Thursday, September 13, 2012

Truth is, Romney Could Have Done Worse

I recently elicited a comment on my description of Paul Ryan as an example of how"the media and party can sometimes elevate mediocre people to undeserved heights".
Just curious what you think....calling Paul Ryan mediocre and seeing him become the VP nominee.
Never mind that Ryan's continued rise exemplifies my point.

However, recent events suggest that Ryan could offer something important to the ticket, assuming Romney is willing to listen: an ear for politics. Ryan has, at this point, build himself a national reputation as an idea man and budget whiz based upon little more than spin. You can't do that unless you pay careful attention to the direction of the political winds. Romney seems perfectly willing to blow whichever way the polls tell him to go, but he appears to lack any instinct of when to stand against the wind, or when he's going too far. That is to say, he seems to have a proverbial tin ear for politics.

Right now, it's Romney who is pulling the Sarah Palin act (while she literally cheers him on from the sidelines), pushing the latest iteration of her "Obama pals around with terrorists" calumny, while Paul Ryan - the guy who gave up a good chunk of his reputation by "taking one for the team" with his ridiculous, mendacious convention speech - is playing the part of McCain. Sure, he's being politically opportunistic, and after a reasonable initial statement has reverted to platitudes, but he has chosen to leave it to clowns and hacks like Sarah Palin and Reince Priebus to look ridiculous.

Romney, alas, was one of the first out of the clown car.

2 comments:

  1. Paul Ryan - the guy who gave up a good chunk of his reputation by "taking one for the team" with his ridiculous, mendacious convention speech

    I dunno-- didn't he just sort of do what he'd always done, thinking he could get away with it, and was surprised to find out that you can't lie on prime time national tv the way that he lies in conversations with individual journalists?

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    1. Within the specific context of the convention, Ryan made a lot of comments that (yes) were consistent with his past statements - it's not so much that he reached a new low is it is that he pulled everything together into a single package - but that allowed Romney to avoid making the same or similar allegations in his own convention speech.

      Despite the Romney team's overt contempt for fact-checkers, they understand the impact of fact-checking. The comments at issue weren't much different from what Romney himself has said on prior occasions, but by putting them into Ryan's speech Romney avoided having to repeat them in a highly visible "introduction" to a lot of voters who haven't paid much attention to date, and it's reasonable to infer that they also knew that an intense focus on Ryan would result in less focus on Romney's departures from fact.

      Ryan had to have known that through his speech, he would be causing the obtuse beltway types who deemed him some sort of honest straight-shooting type to do a double-take.

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