Political Animal


August 11, 2012 8:19 AM Romney Chooses Paul Ryan for VP

By Ryan Cooper

Cutting in this morning with some quick breaking news. Some reads on the subject:

Monthly alum James Fallows says this is a good pick, but not a “serious” one.

Jon Chait’s profile of Ryan looks better than ever.

Also, Ryan Lizza’s profile in the New Yorker is worth a read.

Charlie Pierce adds his two cents.

Personally, this was a bit bolder than I was expecting from Romney. Unless, of course, he was bullied into it by Grover Norquist or something. What do you think?

UPDATE: TPM has the speech livestream here.

Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • sjw on August 11, 2012 8:35 AM:

    Desperate, not ballsy.

    The choice was forced on Romney. By the need to change the dynamic right quick. By conservatives who distrust him. By the need to shore up his base.

    Yesterday Romney was practically pleading with Team Obama to have "policy" front and center as opposed to "personal attacks." Well, he'll get the policy discussion now. It will be focused on the Ryan Budget. And it will sink Romney like a stone.

  • SteveT on August 11, 2012 8:42 AM:

    Romney's choice of Paul Ryan is a great opportunity for Democrats. It is a chance to make the Supply-side Economics and the Republican agenda THE issue.

    It is really a second chance for Obama and the Democrats to do what Obama should have done in 2009. Instead of telling the country that Republicans had "good ideas too", he should have shown the American people why Republican policies CAN'T work and relegated the fraud of Supply-side Economics to the trash heap of history's bad ideas alongside alchemy and the Earth-centered universe.

    The timing is right for this discussion. Obama is a much more forceful defender of Democratic principles when he's campaigning for office than when he's actually in office.

  • N.Wells on August 11, 2012 8:51 AM:

    As SteveT said. The Republicans have never looked more monolithic and extreme, and the Ryan choice just makes it clear that any vote for any Republican is unwise. The Democrats now have to change this election into a nation-wide referendum on Republican policies, directed against all Republicans.

  • mellowjohn on August 11, 2012 8:54 AM:

    under "severely conservative" pressure, rmoney folded like a cheap lawn chair.

  • T2 on August 11, 2012 8:55 AM:

    Just as George W, Bush was told to take Cheney, Romney was told to take Ryan. This is more of a 2016 set up for Ryan. Now we have a real choice...will America become Crazy, Or will we derail the insanity.....

  • Truthbetold on August 11, 2012 8:58 AM:

    Romney was slipping in the polls and with conservatives in the republican party. Ryan will boost his sagging ratings but for how long before they realize that it is Romney that will sit in the Oval Office not Ryan. Ryan's plan from what I have read is not popular with independents.

  • Daryl McCullough on August 11, 2012 9:03 AM:

    The Ryan choice shows that Romney is going to go all out for the Republican strategy of turning out the base, rather than reaching out to the undecided.

  • c u n d gulag on August 11, 2012 9:06 AM:

    The rich entitled foof in the family has been told a marriage has been arranged for him.

    And that HE won't be the one wearing the pants in the family.

    Everytime I talk about them, I'm going to list Ryan first.

    It's Obama-Biden v. Ryan-Romney.

    Mitt, if you can't even lead your own party and your own ticket, how can you lead a nation?

    The Republicans may well have motivated their base. But at the same time, motivated the Liberal one, too.

    Ryan ain't Portman of T-Paw.
    Democrats hate that steely-eyed serial senior killer in a way that we never could any of the boring white men that Mitt promised would be by his side.

    Ryan-Romney will give the bump that Republicans needed.
    They'll get their lumps later.
    After the two conventions, Obama-Biden will be on Ryan-Romney like white on Conservatives.

  • majun on August 11, 2012 9:13 AM:

    Romney's hitched his wagon to a lead weight. He will be tied irrevocably to what could turn out to be the most disasterous economic policy that has ever been foisted on this country. Hopefully the American voters will recognize this and never elect him.

    Same dynamic as last go-round. An insufficiently trustworthy candidate picks a photogenic Wackadoodle running mate to build street cred with the Wackadoodle fringe. They lose and the Wackadoodle fringe that holds the GOP hostage insists it is because the candidate was insufficiently Wackadoodle. And the country gets another four years of destructive obstructionism.

    If by some chance he does survive and get to the White House, the Wackadoodle Wepubwiccans will hold his feet to the fire and make certain that he rides the Titanic to the bottom of the sea. Romney will be tied to a budget plan that will pretty much destroy the economy. What has been a fairly weak and fragile recovery will become a full blown double dip recession with a strong possibility of depression.

    Here's hoping American voters come to their senses sooner rather than later.

  • martin on August 11, 2012 9:16 AM:

    Dems have been handed their issue on a plate. How long will it take for them to screw it up?

  • Gingerpye on August 11, 2012 9:30 AM:

    c u n d gulag, you're right! Romney just announced Ryan as the next President of the United States! What a doofus. Can't even get his own vice president announcement right!

  • Joe Friday on August 11, 2012 11:46 AM:


    What a target-rich environment.

  • zandru on August 11, 2012 2:28 PM:

    I laughed when Willard introduced Ryan as "the next President of the United States". Too true - John Nichols, over at his blog at The Nation, said as much on Wednesday (!!), before the choice was confirmed today. Nichols has watched Ryan for the last few decades at close range; he knows the man, his history and his ambitions.

    Those of you seeing parallels with Cheney/Bush are correct, I believe. Those who have pointed out the opportunity for the Democrats are right on track.

    Folks who still keep whining that "there's no difference between the two parties" (hi, Ralph!) can, in my opinion, just stuff it.

  • BJ smith on August 11, 2012 2:53 PM:

    Yep mellowjohn is correct, we have all just witnessed Grover's first command & damn if Mitt didn't fall right in line.

  • kabiddle on August 11, 2012 9:22 PM:

    The choice of Paul Ryan puts Romney in a culdesac -- there will now be no exit from the narrative about personal wealth and entitlement that Romney so wants to move away from. We can all remake ourselves but we can't deny our simple history and both of these guys reek entitlement. If you are going to try to depict government as a non-functioning agent -- go for it -- best to be distant from the obvious. Both of these guys have prospered and become who they are by virtue of a government generous to their application for benefits. "You didn't build it" just got two poster children far more dramatic than Obama or Biden. Silly persons.

  • low-tech cyclist on August 12, 2012 7:10 AM:

    I think two things forced this choice for Romney:

    1) The downward trajectory of his polling of late, a trajectory that would have likely kept on going if Romney had chosen a Portman or Pawlenty.

    2) His having lost the base's trust yet again in the recent kerfluffle over a spokesperson's comments along the lines of 'if only that person had been living in Massachusetts and had had Romneycare, she'd have been fine.'

    OK, now Mitt's nailed down the base (and overshadowed his own self) with Ryan, the way McCain did with Palin. The question is, can he get anyone else's vote?

    Kevin Drum worries that the left will spend so much time attacking Ryan that Romney gets a free pass the rest of the way, and ekes out a win. I think Team Obama is smart enough to simply wrap Ryan around Romney's neck, the way they've already done with Bain, Romney's taxes, Romney's budget, etc. The more albatrosses, the better.

  • gregor on August 12, 2012 8:52 AM:

    They just needed someone to finish off the project - that was started by the GOP in 1980 - to transform the USA into a third world nation. Ryan is a true believer in privatization of profits and socialization of poverty, suffering, and misery, and so he was the perfectly logical choice.

  • Mel on August 12, 2012 1:24 PM:

    I don't buy the idea that Ryan was rammed down Romney throat by some right wing cabal. It was his decision and he owns it. His first "presidential" decision is a major blunder....

    1. Ryan is not a statewide pol in an important state he needs to win. What about Ohio? Florida? Ryan isn't even a state wide pol in his own state. What kind of state wide organization does he bring to the ticket? Is he going to help Romney carry Wis?

    2. FLORIDA! I believe Ryan kills Romney in Florida where all those elderly folks are going to be shocked by what the Ryan budget is going to do to Medicare. It's hard to see how Romney wins w/o Fla. Mitt has sealed his doom.

    3. Ryan shores up the base. Really? After all these primaries and Mitt's 5 year presidential campaign he has to shore up his base! The hate of Obama is not enough to get the right wing to vote for him? Romney is stuck at "Free Parking" when he should be around the board buying "Board Walk".

    4. So here we go again, the Right getting some pseudo intellectual in the VP slot for its dream ticket 4 years later. Why would Romney, who has invested his time and money in his quest for the presidency serve anybody's interests but his own?

    You look at all this and you just have to come to the conclusion that Romney simply does not have what it takes to lead this nation. If many of the opinions stated earlier are true, then Romney isn't even his own man.

  • jonh on August 12, 2012 9:34 PM:

    I pity da fools who went through the trouble of getting the 'be the first to know romney's vp!' app, only to be on hold for 12 hours after it leaked. Also, what's up with leaking this friday night, and announcing saturday morning on the last few days of the olympics? Why couldn't it wait until Monday? I'm guessing that the thereby hangs a tale.

    Two channels of broadcast TV news tonight (Sunday) felt that America [Was] Waiting for the whole tale of Ryan's evening ride to his suitor's boudoir. 10 minutes worth?? Untold millions of $s owrth?? Was the world really that devoid of newsworthy events?

    BTW, "America Is Waiting", from Eno/Byrne's "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" is my theme song for the election: