Ryan could lose Florida and Ohio for Romney
Okay, sure, conservatives love it. Ryan's one of their own and, well, if not now, maybe 2016. At least it allows them to swallow the detestable Romney and of course they can push their (deeply unpopular) right-wing agenda on the American people in the meantime.
But the pick isn't going over well where it really matters.
I posted yesterday on the front-page Miami Herald story suggesting that Ryan could hurt Romney in Florida.
The Columbus Dispatch: "By bypassing Portman, Romney may have blown it"
[I]n bypassing Portman for Ryan, the Republican presidential candidate made a big mistake. Paul Ryan doesn't get Mitt Romney anything he already won't get.
Portman, after all, made so much more sense as the GOP veep candidate. He could have been announced during Romney's bus tour through Ohio this week.
It appears, though, that Romney kowtowed to his party's far-right flank, selecting Ryan to appease the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and the ultra-right-but-rarely-right William Kristol of The Weekly Standard. They pulled hammies last week doing cheerleading jumps for Ryan...
Romney just made becoming president harder for himself.
The Columbis Dispatch (again): "Analysis: Pick could lose Romney Ohio, Fla."
[S]ome GOP officials privately fear that — by emphasizing restraints on the rapidly growing entitlement programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — the Republican ticket could end up hurting itself, especially in the crucial state of Florida...
In addition, some GOP officials warn that, by eschewing the safer and more-conventional choice of Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio as his running mate, Romney may squander a chance to win Ohio and its 18 electoral votes. Without winning Ohio and Florida, Romney cannot possibly prevail in the November election against President Barack Obama.
The Tampa Tribune: "Romney's VP choice could be risky in swing state Florida"
Choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney made a bold statement on his campaign's central economic issues but also one that could be risky — particularly in the crucial swing state of Florida.
This isn't partisanship. Obviously, we're getting a lot of that, with Republicans praising the pick with their usual lock-step gusto and Democrats understandably critical of Ryan's record and what it would mean for the country were Romney to win.
This is neutral analysis of the impact of the Ryan pick on two key states, Ohio and Florida, in both of which Romney could have gone with local picks, Rob Portman or Marco Rubio, respectively.
And if the Ryan pick makes it harder for Romney to win these two states, how about other key swing states like Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire? Maybe Ryan helps a bit in his home state of Wisconsin, but that's about it. Elsewhere, he could very well weaken Romney, particularly if, or rather when, the details of his right-wing budget plan are presented to voters.
Already, Romney has tried to distance himself from the Ryan plan, or at least from the details, saying on Saturday that they would "preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security and keep them there for future generations." How can you do that, though, if you're scrapping the former for a voucher system and privatizing parts of the latter? (Romney's surrogates are now stressing that he supports the Ryan budget and would have signed it. But, honestly, what else are they going to say? Of course he's now all-in. He has to be. Ryan's his running mate.)
Maybe Romney thinks he can win if he continues to lie both about President Obama and about his own policy agenda. And maybe that's really the only hope he has left.
But we've only just skimmed the surface on Ryan. And it's only going to get worse for Romney, who in kowtowing to conservative orthodoxy made a disastrous pick for running mate.