With the addition of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to the presidential ticket Mitt Romney looks bigger and the Republicans’ opponents look smaller, tinnier in their carping.

Romney in Virginia Saturday and again in North Carolina Sunday morning was as animated as he ever has been. The earnest Ryan not only clicks with Romney but gives him a certain gravitas he did not exude previously. Is that because he is now the senior partner in a duo or because he has stepped up his game? Maybe some of both. Certainly the degree of conviction in what he is saying has increased with the selection of the quintessential conviction conservative running mate.

Now when David Axelrod whines that these guys are “ideologues” it sounds almost like a compliment — those guys believe in something. When he protests that they are “radicals,” he seems now especially off key. The two gorgeous Ryan and Romney families, with two candidates vowing to save Medicare and promising to help small business are hardly radical. The image trumps Axelrod’s talking points. He’ll need new ones.

As for the liberal punditocracy, it is amusing to see lefties who have never spoken with the campaign or its advisers try to divine that the Ryan selection was a choice made of fear. (Cue the organ music.) This obviously runs up against the inconvenient fact that the choice was made a couple weeks ago. The left’s take, as all post-modern explanations do, is untethered to objective reality.

Ryan was the guy whom Romney admired, felt comfortable with and, as I know from speaking to teams on both sides over the past year, quietly collaborated with since last fall in shaping the presidential message and advancing policy ideas. The vice-president announcement is the culmination of a partnership begun nearly a year ago.

Moreover, “fear” as an explanation suggests that Romney accepts or even cares about the liberal media narrative. Romney doesn’t really give a damn what the liberal narrative is. Maybe this is why the campaign has been lax if not derelict in cultivating media and helping to make the coverage more accurate. (In short, they think it’s hopeless.) When asked about the “wimp” cover on Newsweek, Romney instinctively responded, “If I was worried about what the media said, I wouldn’t get much sleep. I’m able to sleep pretty well.”

In other words, the liberals’ psycho-babble from those straining on their tippy toes to get a look into the Romney operation assumes that he operates like they do — on emotional reflex and absorbed with the liberal media story line. This is to misunderstand and misrepresent what Romney is all about.

And in grasping at straws to try to nick the Republican team, the lefty pundits don't realize how much they sound like Axelrod — Lilliputian-like and just a tad envious that the other team now has the rising rock star. (Think of high school girls sniping at the prom queen. Come to think of it Ryan was the prom king.)

If the last couple of days are any indication, the stature gap between the GOP ticket and its detractors is only going to grow. Soon Ryan will be a media favorite (A People magazine cover is sure to follow, right?), and the left will find itself chirping in the wind.