One Obama backer privately said — not the least bit in jest — that the campaign could now siphon off cash donations for margarita machines, because there was so much to celebrate between now and Election Day.

Another Democratic operative declared the election effectively over — that Ryan was the self-hammered nail in Romney’s own coffin.

“They chose a candidate who is 42, but looks 22, and is a professional Washington politician,” said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, a top adviser to John Edwards’ 2008 campaign and former chief of staff to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. “He helps Romney with not a single state, not a single demographic and he won’t turn a single undecided vote around. He also destroys Romney’s argument that professional Washington insiders and politicians aren’t qualified to govern. He’s a disastrous pick that proves the Romney and Republicans are stuck in some kind of time capsule where they think they can win elections by debating obscure conservative theory.”