Picks Paul Ryan
Campaign insiders say Mitt Romney has given the nod to Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan for his Vice-Presidential running mate. The two are set to appear Saturday in Norfolk, Virginia, and immediately kick off a bus tour meant to introduce them to the voters.
Many indicators have lately pointed to the seven-term congressman as the favorite in the veepstakes. For a conservative base with nagging doubts about Romney's true political colors, the Ryan choice comes as a welcome relief.
As the two men campaigned in the GOP primary, observers noted a striking sympatico between them, on professional and personal levels.
Conservative commentators see Ryan as a good pick because of his central role in House efforts to reform out-of-control federal spending, which President Obama has accelerated to unprecedented and dangerous degrees.
When Romney told NBC in a recent interview that he wanted a vice president with "a vision for the country, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country," many Republicans took it as a confirmation that Ryan had vaulted to the top of the VP short list.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan helps Romney further make the case that only the GOP can turn the country back from an economic precipice. Democrats have of course excoriated Romney for backing Ryan's budget proposals. We can expect endless waves of demagoguery between now and election day.
The selection of Ryan also draws Romney more directly into the Tea Party orbit. Their political fortunes are more directly linked now than ever before. The alliance should help Romney in Wisconsin, a state Obama won handily in 2008.
The Wall Street Journal praised Ryan Thursday as a strong VP choice:
"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."
Romney's bus tour is expected to pass through four must-win states in the coming days: North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Ohio. Obama won all of them four years ago.
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