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N2K Presidential Race

N2K Presidential: How Will Ryan be Perceived?


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, listens to his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan R-Wis., as they campaign Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in High Point, N.C.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In choosing Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has selected:

a) A right-wing ideologue with extreme views whose economic blueprints would further enrich the wealthy; strip the middle class of hard-won medical, education and retirement benefits; expose old folks to rapacious health insurance firms; and return America to dog-eat-dog social Darwinism, redolent of the age of the robber barons,


b) A brave and bold young visionary in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy who, with his intricate knowledge of the federal budget, will combine with Romney to prune extravagant government entitlements; free business from the shackles of federal regulation; relieve upper income Americans from unwise and unfair taxation; and spur the creation of millions of jobs.

So contended Democratic (a) and Republican (b) partisans and campaign operatives, who used Sunday's talk shows as a forum to hone the lines of attack they have chosen for the coming days and weeks.

Of course, there will be a great deal more ahead. The campaigns will generate press releases, web videos and television ads. Polling too will play a role, as will Ryan’s early interviews. In a very real sense, the battle over how Ryan will be perceived has only just begun. Read more

—John Aloysius Farrell


Garrett: Ryan Brings 5 Advantages and 5 Hazards

[National Journal, 8/12/12] Ryan brings five potential advantages and five potential hazards to Mitt Romney’s campaign, as NJ’s Major Garrett writes.

Romney Campaign Staged Cat-and-Mouse Game to Conceal Ryan Choice

[National Journal, 8/12/12] The story could have been come from a Cold War-era spy novel: There were sunglasses and baseball caps, decoys and back routes through the woods. As Romney settled on his running mate, his campaign went to extraordinary lengths to conceal the decision.

Cooper: How to Measure Ryan and Biden

[National Journal, 8/12/12] When Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debate in Danville, Kentucky on October 11, it’ll be one of the more interesting moments in American politics -- and a major test for Ryan.

Brownstein: Why Ryan May Strain the GOP Coalition

[National Journal, 8/12/12] Romney’s selection of Ryan could deepen the intrinsic tension between the Republican policy agenda and the voters it relies on to win elections, as NJ’s Ron Brownstein writes.

Reinhard: Ryan Could Make Wisconsin a True Battleground

[National Journal, 8/12/12] Wisconsin Republicans have said for months that the state will be up for grabs this year, but few believed it. But that may be about to change.

Obama Campaign Is Well Prepared in Matchup Against Ryan

[Washington Post, 8/11/12] Obama’s team seems to have gotten the opponent they hoped for in Ryan, whose budget proposal the president has called “social Darwinism.” They’re betting he’ll energize the Democratic base and that his plan to partially privatize Medicare will hurt Romney in Florida.

Axelrod Calls Ryan a ‘Right Wing Ideologue’

[National Journal, 8/12/12] David Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, led the attack on Romney's choice for a running mate, calling Ryan a "right wing ideologue" who was chosen "to thrill the most strident voices in the Republican Party."

Romney-Ryan Campaign Forecasts Major Policy Changes

[National Journal, 8/12/12] Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom sought to turn one of Ryan's potential vulnerabilities into an asset, proudly vowing that a Romney-Ryan administration would raise the Social Security retirement age, cut Social Security benefits for upper income Americans and transform Medicare into a voucher system to reduce soaring entitlement costs.

Romney ‘Methodical’ in VP Selection Process

[Politico, 8/11/12] Romney adviser Beth Meyers, who led his selection process, said the candidate consulted “friends from all walks of life.” Romney took a hands-on approach to choosing a running mate, and showcased his executive leadership style, according to his adviser.

Ryan Pick Gives Obama Chance to Change Subject

[New York Times, 8/11/12] Ryan gives the president a lot to talk about while avoiding current jobs numbers. Expect Obama to use Ryan to establish a choice between two different philosophies about the role of government in society.

Fed Could Face White House Foe in Ryan

[Wall Street Journal, 8/11/12] Though Ryan and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have found ways to work together in private, Ryan has scolded Bernanke in public.

Republicans in Tight Races on Defense Over Ryan

[National Journal, 8/12/12] As Democrats tell it, Ryan’s name on a national ticket crystallizes the choice in congressional elections everywhere because Republicans won’t be able to distance themselves from his controversial Medicare reform proposals. Even some Republicans have reacted in ways that show they too expect to be playing defense.

Ryan Pick Alters Metrics for Congressional Elections

[Washington Post, 8/11/12] To regain the House, Democrats would have to pick up 25 seats in November, an outcome observers agree is unlikely. But entitlement cuts like those in Ryan’s budget plan are unpopular with a majority of voters, and they may alter the national conversation in a way that puts the House in reach for Dems.

Lawrence: Will Ryan Pick Kill Jobs Talk?

[National Journal, 8/12/12] Rep. Paul Ryan's budget is billed by him and others as a job-creation vehicle because of its deep supply-side tax cuts for upper income "job creators." Even if that were to come to pass, and the evidence is not encouraging, it would not happen nearly soon enough for the millions of unemployed and underemployed who are the Achilles heel of the Obama presidency, writes NJ’s Jill Lawrence.

Romney: Ryan Did Not Want to End Up in Washington

[National Journal, 8/12/12] Campaigning in the heart of NASCAR country, Mitt Romney on Sunday described his new running mate as a man whose “career ambition was not to go to Washington,” despite the fact that Ryan has spent his entire career there.

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