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Right Turn
Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 08/20/2012

Friday question answered

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is either a boon or a millstone around Mitt Romney’s neck, depending on your perspective.

Conservatives are, to put it mildly, thrilled by his entrance into the race.

Pthomas2mm writes, in part: “The Ryan pick is a stroke of genius. Romney picks a young energetic and intelligent running mate who has bona fides in crushing democratic opponents in a liberal congressional district. He does this by actually informing voters and treating them like adults. The fact that the liberal punditocracy has become more and more strident in their demonization shows the level of fear they are experiencing.”

Finesterre agrees, writing: “Paul Ryan is a highly productive asset! He is the antithesis of the angry old white guy the Republican party nominates too often (McCain, Dole, Bush Sr., etc.). This time around, that role is being played by Joe Biden. Ryan is energetic, enthusiastic, intelligent and articulate. He’s the best combination with Romney’s experience, wisdom, and leadership skills. The Democrats don’t have any coherent response to Ryan’s expertise on the budget, either. This is becoming increasingly apparent as President Obama flounders around on the issues.”

Others are just as convinced Ryan is the death knell of the GOP ticket.

Stonerwn argues: “I think in the long run he will be a detriment. I still cannot understand how Ryan is such a darling of the extreme right when he voted for a number of programs and policies that got other Republicans run out of the party, in the primaries, by their own party members . . . He is definitely smarter than Palin but might turn out to be just as large a liability.” Sold2u is worried: “He made it more difficult — that’s for sure. Romney could have simply run on the economy — he understands business as deeply as Obama understands food stamps and civil rights. The economy is lousy, and Romney can explain why Obama’s policies have made the recovery more tepid than it should be. By bringing in Ryan, the debate moves from the Republican high ground (the economy) to what has typically been high ground for the Democrats — Medicare.”

Ryan, from what Right Turn has seen, is the rare politician who is better in practice than in theory. His retail political skills, energy and ability to articulate the GOP message and disarm the opposition has, so far, been impressive. Whether he can pull constituencies and states into the GOP column remains to be seen. But he has made Republicans proud of their ticket, and that is no small thing.

By  |  10:45 AM ET, 08/20/2012

Categories:  Friday question

 
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