The selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as Mitt Romney’s running mate blows up a bunch of phony story lines the media have been peddling.
1. “Romney has no ideas.” Actually, he and Ryan have the new policy ideas. Tons of them. If you doubt it, wait for the vice-presidential debate.
2. “Romney is excessively cautious.” Tim Pawlenty would have been the cautious pick. Ryan is young and vibrant and stands ready to battle for conservative ideas.
3. “The media are really important.” If Romney thought the mainstream media were critical, he’d duck the Mediscare fight. The pick is one that reflects confidence in the conservative agenda.
4. “Romney and the right are at war.” Sure, conservative activists and Romney have their issues, but if they can bond over Ryan you see how small the differences actually are.
5. “Romney’s campaign can’t execute.” They really did keep this a secret until late Friday night. Kudos to Romney, Beth Myers and those in the know who didn’t spill the beans.
6. “It is dumb to lead on entitlement reform.” By showing political courage Ryan won over his party, advanced his own career and may wind up a heartbeat away from the presidency. If his plans are passed and implemented, he’ll be a historic figure.
7. “Romney doesn’t believe in anything.” In choosing Ryan over less ideological figures Romney showed that he in fact cares about ideas, is determined to fix our fiscal problems and is devoted to free markets. Ryan in that sense validates Romney’s core beliefs.
8. “Pawlenty would be rewarded for being a devoted surrogate.” I’m certain his efforts were appreciated, but in the end cream rises to the top, and Pawlenty proved in the presidential primary to be a mediocre pol. He’ll make a great Cabinet member, however.
9. “There was no need for Obama to switch vice presidents.” I have three words for that: Vice Presidential Debate. Joe Biden will need smelling salts.
10. “Republicans are scary.” Romney-Ryan is one of the more suburban-friendly, nice-guy tickets to come along in ages. Ryan will be demonized in the media, but his aw-shucks demeanor and braininess will win over some swing voters.