Paul Ryan, yesterday and today

Now that the question is settled as to the Veep selection, it’s a good time to see what we’re getting for our election dollar. (And don’t forget, America’s Comeback Team is still accepting donations for the battle to come.) A couple of items to digest this weekend follow. First, a few excerpts from Ryan’s comments during the announcement.

For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action; and action into solutions.

I am committed, in mind and heart, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration. This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation; and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.

That man is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States

Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.

In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair.

This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years.

Unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years, the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are hurting.

We have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since WW II.

Nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are in poverty–the worst rate in a generation. Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.

Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000 over the past four years.

Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.

Next, let’s jump into the time machine and revisit a couple of Ryan’s greatest hits in video form. First up, a speech he gave to Heritage last year.

And next, his speech at CPAC from earlier this year.

Additional reading: Doug Mataconis weighs the pros and cons of Ryan.

I suppose the first question I have there is whether this is going to work with the American public. Poll after poll has been telling us for the better part of the year that the number one issue in November is going to be the economy and jobs. The latest round of economic statistics suggests that the importance of these issues in the minds of voters are going to be even more important in the minds of voters. If the Romney/Ryan ticket begins to shift the focus of its message from the economy to the fiscal situation in Washington, though, are voters going to see the connection between those long-term issues and the short-term issue of the state of the economy and where the jobs are going to come from?

Discuss at your leisure.