The Christian Science Monitor’s comparison of the Paul Ryan and Obama deficit plans nails things with a single sentence: “As Obama himself noted today, this fiscal confrontation represents a profound disagreement about the nature of government.”
There’s more to it than that. But that one sentence says more about the differences between the philosophies of the two than anything we can put together. Maybe Paul Ryan should run for president in 2012. Because, clearly, Obama’s giving him more attention than any other member of Congress now, and he’s clearly looking at an ideological fight that the American people should answer to. What direction do we want for our country in the long term: Paul Ryan’s or Obama’s? Or is it somewhere in-between? That’s the real question here. By giving it so much attention — and such a tough rebuttal — that’s effectively what Obama just did. By putting the Ryan plan on a pedestal, then knocking it over, he raised Paul Ryan’s stature even further. Unlike any of the fights with Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann or Donald Trump, this is about actual real non-trivial stuff. If we were the GOP, we’d be poking at Paul Ryan to convince him to run, stat.
To put it simply, there was a period in the early part of the GOP primary race where the candidates were looking extremely boring or unserious — Donald Trump was a thing at this point — and (rather than paying attention to them) Obama responded by focusing heavily on Ryan’s budget plan, even if he disagreed with it. Even though Ryan didn’t run for president then, the point above is the fundamental conversation our country now gets to have on a national scale. Whether or not you like Ryan, he bumps up the “maturity” factor of the 2012 campaign significantly and could help Romney from getting sucked into another “Etch A Sketch” blender for a news cycle.
Flipping burgers at McDonald’s, steering the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, slinging cheap margaritas, and toning abs and pecs. That’s about the extent of Rep. Paul Ryan’s private sector experience.Politico’s Jonathan Martin • Discussing a glaring problem were Mitt Romney to pick Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate: He has little experience in the private sector, something Romney himself is pushing very hard. Ryan’s business experience? Limited to working at his family’s construction business only a few months. On the other hand, The Wall Street Journal just gave him some serious backing, noting that Ryan’s pick would give Romney a chance to win on big issues (with Ryan’s fiscal background offering up those big issues), rather than losing on small ones.
If they’re not willing to say that — that’s their prerogative — but clearly they’re not Mitt Romney delegates.A national Republican Party leader • Discussing an issue with Republican delegates in Massachusetts — sixteen Ron Paul backers who defeated Mitt Romney’s picks — who were disqualified after failing to file affidavits pledging their support to Romney. The delegates say the affidavits were a ploy, and they were received the forms less than a week before the set deadline. Republican leaders are reportedly concerned that the Paul-supporting delegates may cause trouble at the Tampa convention next month. Paul has officially stopped campaigning, but his supporters hope to make their presence known at the convention.
» Should Mitt be worried? Clearly, Paul’s attempt at building a campaign is a bit unorthodox — he only has 80 delegates, but he could end up stealing some of Romney’s if he keeps it up — but even if he can’t win outright, he could damage Romney’s campaign. As The Hill puts it: “National Republicans worry that if grassroots party loyalists aren’t supporting the presumptive nominee, the party could struggle against President Obama’s fundraising and organizational efforts.”
I’m not going to even discuss the process anymore. I’m going to be respectful of the process he’s put in place.Florida Sen. Marco Rubio • Discussing Mitt Romney’s vice presidential process in vague enough terms that make it sound like he’s potentially in the running. Previously, he was more direct with his denials — saying “I’m not going to be the vice president” on two separate occasions in the past three weeks. Anyone want to read the tea leaves here?