Over the course of the past two days, the political world and the blogosphere has been alive and thriving with speculation about Romney and his new running mate. Conservatives are overjoyed, because Paul Ryan is very popular with them. Democrats are also overjoyed, because now, Romney, who had already embraced Paul Ryan's budget, is now even more tied to it.
First, it should be mentioned that in 2008, John McCain made a historical choice, Sarah Palin, the first female Vice Presidential Candidate ever to run on the Republican ticket. That choice was a game changer, and not in a good way. Palin was an instant celebrity among conservatives, and she drew a large number of conservative votes. But she also turned off Independents, who were spooked by her utter lack of credentials to be Vice President.
That begs the question; Does this selection change the dynamics all that much? Yes, and no. Conservatives were always going to vote for Mitt Romney, whoever he picked to run with him. Liberals were always going to vote against him. It is the Independent vote that counts, just as it always has.
That leads to the area of biggest potential change; the Independent vote. And it shows just how bold and risky the Ryan choice was. Now that Romney has chosen Ryan, the Obama Team is going to tie Romney up to Ryan's budget plan, which is unpopular with everyone outside of the conservative movement. Romney's choice plays into Obama's hands, because the budget fight is clearly one that Obama is itching to have. (here is a link to Ryan's budget plan, http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/pathtoprosperityfy2012.pdf).
Romney's choice for running mate is a possible game changer, because the budget debate will now be front and center in the campaign. Pro Obama adds will do what ever they possibly can to cast doubts about Ryan's plan. Romney will have to defend a budget plan that is unpopular among most voters. And the election will take yet another detour into lies, half-truths and Television Add depravity, from both campaigns, as they battle it out for those independent voters.
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