Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (above) passed out sandwiches in Waukesha in April.
The late news is that Mitt Romney chooses blue-eyed Paul Ryan as the running mate, and it was good fun to watch Tweetdeck react to the first reports and then the confirmation. Spoke Joshua Green, Bloomberg, earlier, and he argued that Romoney is long a risk-averse manager. The Ryan pick looks risky compared to the other choices such as Tim Pawlenty of MN and Rob Portman of OH. The OFA will reach for the updates on the "Amore" mockery (below) to restate the case that Ryan is an enemy of Medicare and entitlements. Ryan has a deal of charm also, as the 1998 video (from C-Span, via Buzzfeed's swiftness), from his first election to WI-1, shows a thoughtful, passionate young man (he was 28) who comes from what he calls a large Irish Catholic family. Ryan says he has 55 cousins in Janesville, WI, for starters. Ryan brings freshness and wonkiness to the Romney campaign. Is it risky to go for a man associated with profound budget reform and rapid-fire iconoclasm? Sure. Does Romney gain more than he gives up with the Ryan choice.? Yes. Will the OFA and DNC attack Ryan for his entitlement heresy? Certain. However there is an immediate problem with the so far withering Bain/taxes/ plutocrat attacks on Romney. Paul Ryan is clearly not rich, clearly not strange, clearly solidly middle-class in a middle-class small town America. Importantly, WI is now officially in play. With Ryan, Romney has an emissary both to the House and to the Catholic vote. OFA enemy prep barrage begins immediately. It is sweet to consider the vice-president debate in KY in October, the battling Catholic Biden vs the matinee idol Catholic Ryan. Can Ryan carry the attack lines that the vice-president gets to speak on the trail? Unknown. For now, it looks that Romney is breaking out of his risk-averse pattern. The campaign just got much, much wonkier to study and comment upon. Factoid: the last serving House member to go on a ticket was Geraldine Ferraro, 1984. Popcorn!