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Voice Votes: Google, Seniors, and Shirtless Paul Ryan Voice Votes: Google, Seniors, and Shirtless Paul Ryan

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Voice Votes: Google, Seniors, and Shirtless Paul Ryan

We rate the events of the week, and poke fun at them.


(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Welcome to this week’s Voice Votes, a feature in which we grade the week’s headlines—and poke fun at them. You can join the fun by suggesting your own #win, #fail, and #meh candidates via Twitter. (Send tweets @nationaljournal). Need more space? E-mail suggestions to or leave us a comment on Facebook. We’ll publish the best suggestions in this space every week and credit the authors.

Here’s how we vote this week:


#Win on Mitt Romney’s pick of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to be his vice presidential running mate. You know you’ve got a winner when millions of people are searching Google for pictures of him “shirtless,” which, coincidentally, is what Democrats say his budget would leave seniors, the middle class, and the poor.

#Fail on Vice President Joe Biden’s warning to a Virginia crowd on Tuesday that Romney’s economic policies would “put ya’ll back in chains.” If we were Biden, we’d be more worried about muzzles.

#Fail on Rudy Giuliani’s opinion of Biden's intelligence level. “There’s a real fear if—God forbid—he ever had to be entrusted with the presidency, whether he really has the mental capacity to handle it,” America's (former) mayor told CNBC. To which we offer two words: Bernie Kerik. And two more: Marilyn Monroe.


#Meh on Romney telling President Obama to “take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.” Chicago already has the Cubs and White Sox for that.

#Meh on Ann Romney’s attempt to bring some positivity to the campaign. “It’s a thrill for all of us to have [Obama] as a president," she said on NBC. Just not quite as thrilling as a gold medal for Rafalca, or Obama not being president.

#Meh on Ryan, who once voted against a bill that would have imposed duties on Chinese imports, saying that China has been treating Obama like a “doormat” on economic issues. Ryan should look on the bright side: At least someone in China is using an American-made doormat.

#Win on Sen. John McCain’s comparison of Romney’s pick of Ryan to his own pick of Sarah Palin four years ago. McCain was just being modest. By virtue of living near Russia, Palin had much more foreign-policy experience than Ryan, whose Wisconsin House district is hundreds of miles from Canada.


#Fail on the Treasury Department’s new estimate that pegs the price of the auto industry’s bailout at $3.4 billion more than expected. But remember, for $25.1 billion you get the power windows and the all-leather interior.

#Win on AARP’s “You’ve Earned a Say” campaign, which will be making stops at both parties’ nominating conventions. Most likely to be overheard in Charlotte and Tampa: “Super PACs? When I was your age, you could buy a senator for a nickel, and you could buy a presidential election for $10 with enough left over for a steak dinner and two tickets to a Cole Porter show.”

#Win (or maybe #Fail?) on Google’s planned acquisition of travel publisher Frommer’s for $23 million. Now, when Google tells the government where you are, it can also tell them whether you’re at work or enjoying stunning mountain views.

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