Among the handful of people Mitt Romney could choose as a running mate, there is one candidate who genuinely would be a high-risk pick, and he's getting traction down the home stretch: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
Inside the Beltway, the Wisconsin Republican is perceived as a good-natured budget wonk whose proposals have prompted serious discussions about entitlement reform within his party. Romney's reward for picking Ryan would be to send a message that he's willing to undertake tough but necessary reforms to fix the economy.
But among non-political junkies, Ryan is hardly known at all. He's viewed as just another member of Congress, a politically unpopular institution. Moreover, picking him would allow Obama to make the election a referendum over protecting the social safety net.