Can ‘Privatising Ryan’ save the Romney election campaign?
He’s young, he’s adored by his party and he’s relatively unknown across America and the world. Three traits that helped Barack Obama secure the nomination for the Democrat candidacy in 2008 and three traits that Mitt Romney has been lacking in his battle to become the next president of the USA. Perhaps it therefore shouldn’t have been such a surprise that the former governor of Massachusetts has opted for Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential running mate. Anybody heard of him before today? Thought not.
The congressman from Wisconsin is not a big hitting name in US politics, but he represents everything that Romney needs on the campaign trail. Ryan is currently 42 years old and was elected to Congress when he was just 28 – so he provides a youthful outlook on what could be seen as a stagnant campaign from Romney thus far. Whilst Romney has been the victim of previous failed attempts to secure the Republican presidential nomination, this is the first time that the USA will get a taste of how Ryan operates on a national stage.
It may seem ironic that Romney has picked a candidate who provides everything that he himself lacks as a politician, but it is smart politics at its finest.
Remember back when a young Barack Obama picked established Congressman Joe Biden as his vice presidential candidate in 2008? That pick played a huge part in convincing undecided voters that there would be an experienced Washington head as part of the presidency should Obama triumph. This particularly held true in Southern states where voters may have been unsure of Obama’s liberal credentials. Biden helped sway so called blue-collar Democrats into believing in Obama as the man who could bring change to America, and in doing so played a part in the 2008 victory.
Romney will be hoping that Ryan will silence doubters who say that his campaign does not contain sound economic policies encompassed in Republican ideology. Ryan is a self-confessed numbers man who proposed an alternative economic policy to the Obama White House which involved spending cuts of $5.3 trillion over the next decade. While that may be extreme, Ryan’s plans carry the overwhelming support of the Tea Party and conservative Republicans who may have been concerned about Romney’s slightly central outlook.
Carrying the nickname ‘Privatising Ryan’, the new Republican vice-presidential candidate represents the future that many Republicans dream about for America. His Catholic background settles the debate about where the Republican team now stand over the abortion debate. Ryan firmly believes that healthcare should not be dealt with in Washington, a standing which should provide Romney with a rebuttal against the claims that he implemented a version of ‘Obamacare’ when he was the governor of Massachusetts.
The only problem of course is that Ryan seems to be a better choice for the Republicans than Romney – and the presidential candidate will have to work hard to make sure that he is the one who seems like the man who should be in charge of America.
In a cruelly ironic slip of the tongue, Romney introduced Ryan as ‘the next president of the United States’. Perhaps the slip revealed slightly more than intended about the risk that Romney has just taken.