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Romney Taps Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan As Running Mate 757

Posted by timothy
from the cultural-diversity dept.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern time Saturday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney officially announced (via phone app) his selection of 42-year-old Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as running mate for the 2012 U.S. presidential race. Ryan's selection was announced by the Romney campaign to various media outlets earlier this morning. Ryan is considered popular among a wide range of Republican voters, being a budget hawk who favors less liberal laws concerning abortion. Ryan's lauded popularity among Tea Party voters is mixed; some reports describe him as a Tea Party favorite, others as a far-right imposter.
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Romney Taps Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan As Running Mate

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  • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:50AM (#40956667)
    No matter how much the left will want to make this about Ryan wanting to kill little old ladies (as in their ad showing him literally throwing one off a cliff), what this will really do is force people like Biden (in debates, with Ryan) to directly address some specific things that the current administration would really, really rather not talk about. Which is good for everyone, no matter how the voting goes.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:43AM (#40957065)

      Your country doesn't have a left wing.

  • by Mspangler (770054) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:53AM (#40956687)

    Fine message to send. "My Party is an obsolete old rustbucket that went aground so hard it was laid up for years as they patched it together again. Oh by the way, it uses so much oil to get anywhere we can't afford to run it anymore."

    On the other hand, maybe it is an appropriate message after all. And I say this as a Navy veteran and former resident of Wisconsin.

    • Fine message to send. "My Party is an obsolete old rustbucket that went aground so hard it was laid up for years as they patched it together again. Oh by the way, it uses so much oil to get anywhere we can't afford to run it anymore." On the other hand, maybe it is an appropriate message after all. And I say this as a Navy veteran and former resident of Wisconsin.

      Actually they are not so rusty. The battleships are quite useful in one of their historic roles and some of these "museum" ships are required by law to be maintained at a level that would permit them to be recommissioned should the need arise.

      The role is shore bombardment. There is nothing like those big 16-inch guns for bombardment. Battleships basically own anything within 25 miles of the coast. Ask any U.S. Marine contemplating an amphibious assault on a contested beach, or who needs artillery support

  • Pro Move, Romney (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:54AM (#40956695)

    So Romney, who has attacked Obama for having "no private sector experience" taps a career politician to be his VP. One with less executive experience than Sarah Palin, and one who has advocated for what Newt Gingrich called "right-wing social engineering".

    Nice one, Mittens.

  • Doesn't make sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:56AM (#40956713)
    Why pick a guy that appeals to those on the far right of the spectrum when you already know none of those people would ever vote for Obama....

    Maybe Romney will try to paint himself as more of a moderate now?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:09AM (#40956827)

      Why pick a guy that appeals to those on the far right of the spectrum when you already know none of those people would ever vote for Obama....

      To help give them motivation to go vote at all. Plenty of conservatives look at Obama and look at Romney and don't see a lot of difference (from their point of view). If it doesn't matter (to them) who wins, why bother voting?

    • by Rostin (691447) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:15AM (#40956869)
      More of a moderate? I think the problem he's trying to fix is that he's already perceived as too much of one. Hell, as far as I'm concerned, Romney and Obama are practically the same, once you strip away all the silly campaign rhetoric. You're right that there's no danger of those on the "far right" voting for Obama, but that doesn't automatically mean that they'll turn out to support Romney, either.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:26AM (#40956945)

      Why pick a guy that appeals to those on the far right of the spectrum when you already know none of those people would ever vote for Obama....

      Maybe Romney will try to paint himself as more of a moderate now?

      I always thought that Romney (or McCain the last time) had chosen Colin Powell it would have been a much better strategic decision to fight the Democrats. You'd also be showing people that you were planning a split from Bush in many ways.

      Of course that'd be logical, and not something the crazies that have taken over the Republican party would listen to. I think the GOP needs to go full retard/crazy and get their electoral asses handed to them a few times for sense to come back to them—I'm just worried that the lesson they would learn is not that they've gone too far, but haven't gone far enough.

      Thankfully I'm Canadian so I only have to worry about the secondary effects of all this madness.

      • by gtbritishskull (1435843) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:11AM (#40957295)
        Colin Powell would have been a terrible choice. He has lost most of his credibility because he was the Secretary of State under George W. Bush who helped to get us into Iraq (he claimed to the UN that they had weapons of mass destruction). So, either he is dishonest or was manipulated. I personally believe the latter, but either way he is not someone you want to be next in line to be POTUS (especially if POTUS is McCain because he would be more likely to die of natural causes because of his age). Though, he was MUCH better than Palin, but that is a pretty low bar.
    • by JOrgePeixoto (853808) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:46AM (#40957083) Journal

      hy pick a guy that appeals to those on the far right

      "Far right"? Don't demonize your political adversareis. This causes polarization, hatred, alienation and isolation. It also makes collabortation almost imposssible.
      Paul Ryan is not "far right" any more than the DEM is "far left".

    • by fm6 (162816) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:50AM (#40957109) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, the far right will never vote for Obama. But if they think they're being ignored they might not vote at all.

      There's also the matter of mending fences with the party leadership and other power brokers, who control money, volunteers, etc. All of them are solid far right these days. They were the ones that wouldn't let McCain have a moderate running mate.

      • by SolemnLord (775377) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @12:04PM (#40957705)

        Yeah, the far right will never vote for Obama. But if they think they're being ignored they might not vote at all.

        There's also the matter of mending fences with the party leadership and other power brokers, who control money, volunteers, etc. All of them are solid far right these days. They were the ones that wouldn't let McCain have a moderate running mate.

        Those are all good reasons, and I just want to add one more: Ryan looks like he has a plan.

        I might think that Ryan's policies would be about as effective as literally setting fire to the entire United States, but the fact remains that he's worked hard at outlining his plan and putting it out there. Romney has been on the defence his entire campaign, ever since he came out as the "one to beat" in the Republican primary. Bringing Ryan into the fold might make it look like he has an actual vision for his presidency now, and puts something up that Obama will have to respond to.

  • As a Wisconsinite (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:56AM (#40956719)
    I fine this particularly lulzy. I don't think he could have picked a less likable running mate.
  • by Tony Isaac (1301187) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:58AM (#40956747) Homepage

    Republicans will be (mostly) pleased with Romney's choice, since Ryan has built up some street cred with them through his knock-down, drag-out fight with Democrats in Wisconsin. But Democrats see Ryan as a monster who must be stopped at all costs, and will likely be motivated to come out and vote against him. It should be an interesting election.

    • by Bananenrepublik (49759) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:46AM (#40957079)

      Interestingly the fight in Wisconsin lead to Wisconsin being distanced by the rest of the USA in what concerns job performance. See this graph [stlouisfed.org] which shows the total number of nonfarm employees in Wisconsin (blue) vs. the entire US (red). Note how in early 2011, when Wisconsin's job creation policies were enacted Wisconsin stopped following the upwards trend of the country. (Details: the graph is normalized to the 2009 numbers, any other pre-2011 normalization wouldn't change the picture; nonfarm to not be distorted by seasonal variations; employment numbers instead of unemployment to accoutn for people leaving the state).

      I don't know how much of Wisonsin's policies Ryan could claim for himself, but it certainly looks like he shouldn't at all.

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:04AM (#40957237)

      ...likely be motivated to come out and vote against him.

      I hope so. Reading some of the comments on The Washington Post is disturbing. There seems to be a vocal group that thinks president Obama can now just cruise to victory. That's the kind of complacency that loses elections.

  • by Milharis (2523940) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:01AM (#40956767)

    Looks like the story from the other day about knowing Romney's VP from Wikipedia edits was wrong.
    Wikipedia Edits Forecast Romney's Vice Presidential Pick [slashdot.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:23AM (#40956915)

    Ayn Rand also nearly worshipped a sadistic child murderer and mutilator. She called this man "ideal".... Ayn Rand's Early Inspiration: A Child Killer

    This certainly belongs in the "you can't make this stuff up" category. As J. Brendan Ritchie, who flagged it for me, wrote: "Apparently Ayn Rand was heavily inspired by (and admired) a psychopath. Incidently, objectivism now makes a lot more sense to me."

    The best way to get to the bottom of Ayn Rand's beliefs is to take a look at how she developed the superhero of her novel, Atlas Shrugged , John Galt. Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation. Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman. According to biographer Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market , Rand was so smitten with Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation -- Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street -- on him.

    What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," she wrote, gushing that Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"

    • by beforewisdom (729725) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:19PM (#40960041)
      Ayn Rand died on welfare and medicare, two things Ryan would cut to the bone if he had a chance. Part of the reason she was living on government assistance was that she was sick with cancer. She refused to believe the medical warnings about smoking. In that way she was a forerunner of the TEA party type denialists. The mentality of believing what you want because your opinion matters as much as someone who has studied something for years when you have not.
  • by frank249 (100528) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:30AM (#40956975)

    Video of Romney introducing Ryan as the next president here [youtube.com]. Later he comes back, puts his arm around Ryan and says he has been know to make a few mistakes. Great start.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:33AM (#40956999) Homepage

    Now the Dems can segue from pounding on Romney about not releasing his tax returns to pounding on Republicans about wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher program so rich people don't have to pay more in taxes.

    Whoever decided to release this on Saturday should be beat with sticks. Had the announcement gone out on Monday, they could have owned the news cycle. Now the Dems will have their surrogates ready with a simple talking point that they can just keep hammering all the way to November.

    The best thing I can say about picking Ryan is it was better than picking Sarah Palin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:36AM (#40957019)

    Austerity is a death spiral that creates needless suffering at a time when govt should be fulfilling the Constitutional mandate to "provide for the general welfare."

    • by mc6809e (214243) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:56AM (#40957617)

      Austerity is a death spiral that creates needless suffering at a time when govt should be fulfilling the Constitutional mandate to "provide for the general welfare."

      Providing for the general welfare isn't the same thing as providing individual welfare.

  • by feidaykin (158035) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @12:49PM (#40958105) Journal
    Political pundits often claim that part of the reason you pick the VP candidate should be to help win a key state. Obviously that wasn't an issue with Palin in 08 since Alaska is dark red, but Wisconsin has been light blue the last couple elections, and with Scott Walker surviving his recall election here, perhaps Romney is hoping Ryan will help flip the state red? As a native Wisconsinite I don't think it's too likely... The state hasn't gone red that often, in fact you'd have to go back to 1984 to find Wisconsin flipping red in a Presidential election. Still, past performance isn't always a guarantee and the Romney team might feel energized by Walker's recall victory. Then again it could just be that Romney is afraid the base thinks he's too moderate and wants a loyal Tea Party running mate to fire up the base. That has the potential to backfire though, since moderate voters might shy away from Ryan, and elderly voters will almost certainly have a hard time voting for the guy that prioritizes tax-breaks for millionaires over social security and medicare. And of course Ryan is now going to be thrust into the spotlight more than he's ever been in the past, with every last detail of his life examined and scrutinized. I have no reason to believe there's any skeletons in his closet, but if there are you can bet the media will dig them up. Overall though the VP pick is really only important in what it shows about the Presidential candidate, and Romney has had a problem of never really wanting to commit on issues since he's likely afraid whatever he says will come back to bite him. His VP pick is obviously something he can't easily walk away from, but I think it's too early to tell if it will help or hurt him.
  • by brit74 (831798) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @02:04PM (#40958779)
    Ok, let's make this about technology. From the "Danger Room" blog on Wired:

    On technology and civil liberties issues, Ryan has generally voted along party lines. Ryan opposed net neutrality bills; voted to extend the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps and to immunize telecom companies from legal liabilities for cooperating with warrantless government surveillance. He co-sponsored a ban on internet taxes [ontheissues.org]. Ryan initially approved of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which WIRED editorialized would “usher in a chilling internet censorship regime [wired.com],” but backed down [globalpost.com] in the face of a pressure campaign from the internet-freedom supporters [wired.com]. Activists on Reddit cheered Ryan’s reversal on SOPA [reddit.com] — and appear to have reactivated the Ryan thread now that Romney has tapped him to be vice president.

    Source: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/paul-ryan-vp/ [wired.com]

    Voted YES on terminating funding for National Public Radio.
    Voted YES on retroactive immunity for telecoms' warrantless surveillance.
    Voted NO on establishing "network neutrality" (non-tiered Internet).
    Voted YES on increasing fines for indecent broadcasting.
    Voted YES on promoting commercial human space flight industry.
    Voted YES on banning Internet gambling by credit card.
    Voted YES on allowing telephone monopolies to offer Internet access.
    Ryan co-sponsored permanently banning state & local taxation of Internet access
    http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Paul_Ryan_technology.htm [ontheissues.org]

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