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Monday, August 13, 2012
A Lay Look At VP Candidate Paul Ryan
The Morning of Saturday, August 11, 2012, Republican Presidential Candidate announced his running mate: Paul Ryan, the US Representative from Wisconsin's 1st US Congressional District.
Wisconsin is a "purple" or "swing" state that was steeped in political drama over the past year. The citizens of Wisconsin challenged the results of their last regular gubernatorial election and chose to recall Governor Scott Walker. Governor Walker, along with his Lt. Governor and a few state legislators went back to the polls. They were challenged to retain their elected offices. The voters' voices made it clear that Scott Walker, his Lt. Gov. and the majority of those challenged state legislators were Wisconsin's choice. They survived the recall. In fact, Walker and his Lt. won by larger margins than they did in the initial elections.
Wisconsin remains, largely, a "swing" state, though. There is a large socialist-dominated union presence in the state. Like most states, the larger urban areas, such as Milwaukee, are filled with blue-dog democrats and socialists who oppose smaller government and fiscal responsibility.
Paul Ryan helps swing Wisconsin more towards a Republican win for the state. Along with the endorsements of Scott Walker and his Lt. Gov., Ryan on the ticket could very well secure the state for the Romney.
That leaves other swing states out there still swinging. Ohio, the largest of the swing states, could still go either way. Selecting a running mate from Ohio may have made more sense. Ryan is an effective public speaker. He goes to the podium armed with facts, logic, and reason. He is straightforward. So, he could still have a positive influence on Ohio. Only time will tell.
Florida is also still swinging, though it is starting to sway more towards the conservative end. Marco Rubio and LTC West are working diligently to assist. Ryan and Wasserman-Schultz have gone head to head over the budget, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security reforms. Each time, DWS comes out swinging blindly with made-up numbers and emotive rhetoric. When confronted with actual numbers, though, she balks and says "those aren't true" without any ability to present facts to the contrary. DWS is also deep in a battle with Karen Harrington. Her clout is waning as her lack of knowledge and reason now obvious. With these circumstances, Romney's selection of Ryan will not negatively affect the outcome in Florida.
With the Senate failing to pass a budget during the entirety of the Obama Administration, Ryan could very well push and influence the Senate to do its job. Many people fail to realize that the primary job of the VP is to sit as the "president of the Senate". He will get a vote only in the case of a tie. However, the VP has a large say in what legislation makes it to the floor for a vote in the first place. Joe Biden has spent the past 3+ years defaulting his responsibility to Harry Reid. If challenged on his performance, Joe-boy has a hard fight ahead of him. Given his record in the House, Ryan would actually do this job.
Many Libertarians and so-called "Reagan Democrats" have some issues with Ryan. The Libertarians are not too keen on some of Ryan's stances on such things as legalizing Marijuana and national security topics. Libertarians want to have every military service member not actively engaged in a declared war to be stationed in the US. They don't believe in forward garrisons, stability support operations, and other military actions necessary to our national defense. They also feel that Ryan's various budget plans don't cut enough spending and government intrusion into private business.
On the other side, the "Reagan Democrats" and Blue-Doggers, who see that the old Democratic Party has strayed more towards the far-left in the direction of Mao, Lenin, Stalin, and Marx, may now be more difficult to sway in Romney's direction. many of them think that Ryan's budget proposals go too far. More die-hard conservatives laugh at that idea, since the plan does very little to cut spending, and is just an effort to cut spending increases. (Basically, the Ryan plan sort of says "we are going to spend more next year, but we we'll not increase that spending as much as we did last year"). However, many of those in this category are now seeing that the PPACA is not the rainbows and unicorns Nancy Pelosi promised. So, Ryan's proposals for healthcare related reforms are appealing.
Ryan was a surprising choice. However, "surprising" is not negative. A good surprise party can be a great event. A surprise gift can turn out to be one of the more sentimentally valuable ones you ever receive. Ryan was one of those surprises. Given his track record, he could do well both in the job and at the voting booth in an effort to secure that office.