Best line of the day goes to Dan Larison, about the minimal bounce that Mitt Romney seems to have received from naming Paul Ryan as his running mate:
Who would have guessed that selecting an obscure House member with a specialty in budget issues was not a cure-all for what ailed the Romney campaign?
It’s worth pointing out, again and again, that people — especially the small subset of people who are truly undecided at this point — just don’t pay much attention to politics. So they didn’t know (and may still not know) who Paul Ryan is, and they’re not really apt to be focused on the federal budget process or to think of “budget expert” as necessarily having anything to do with, you know, jobs.
That said: The immediate bump from a running mate isn’t what’s important; what’s important is how the running mate affects the vote in November. And as one who believed that appointing a member of the House was a big-risk, low-reward choice, I don’t see any evidence so far that Ryan is working out badly for Romney. No scandals, no major gaffes to date.
That’s going into the convention. One thing you can pretty much count on is that Ryan will have a good week. Oh, it’s possible that something could go wrong, but for both Ryan and Romney the key thing to remember is that modern conventions are made to deliver a positive image, and they almost always succeed, at least in the short run. Even running mates who eventually turned out bad — yes, Sarah Palin — had a good convention week. I believe that Dan Quayle is really the only modern exception (and the only top-of-the-ticket exceptions are those who had internal party divisions severe enough to disrupt the normal candidate rollout).
It really isn’t a reflection at all of the people involved: Everyone looks great at their own convention.