Head-Scratching the Paul Ryan Pick
All of official Washington is scratching a collective head about why Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate. Conventional wisdom is that any day Romney is not talking about the economy, he is losing. And since the Ryan pick, all we’ve talked about is Medicare.
Politico reports that leading Republicans are panicked that Ryan will hurt the down ballot races and help Democrats keep the Senate. One week later, Democrats remain absolutely giddy about the choice.
Paul Ryan is best known for proposing legislative remedies to the problem of government providing actual services to actual citizens. He is fully and firmly against any government program that makes working life more healthy, secure, or comfortable. He opposes government making it more possible for workers to retire. He is against Medicare, as we all know, but he also sponsored a (failed) bill to eliminate Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The latter helps states provide health care for the children of the working poor.
Pundits generally consider Ryan unelectable to statewide office in Wisconsin and unelectable to any national office on his own. His legislative record after six terms is unsuccessful. In 13 years, only two of his bills have become law, one naming a post office after Les Aspin and one providing a tax break for the makers of arrowheads.
Romney already had a huge Electoral College problem, particularly in the swing states that will decide the election, including Florida. Real Clear Politics (our favorite poll aggregator) estimates that Obama wins the likely electoral vote count 237 to Romney’s 191. 270 electoral votes are needed to win the election, meaning Obama only needs Florida (29) and any other toss up state to win.Continued on the next page