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2012 Election Richard Falknor on 11 Aug 2012 01:22 pm

UPDATED! A Faltering Campaign Soups Up Its Engine With A Policy Guy

UPDATES! AUGUST 11 — Mark Steyn declares (NRO) in his Milquetoast Mitt: Romney needs to get serious about the crisis we face –“Half the country is entirely unaware of the existential threat Obama-sized government represents, and Mitt seems in no hurry to alert them to what’s at stake, save for occasional warnings that if we’re not careful America will end up like Europe. We should be so lucky. The more likely scenario is something closer to the more corrupt and decrepit fiefdoms of Latin America.”
AUGUST 11 –Stanley Kurtz (NRO) explains (click here) – –  “What the public still doesn’t understand, despite the president’s somewhat more open left-turn of late, is just how far left his second-term agenda aims to go. I’ve laid out some of it here, and Americans are simply not prepared for what is about to hit us should Obama win.” . . . . . “Although a Romney victory would be taken by conservatives as proof that we are still a center-right nation, the fact is that the mainstream media and our key cultural institutions are now in the hands of an increasingly ambitious Left. . . . The Obama presidency has given the Left a taste of the transformations it might achieve, and defeat will be dismissed as a merely temporary setback.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

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“Ultimately, Romney may have made this decision because he knows that he is behind in this election, and that his likeliest path to victory is on big ideas and fiscal seriousness, not small ball and playing it safe. He has tried the safe path, and it hasn’t worked. “ (Underscoring Forum’s.) – –  The Transom: Ryan Primer

Benjamin Domenech’s The Transom has an exhaustive and balanced analysis of the Paul Ryan selection as the presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee.

(This on-line publication is well worth the $20 annual subscription. Whether conservatives agree with all pundit Domenech’s insights and selections or not, they should not ‘leave home’ before eyeballing the day’s Transom.)

Two more points from Domenech today – – then readers should consider the entire piece themselves:

  • “Because I do think Romney is behind—in the sense that if the election was today, I do believe he would lose—I think it is a selection worth the risk. But I also think commentators may be underestimating the value of the relationship Ryan had with Romney during the primary, one formed over the course of a year, which brought the two politicians closer together in ways that escaped the notice of most observers.”
  • “As an aside: one wonders how Romney would’ve treated Ryan as an opponent, as opposed to a legislative ally. Had Ryan run for president, his Medicare plan would’ve been the least of his problems in my view: everyone in America would know he voted for the auto bailout, TARP, and his pro-union votes within a week of Romney slash and burn ads. If you don’t think they would’ve done this, I think you’re fooling yourself. http://vlt.tc/ez2  Ryan’s voting record has more in common with that of a pragmatic Midwestern moderate, not the hard-edged conservative he’s painted as by the left. The Tea Party would’ve turned on Ryan very quickly in my view, and his support from the intellectual elite would not have mattered much. This is a reminder that the real problem with the 2012 primary was not that the conservative base couldn’t decide who they wanted, but that they wanted someone who didn’t exist.”  (Underscoring Forum’s.)

For even more detail, readers can visit the Paul Ryan biography in the authoritative 2012 Almanac of America Politics.

Two excerpts – –

  • “In 1998. . . Ryan campaigned against tax increases and in favor of gun-ownership rights.” 
  • “He backed versions of the DREAM Act giving  some children of illegal immigrants a potential path to citizenship.  But he refused to support the version that the Democratically-controlled House passed in December 2010, saying it went too far.”( Underscoring Forum’s.)

Our initial reaction: providentially, governor Mitt Romney picked neither New Jersey governor Chris Christie (see Andy McCarthy’s post in the foregoing link for just one of the governor’s non-conservative postures) nor former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice as his choice for running mate. Whatever their popularity among the GOP “cheer-leading set”, either would have been markedly unacceptable to most conservatives.

Big Unsolved Romney Problems: “Those are not things that are part of my campaign.”

As Cliff Kincaid  (AIM) has pointed out here, the Romney Campaign’s arrogance in dismissing so many families’ support for “freedom of speech that led to the Chick-fil-A Day” is simply breathtaking.

The Campaign’s message to what Angelo Codevilla calls – – click here — the country class:  “we can’t grasp your concerns and don’t want to”.

These concerns (click here for Cliff Kincaid’s catalog) range from fear of “Ruling Class” action mainstreaming homosexuality (in this case, the Campaign’s position on the Boy Scouts) to “Ruling Class” reluctance to track Islamist penetration of our government – – and our schools.

Representative Paul Ryan cannot fix the Romney Campaign’s attitude on these matters with persuasive discussions of reforming entitlements — as critically important as his work will be.

This is a problem Mr. Romney needs to address himself – in person. Doing so may help to repair his serious ‘likeability’ problem.



 

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