Saturday, 11 August 2012

Romney picks Ryan

According to all the US media reports, Mitt Romney will announce his pick as his Vice Presidential candidate today and it is set to be Congressman Paul Ryan.

Ryan is pretty well known in the US as chair of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and author of an alternative budget that aims to slim down the size of the US government. It's a well worked out plan (if you like that sort of thing) and he's a good communicator. He's also a favourite of the tea party and will reassure those on the right that Romney meant what he said during the primaries.

According to reports, Romney will name his pick during a visit to decommissioned battleship USS Wisconsin - Ryan being from that state. That's pretty clunky, even for a US politician. But, as Ezra Klein notes in his Washington Post blog, it also highlights a fundamental problem for Romney with his VP choice. Ryan argues for cutting the US budget to 3.75% of GDP if you take out medicare, medicaid and social security. The trouble is that Romney has pledged to raise defence spending alone to 4%.

The rest of Mr Klein's blog is well worth reading for the other problems it may raise for the Romney campaign.

At it's heart, this is a 'hail mary' play by Romney. Perhaps the biggest risk is that, with Ryan being a details man, it leaves Romney's VP open to being seen as smarter than he is.

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