Ryan Selection Isn’t A Sign Of Romney Weakness
August 11, 2012 12 Comments
The reaction Romney is getting for his selection of Paul Ryan is about what you would expect. CNN’s Candy Crowley declares the pick a “ticket death wish.” Andrea Mitchell declared Ryan “not a pick for suburban moms or women.” Because of course Mrs. Alan Greenspan, liberal journalist, speaks for suburban moms and women. On the right, the perpetually outraged and unhappy Michael Savage says the Ryan pick is “too little, too late.” In other words it didn’t matter who Romney picked, Savage was going to be outraged.
In watching the news networks today the theme seems to be that Romney is playing into Obama’s hand by no longer making the election a referendum on Obama. The media believes this is now an issues election, a worldview election. Apparently this is surprise to them, never mind that it was only the left and day dreaming conservatives who believed this was going to be a pure referendum election. This election was always going to be a battle of competing worldviews with Obama offering four more years of the same and Romney offering a different, conservative vision in stark contrast to Obama’s.
Make no mistake, the election is still a referendum on Obama. All re-election campaigns come down to a referendum on the incumbent. But It’s never as simple as do we want four more years of the incumbent or four years of some other guy. The challenger has to be able to make the case that not only is the incumbent no good but that he offers an alternative vision that the country can tolerate. In short, the challenger must be able to show that he is at least as capable as the incumbent and he must show the nation that he has a vision that while different from the incumbent is clear and tolerable to the public. If the challenger allows the race to be a pure referendum, he’ll lose. But if he shows the public that he is capable and has a clear vision, then the referendum can swing in his favor because the public can at least have someone to vote for rather than see their vote go to against someone.
Romney has taken the first step into giving the public reason to vote for him rather than simply against Obama. Paul Ryan is a fine pick, despite what the left is going to say about him. The Ryan selection shows that Romney is serious about fiscal sanity. With the economy and jobs being the top two issues in this race, Romney couldn’t have picked a better running mate. Paul Ryan, believe it or not, has decent favorability ratings (39-25 with 35 undecided). Over 50% of seniors support him, despite the fact that the left has unfairly attacking him over his plan to overhaul Medicare. (the media always ignores that Obama cut Medicare by $700 billion in Obamacare, seniors apparently took notice)
Romney is slowly but surely building his case for election. The Ryan pick sends his campaign in a very clear direction, it ought to play well with the general public. The election is still about Barack Obama, make no mistake about it. But Romney has to make a case for his own election, he cannot simply rest on the public’s discontent with Obama. Paul Ryan is the first step in making that case. His next will come on August 30th, when he gets a chance to introduce himself to the public at the GOP Convention. Don’t believe the media when they pretend that Romney is giving ground to Obama with the Ryan pick or that he’s been forced to change what this election is all about. This is still about Barack Obama and his failed Presidency. The Ryan pick is about giving the public a reason to make Romney the next President. Romney is moving in the right direction.