between the Tea Partiers and the establishment Republicans was and is still getting pretty wide. The old line estbalishment ‘conservative’ commentariat like David Brooks and others were starting to get terribly sniffy about all those bumptious upstarts, who didn’t want to go along to get along, and loose graciously any more. The old-line establishment GOP might have all the money and connections, but I don’t think they can claim to have much of the passion and dedication. And maybe not even that much money. I took a call last week from a GOP campaign worker who was moaning on and on about the neccessity of defeating Obama, and could-I, must-I, oughtn’t-I pledge a donation to the national GOP. She kept pressing me to make a pledge, and I finally said straight out that I was Tea Partier and a working freelance writer, I didn’t have any prospect of having that kind of money on hand any time soon, and if it was, I’d be sending it straight to an individual candidate.

    It was really kind of comic – because the Tea Partiers that I worked with in 2009 – this was what we absolutely planned to do. Take over one of the parties from within, starting at the lowest level. We actually did kick around the notion of the Dems, but figured out that the GOP was somewhat more compatible with our principles, and it would be easier, anyway. What was really, really amusing is that the national GOP leadership was all ready, willing and eager to swoop in and essentially take charge. How could they resist – all that new interest, and passion and monetary contributions. A brand new pony, saddled and bridled, and all ready for the GOP to ride! They could hardly contain themselves … and then when old-line establishment GOP officeholders began to topple to new challengers – Tea Party conservative types – the shock and horror were almost palpable. My god, these strict constitutionalist, small-government said what they meant and meant what they said!

    It’s gonna be a fun several months.

    And on another note – should Obama be resoundingly defeated in November, how cooperative do you think his clan and his staff are going to be about vacating the White House? I have read that traditionally, the housekeeping staff pulls in a frantic couple of hours, from the time the departing presidential family departs for the Inauguration, until the new President and First family return after it – in packing up the household goods of the departing incumbent and moving in that of the new one. I honestly can’t see Obama and his family being gracious about this at all. Should be an interesting read, whenever any insiders publish their memoirs.

  16. Sgt – I can’t see Obama being gracious about anything should he be defeated. As someone here suggested (Jonathan?) if he is defeated he will make Carter seem downright gracious.

    On the Tea Party – do you believe that they really just wanted **a** party to take over? I think most tea partiers are disaffected conservatives with the establishment Republican Party (to which I might add I don’t blame them).

    Had an interesting conversation with someone – who in the golden days of CA met Reagan at a party once and knew a few people in his administration (governor) – she was in the Dr office and another patient waiting – exchanged glances with a “don’t I know you from somewhere” opening – anyway she did something for Reagan in his administration – and the friend said , “Don’t you think these tea party people are ruining the Republican Party?”

    When I asked her “how” she said the abortion issue – I wanted to say that abortion really isn’t an issue with the Tea Party people – wouldn’t you say it is more fiscal management and size of govt?

    Anyway I asked her to point to a Republican she liked and after some hesitation suggested McCain.

    Point is I think the establishment Republicans dislike of the Tea Party is more perception – and false perception – than anything concrete.

    I wonder where RR would stand today on the issue….

  17. The down side of Ryan has always been that the Democrats would go nuclear if he were on the ticket. Well, they falsely accused Romney of causing a woman’s death from cancer *prior* to the Ryan pick. Really, how much more nuclear can they actually get? They could possibly have gotten away with it in a world of three TV networks and no internet but with even trailing edge adopters getting on the Internet at this point, we’re simply not that sort of country anymore. Ryan will get in front of the voters and people will be able to judge him, unfiltered.

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