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Paul Ryan’s advantage:*
optimism, a reassuring manner, a confident presence
& an ability to his express himself in a sober and serious manner

I have collected a great variety of links to and selected quotations from a number of blog posts and opinion pieces (as well as taken a number of notes) to I posted I’ve been planning in which I would (as I detailed yesterday) contest the “‘conventional wisdom’ . . . that Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate all but dooms the GOP ticket to certain defeat this fall.

All that collection and selection, however, may not really have been necessary.  Earlier today, I found that Michael Gerson had effectively said what I had intended to say in his op-ed on Monday:

The Republican ticket will go large, arguing that budgetary indiscipline creates uncertainty that undermines current growth, while eventually leading to fiscal crisis and economic catastrophe. This is a more complex argument than “economy, bad.” It is also more likely to yield a governing mandate, which seems to be Romney’s admirable, unexpected goal.

In the fight Romney has picked, Ryan is an advantage. He is the best policy thinker and best communicator among the rising generation of conservative reformers. He combines a sober realism about a teetering, unsustainable entitlement system with a bubbly, Jack Kemp-like belief in the promise of unleashed enterprise. (We both worked for Kemp at the same time in the 1990s.) Unlike a recent Republican vice presidential nominee, you can’t put him on the spot. He is informed, levelheaded and persuasive. And he is already Barack Obama’s most persistent, effective economic critic.

Emphasis added.  Unlike the previous Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan is adept at dealing with the national media and well-versed in the details of federal policy.  He doesn’t need a crash course in the issues of the current campaign. (more…)

“. . . had they been uttered by a Republican . . .”
Biden’s words “likely would have set off an even bigger firestorm”

And no, those words don’t come from a right-of-center pundit or Republican politician, but from a center-left journalist at a liberal newspaper.  According to the Washington Post‘s Dan Balz,

Vice President Biden triggered the latest round [of harsh rhetoric and angry accusations]Tuesday with lines, that, had they been uttered by a Republican, likely would have set off an even bigger firestorm. Biden told an audience in Virginia that Romney would “unchain” the big banks if he were elected president and then added, “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

(Via Instapundit.)  And it wasn’t just Dan Balz.  Over at CommentaryAlana Goodman reports that “MSNBC’s Willie Geist had a good take this morning (via Playbook), when he pointed out the media double standard for Biden:”

“It has to be said that if Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate, said that to an African-American audience, there would be calls this morning for him to get out of the race, for Mitt Romney to withdraw from the race. There’s a double standard.”

Double standard indeed. Goodman also reports that Biden is doubling down on his mean-spirited remarks, refusing to “back down on his ‘chains’ gaffe.”

Wonder when our friends in the legacy media will join Rudy Giuliani in questioning Biden’s competence.

Joe BIden’s “Bold” Comment?!?!?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:58 pm - August 15, 2012.
Filed under: Biden Watch,Media Bias

Take a gander at how the folks at AOL/Huffington Post are promoting their article on Joe Biden’s “chains” comment:

UPDATE: Two different views of Mr. Biden’s “bold” comment: Obama defends Biden on ‘chains’ remark:

“Joe Biden has been an outstanding vice president. He is passionate about what’s happening in middle-class families,” he said. “So I will be talking to him a whole lot about the campaign generally.”

Biden meant that “you, consumers, the American people, will be a lot worse off if we repeal these [Wall Street reform] laws as the other side is suggesting,” Obama told People. “In no sense was he trying to connote something other than that.”

McCain says Obama Would Be ‘Wise’ to Replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the Ticket:

McCain had some harsh words ready for Biden, saying that the vice president “continues to say things that are unacceptable in American politics,” and specifically referenced Biden’s remarks Tuesday in Danville, Virginia.

UP-UPDATE: Ace reminds us that Obama has only 22 days until he can no longer replace Joe Biden.

Republicans slurred as racists for “crime of being conservative”?

Democrats and liberal journalists“, observes the Washington Examiner’s Timothy P. Carney, comparing Vice President Biden’s recent “chains” comment to other leading Democratic allegations of Republican racism, “into are constantly calling us racists for the crime of being conservative.”

Wheels coming off Obama-Biden bus?

Both Stacy McCain and John Hinderaker were bullish on Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday in Chilicothe, Ohio which apparently (at least according to Stacy) the presumptive Republican nominee had written himself.  The presumptive Republican nominee reminded citizens of the Buckeye State that we’re not hearing . . .

. . . any answers coming from President Obama’s re-election campaign. That’s because he’s intellectually exhausted, out of ideas, and out of energy. And so his campaign has resorted to diversions and distractions, to demagoguing and defaming others. This is an old game in politics; what’s different this year is that the president is taking things to a new low.

And as Romney was decrying the Democratic campaign of diversion and defamation, the president and the vice president continued to demagogue and distract, with Obama joking about Mitt Romney’s dog and Biden saying the Romney team wants to put people “back in chains.

While Democrats may defend this as just another Biden exaggeration,” offers Commentary‘s Jonathan S. Tobin,

. . . this is a clear-cut case of racial incitement. After all, unless he is referring to Jews being returned to slavery some 3,500 years after the Exodus from Egypt, the only possible allusion here is to the enslavement of African Americans in the south. This is more than just garden-variety political hyperbole. It is an unfortunate example of just how desperate Democrats are to scare voters into backing the president’s re-election.

The Democratic campaign right now is beginning to look a lot like their campaign in the immediate aftermath of the Republican convention in 2008.  With Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, the Democrats suddenly find themselves on defense.  And Obama just doesn’t play well on defense.

Back in ’08, the market meltdown helped turn things around for the Democrats.  And they will surely be looking for something to put Romney back on defense.  But, we do know that Obama doesn’t do well when the energy shifts to the GOP.  Let’s hope the Republicans can keep this up.

The do-nothing Democratic Senate’s dubious record

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:25 am - August 15, 2012.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Congress (general),Media Bias

Take a gander at how Yahoo! spins the report on this being “the least productive legislative year in the post World War II era“:

Unlike the 80th Congress which Harry Truman dubbed a “do-thing” legislature, the current Congress is divided, with Republicans controlling only the House, hence the Yahoo!’s editors choice to blame the absence of productivity on that chamber.  (As if legislative productivity were necessarily a good thing.)

The real story of the 112th Congress is, however, not the Republican House’s dubious record, but the Democratic Senate’s inaction.

As “Doug Heye, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.,” observed, “citing over 30 economic measures the House has passed that have fizzled in the Democratic-run Senate ‘at the behest of a president who is presiding over the worst economic recovery in history.'”  Interesting that the article’s only reference to the Democratic Senate is in a quote from a Republican.

Do wonder if Yahoo! ever led with reports of the Democratic Senate’s dubious record, failure to pass a budget in over 1,200 days.  Or their failure to take up the jobs bills passed by the Republican House.

Watcher of Weasels — Ides of August nominations

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:24 am - August 15, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Seems Paul Ryan shares Ronald Reagan’s incurable optimism

Asking whether “Incurable Optimism” is A Genetic Trait, Glenn Reynolds quips, “IF SO, MAYBE IT REALLY IS INCURABLE“.  Ronald Reagan too thought optimism was incurable as manifested by his delight in  repeating the story about the man who had two sons, one an incurable optimist, the other an incurable pessimist.

As I recall when I heard Paul Ryan speak at the sacred shrine of freedom Reagan Library, he offered the optimistic son’s concluding comment, expressing his certainty that there just had to be a pony in that pile of horse manure.

Methinks that’s one thing which makes the fetching Wisconsin Republican such a compelling candidate; he knows the Gipper’s tales and shares his optimism.

Yes, optimism does seem to be incurable.   And it does seem more Republicans than Democrats share this affliction with the Gipper — and with Mr. Ryan.