Romney-Ryan constitutes, very possibly, the best-looking ticket in American political history. Mitt Romney is so textbook handsome that he resembles a toy action-figure president. Paul Ryan's youthful, chiseled face and piercing blue eyes are already making hearts flutter around the political world. And no doubt Romney's bold choice for veep - which has made most people forget, for the moment, Bain Capital and his undisclosed tax returns-- will give the Republican presumptive nominee some pop in the polls. For the moment.
But once the excitement surrounding Ryan subsides, the long, ideological slog of this presidential race will resume, and with greater force than before. The stakes will be, once again, about the stark conceptual choice that American voters now face. Romney's selection of Ryan must be seen as part of a continuum of hard-line positions that the GOP candidate, under constant pressure from an often hostile right, has laid out on everything from immigration to health care to foreign policy.
And with his veep choice Romney is sending a message to the American electorate, more forthrightly than ever, that he won't be moving to the middle after all. He seems to be affirming that he is just about as ideologically conservative and as captured by the GOP base as Obama has been painting him.