Why Paul Ryan is the Man
First, we’ll get the boring practicalities out of the way: With Ryan on the ticket, there is a better-than-not chance that Romney will take Wisconsin. Wisconsin had already dropped from the 14% advantage it gave to Obama in 2008 down to an Obama +4 advantage in July of this year. Paul Ryan is not just from Wisconsin but from a heavy Democrat majority district in Wisconsin — and he’s won landslide majorities in every one of his seven Congressional runs, including in 2008 when he got a greater majority of votes than Obama did. Democrats in Wisconsin really like Paul Ryan, despite his being a Republican.
He’s a Catholic and he’s going to bring in a good segment of the Catholic vote that Romney needs for a win in crucial swing States. The choice has already fired up the Republican base which has still been a bit leery about Romney and sent them into over-drive. Unlike in 2008, they will be voting.
Now on to the more interesting ones. Middle-class appeal: Ryan is not a silver-spoon boy. He worked as a waiter, he moonlighted as a personal trainer to bring in the money to pay the bills when working as an underpaid staffer in Washington, he worked for Oscar Meyer and even drove the Wienermobile to pay his bills.
He’s intelligent, well-spoken, and utterly charming in a take-down: He totally OWNED Obama in the healthcare debate (remember this? See below)
He’s got the Reagan quality. People have been comparing Ryan to Reagan favourably for years.
In his own words, “I have held hundreds of town-hall meetings in my district explaining why we have to take bold reform steps, and I’ve found treating people like adults works,” he told John Fund of National Review in May 2011. “All those ads pushing elderly woman off the cliffs don’t work anymore if you lay out the problem.” People tend to respond well when spoken to like they are adults with brains who can make their own choices rather than treated like gullible children who don’t know their best interest.
Democrats are all giddy and tingly over the Ryan pick because they think it will sink him with the elderly because of his proposals for Medicaid reform. Problem is Dems, the Seniors actually prefer Ryan’s plan by a huge majority. (He can also remind voters that Bill Clinton wanted to do the same thing with giving people the choice to stay on Medicaid as it currently is or to get a voucher to purchase private insurance that is more tailored to their individual needs). We might even see Clinton undermining Obama again with this one.
Finally, he’s got those movie star good looks. Don’t underestimate that with the soccer Moms.