Quotes of the day

posted at 10:44 pm on August 8, 2012 by Allahpundit

[N]o matter whom Republican Mitt Romney finally taps as his vice presidential nominee, Democrats will accuse this person of crimes against common decency and fairness. This person will, you can bet, be indicted as someone hellbent on “dismantling” Social Security, sacrificing Medicare to the gods of social Darwinism and “slashing” the safety net into worthless tatters.

If that’s the case, why not pick a politician who actually speaks about reforming entitlement programs in a serious way? Someone who has actually come up with some ideas that reach beyond platitude? Rep. Paul Ryan, who was spotted pushing a frail wheelchair-bound elderly woman off a cliff in a political ad last year, is really the only person on the shortlist we keep hearing about who fits the bill…

Of course, the veep pick is perhaps the most overvalued decision of a presidential race. Put it this way: If the vice president had any effect on your chances, Obama would be down 20 points by now. Ryan, though, would add a measure of number-crunching earnestness to a campaign (and then, more importantly, should it happen, to an administration) that lives on broad strokes.

***

The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.

Against the advice of every Beltway bedwetter, he has put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda—before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts. And he has done so as part of a larger vision that stresses tax reform for faster growth, spending restraint to prevent a Greek-like budget fate, and a Jack Kemp-like belief in opportunity for all. He represents the GOP’s new generation of reformers that includes such Governors as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Jersey’s Chris Christie.

As important, Mr. Ryan can make his case in a reasonable and unthreatening way. He doesn’t get mad, or at least he doesn’t show it. Like Reagan, he has a basic cheerfulness and Midwestern equanimity.

***

The idea that Ryan is too important to steal away from the House Budget Committee is also a misapprehension. He’s done his work there. Now, anyone else can take up the template.

At the end of the day, Ryan is not such an odd match for Romney. It would be characteristic for Romney to consider his VP choice as an employment decision. And characteristic for him to hire a wonky young talent. If Ryan had been into finance instead of politics back in the 1990s, you could easily see Romney picking him up for Bain Capital.

Romney is, at bottom, a data-driven technocrat. The question has always been whether he wants to bring that skill to managing the federal government — or transforming it. If he chooses Ryan, the answer is inarguably transforming it.

Ryan would be Romney’s adjutant in the most consequential turnaround operation of the former Massachusetts governor’s career.

***

This points to Romney’s challenge, and it is a significant one. Obviously, he needs to remind swing voters of all the things about the Obama tenure that they do not like, but he also must counter Obama’s negative campaign. He cannot allow himself to be tagged as a capitalist pig whose only goal is personal enrichment. Instead, he must aggressively and constantly push the idea that he is a decent, public-spirited man whose background is precisely what this country needs.

This is why a bold vice presidential selection is a good start. A vibrant, articulate conservative who can make the positive case for a change would be an important signal that Team Romney understands it is not enough to get the country to say “no” to Obama, but also say “yes” to Romney. Beyond that, while the Tampa convention should toss out plenty of red meat to conservatives, it must dedicate much more effort to promoting Romney as the best leader to fix our problems. Similarly, during the ad wars and the fall debates, Romney must not focus singularly on the case against Obama – the president has made that himself over three years of bad governance – but dedicate substantial effort to making the case for himself.

***

Further, this Republican noted, to select Ryan would link Romney to the remarkably unpopular Congress.

“He has all the baggage of the House,” said the senator. “To win this race, we’re going to have to show independents we can govern and our congressional approval rating is pretty bad.”

Tony Fabrizio, a GOP pollster, said a gamble on Ryan would be out of character for Romney.

“I’m not convinced of what he net delivers for Romney — I think there’s good points about Ryan but I think there’s bad points about Ryan,” Fabrizio said. “Romney has been very careful not to embrace the Medicare cuts in the Ryan budget. If he puts him on the ticket, what does he do? There’s no question he’s a star and he’s probably got a very bright future, but for a guy who has played it remarkably safe, to take on [Ryan] is just probably not where he’s going to be.”

***

One of the most curious — and little known — facts about Ryan is that he is not a terribly political creature, preferring to immerse himself in the wonkiness of budgets rather than study the ebbs and flows of the electorate. (In keeping with that policy focus, Ryan lacks any significant political/consulting team around him.)

That may be all well and good for a Member of Congress but a lack of interest/acumen for the political game isn’t a good thing in a vice presidential nominee…

Romney badly needs a vice presidential pick who can be a political asset not a neutral force politically or even a political liability. Ryan could be that on the campaign trail but based on what we know now, picking him would be a clear risk for Romney.

***

It seems there’s a division of opinion over Ryan in GOP circles between what Politico calls the “go bold crowd” and the “cautious corner.” I have somewhat different names for them. How about the totally Beltwayized and out of touch with America clique versus the people who retain some remnants of common sense?…

Someone once said of the Iraq war that it never would have happened if 30 important neoconservatives and neoliberals hadn’t been for it. This is kind of like that. Ryan’s appeal is almost strictly to conservative intellectuals and their wannabees. It’s a ridiculous, feather-headed idea, the kind of thing that conservatives like to make fun of liberals about, for being out of touch. And mark my words: He would hurt–yes, hurt–the ticket in Wisconsin. Not that it’s much up for grabs anyway, but he would.

***

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Put a 12 pound chunk of dead pig in the smoker and it isn’t moving along quite as fast as I had hoped.

koaiko on August 9, 2012 at 12:10 AM

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY…

Did you thaw it 1st?

Gohawgs on August 9, 2012 at 1:18 AM

The fact that the Romney campaign is leaking the names of Portman, Pawlenty, and Ryan is the strongest indicator that it won’t be any of them. Historically, nearly all presidential campaigns have floated the names of loyal supporters who were truly under consideration but didn’t make the cut prior to the actual announcement. Its a way of elevating their national profiles as a show of gratitude.

I think that’s what we’re seeing here from Team Romney. Portman, Pawlenty, and Ryan have been loyal surrogates who have personally connected with Mitt, gone to the mat for his campaign, but that he has ultimately ruled out because of their baggage (Portman’s ties to W, Pawlenty’s inability to connect with voters, and Ryan’s budget).

The more the Romney team downplays Rubio, McDonnell, Christie, and Jindal, the more likely it looks to be someone from that group.

Lawdawg86 on August 9, 2012 at 1:20 AM

I’ll Take Care of You

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

canopfor is a mighty fine human bing.

get it? Human being

bing is a search engine.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 1:25 AM

I’ll Take Care of You

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Thanks, I’m very cuddly and all I need is a chew toy.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 1:25 AM

Got it! Good evening, Spark! How are you this evening?

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

You’re tempting me, Spark!

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I is Fine.

I see you are keeping everyone supplied with good tunes. (:

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 1:31 AM

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Just sharing what I’ve been listening to tonight.

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:33 AM

How about a change of pace, Spark? Let’s Never Stop Falling In Love.

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:35 AM

The fact that the Romney campaign is leaking the names of Portman, Pawlenty, and Ryan is the strongest indicator that it won’t be any of them.

Campaign never leaked those names as far as I know. It’s media pundits and political wonks leaking those names. I don’t think it will be any of them. Isn’t going to be a politician, I don’t think.

crosspatch on August 9, 2012 at 1:40 AM

I bid you a goodnight with this Its been a pleasure, as always.

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:41 AM

crosspatch on August 9, 2012 at 1:40 AM

Thoughts on who?

Gohawgs on August 9, 2012 at 1:41 AM

How about a change of pace, Spark? Let’s Never Stop Falling In Love.

thatsafactjack on August 9, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Golly, that was super romantic. Nice song and the picture was very very…now my mind just went blank.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Hey ya, SparkPlug. Kinda slow tonite…

Gohawgs on August 9, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Gohawgs on August 9, 2012 at 2:07 AM

I guess its slow. I got here way late and didn’t even read any of the comments. Maybe if TPaw were here he could liven things up.

/

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 2:15 AM

Hello??..Is there anybody out there??..:)

Dire Straits on August 9, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Was Scrumpy here? How about OC? What is the temp like? I get even dumber when its hot.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Dire Straits on August 9, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Yeah. I’m here and a few stragglers. I missed all the action if there was any. Did the Gary Johnson guy show up or Lurdes to cook us a steak?

I was repairing HAL. He has a few bugs to work out. Thought Ron Paul was awesome so I gotta rip out all the wires and start over.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Dave was not in the Greenroom either.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 2:23 AM

Nope, Dire. Hump day must’ve taken its toll on some. Either that or the Romney spokesperson committing Seppuku thread is where all the action is…

Gohawgs on August 9, 2012 at 2:23 AM

I know that 25-30 yr olds would fight for Ryan. I’m in that age group and everyone I know either loves him or respects him, from super liberals to very conservative.

cpaulus on August 9, 2012 at 2:37 AM

I fail to see how pulling Ryan out of Congress will benefit the country. I would rather see him run for speaker. His talents will be wasted as VP which does absolutely nothing besides attend funerals on behalf of the US. Is it worth pulling him out of the Congress for, what, 70 days on the campaign trail?

Ryan would also risk his own political career. He would always be known as “Romney’s VP” and his career would be colored by however things turn out under Romney.

Since 1900 there have only been two Vice Presidents who went on to become President that didn’t take over for a sitting President before the end of their term. Those were Nixon who lost in 1960 but won in 1968, and George HW Bush. Every other VP since 1900 that didn’t take over for the sitting President was never heard from again politically.

Ryan risks political oblivion if he takes the job.

crosspatch on August 9, 2012 at 2:44 AM

The more the Romney team downplays Rubio, McDonnell, Christie, and Jindal, the more likely it looks to be someone from that group.

Lawdawg86 on August 9, 2012 at 1:20 AM

am inclined to think the same…

jimver on August 9, 2012 at 4:14 AM

I swear, the way things have been going, I bet he announces McCain as his VP. Hey, maybe it’ll be a Democrat. Maybe he’ll announce Hillary. Cheney thinks she’d be great.

JellyToast on August 9, 2012 at 5:56 AM

The WSJ op-ed is right on point. It’s what I’ve been saying for over a month, so it must be right :-)

Selecting Paul Ryan would indeed make the unmistakeable statement that this election is about restoring fiscal sanity. That it is about reforming our tax code and our entitlement before those problems “reform” our entire way of life. We can no longer tolerate inaction. We cannot kick the can down the raod because we’ve run out of road.

Mitt and Ryan share most of the same ideas on how to get this job done. They would be a tremendous team in office. Paul would not be a funeral VP, he would be an active part of moving Congress in the direction that we must move towards.

Romney/Ryan 2012!

MJBrutus on August 9, 2012 at 6:03 AM

We can no longer tolerate inaction. We cannot kick the can down the raod because we’ve run out of road
MJBrutus on August 9, 2012 at 6:03 AM

save the propaganda for the independents. were you asleep when saul made her statement regarding romneycare.

romney wants to keep that can being kicked down the road. he just wants it to be his foot.

renalin on August 9, 2012 at 6:20 AM

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1061151659

(Massachusetts) has mailed out voter registration letters to nearly 500,000 welfare recipients, in a push sparked by a group led by former ACORN bigwigs that critics say is a naked bid to boost Democrats at the polls in November. Demos — a liberal nonprofit chaired by Amelia Warren Tyagi, daughter of Elizabeth Warren,— joined forces with a spinoff of the defunct, scandal-plagued ACORN in a legal bid last May to compel the state welfare department to send nearly half a million get-out-the-vote letters to welfare recipients.

A suit was filed after a 35-year-old Lowell woman recertified her benefits at a Lowell welfare office last June and “was not offered the opportunity to register to vote at any time during her visit; nor was she offered a voter registration application,” according to papers filed in U.S. District Court.

Similar cases are still pending in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Louisiana, which is fighting the suit. Settlements have been reached in Ohio, Missouri, New Mexico, Indiana and Georgia. Meanwhile, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Mississippi have all agreed to comply without being sued.

Get ready for the mugging organized by the Dems at the voting booth.

bayview on August 9, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Regarding Ms. Saul’s seppuku, as a Vice-President of Marketing, I can tell you, a Marketing/PR Professional, like a Press Secretary’s, job is to communicate the information they have been given by their boss.

Perhaps “what we have heah is failure to communicate”.

Perhaps not. My take.

kingsjester on August 9, 2012 at 6:59 AM

I wasn’t around yesterday, so I don’t know if this came up or not, but I just heard the Kansas TEA Party candidates SWEPT the primaries on Tuesday, booting out all the GOP statewide office holders except one. They had been working with the unions and the democrats, apparently. The TEA Party candidates were outspent 3-1 and still won. Just thought some good news might be in order!

Night Owl on August 9, 2012 at 7:09 AM

romney wants to keep that can being kicked down the road. he just wants it to be his foot.

renalin on August 9, 2012 at 6:20 AM

What does this even mean? Anyone who is even thinking of running for political office would be in the same position.

When Reagan was confronted with a possible collapse of social security..did he reform it or raise taxes? If I remember correctly, he did the latter. And when Bush tried to reform social security, how much support did he get from the right? Many of them were more than willing to attack the man..but when he tried to do some honest to God private sector reform of the largest entitlement program in the country..the support was tepid at best.

At least Romney and Ryan have acknowledged the fact that we need to make some reforms, the Democrats certainly have not.

Terrye on August 9, 2012 at 7:20 AM

I swear, the way things have been going, I bet he announces McCain as his VP. Hey, maybe it’ll be a Democrat. Maybe he’ll announce Hillary. Cheney thinks she’d be great.

JellyToast on August 9, 2012 at 5:56 AM

The way things have been going maybe a bunch of people who call themselves TruCons will just vote for Obama because Romney did not say how high when they said jump. Or so they think.

Terrye on August 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM

Nowadays picking the VP is the same as picking the next presidential candidate after you. Oh yah, I’d like to see Ryan. (That’s why it won’t be Ryan.)

Mojave Mark on August 9, 2012 at 7:25 AM

The way things have been going maybe a bunch of people who call themselves TruCons will just vote for Obama because Romney did not say how high when they said jump. Or so they think.

Terrye on August 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM

A) Reagan Conservatives have never called themselves that name. Moderates/Social Libs made it up in an attempt to redefine Conservatism.

B) Most of us are going to vote for Romney, because a Left-leaning Northeastern Squish is better than a full-blown Communist.

kingsjester on August 9, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Terrye on August 9, 2012 at 7:20 AM

grow and grow government thats your answer. bring up bush, who is part of the problem. you are veering so far to the left that your indistinguishable from the libs.

don’t you guys see that?

renalin on August 9, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Since the GOP has sold out on social issues (defending religion, abortion, traditional marriage, life, etc and at their best, is inept or meekly concerned about defending freedom of the individual against a totalitarian leaning government, why not go with two money men? The boring economics lessons alone ought to cause the masses to leave their sexual excesses, free lunches, TV couches, and cultural rot to rush to accept responsibility and become upstanding citizens.

The media will have a field day, the masses will groan and the entire house will fall down in November–the country shortly after.

Don L on August 9, 2012 at 7:43 AM

I like Paul Ryan, but if he’s the only Republican who can clearly articulate budgetary & entitlement reform issues then the party is well and truly f–ked anyway. If Ryan’s plan is the way the GOP wants to go, then AT MINIMUM, lack of ability to explain it should disqualify anyone from running for President.

SAMinVA on August 9, 2012 at 7:51 AM

If Tomasky is advising against Ryan, then Ryan is the guy.

And the Democrats are at a tipping point with the lies and smears right now, so adding Ryan into the mix will push them over the edge into complete clowndom.

forest on August 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Ryan is such a fiscal conservative, he’s such a limited government guy that he voted for TARP (and still tries to defend it) and the auto bailouts. He’s so brave for attacking entitlements that he voted for Medicare Part D and supported SCHIP expansion. He’s so bold with his budget plan that increases spending and doesn’t cut government at all.

What a winner.

Dante on August 9, 2012 at 8:17 AM

After last election I don’t know anyone I dislike enough to have them become the Republican nominee for Vice President.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

“He has all the baggage of the House,” said the senator.

What a crock! The American people took back the house in 2010 with more help on the way! If anything the Senate needs a similar cleansing! Hopefully that will happen in November!

Marco on August 9, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Was Scrumpy here? How about OC? What is the temp like? I get even dumber when its hot.

SparkPlug on August 9, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Thanks for asking about me, I wasn’t well last evening :-( but I was all over the thread mentioning the (A) word yesterday…

You probably won’t see this…

Maybe I can be last at last eh??? :-D

Scrumpy on August 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

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