Saturday, August 11, 2012
First, Ryan is the person to pick if you're trying to impress people who have already decided to vote for you. From a conservative point of view, there's nothing to not like about Ryan. He's an anti-Obama, solid on conservative policy, photogenic, speaks well and doesn't back down in the face of liberal attacks.
But Ryan isn't the guy you pick if you're trying to win over those who haven't yet made up their minds. Despite the many reasons for voting against Obama, there's something about Romney that has kept these voters from deciding to vote for him.
And Ryan doesn't help Romney address any of these concerns. If you think Romney is too white and doesn't care about minorities, Ryan doesn't help. If you think Romney is too-Waspish (Romney is a Wasp in all but religion), Ryan doesn't help broaden the appeal. If you think Romney doesn't care enough for the middle class, Ryan doesn't help all that much.
That is why I think a Rubio or a Christie or a Jindal would have been a better choice... as all would have helped Romney overcome voter resistance in at least one area. Christie? The anti-Wasp, regular guy who isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves. Rubio and Jindal? Both would have shown that Romney isn't afraid to hang around with non-Whites.
Again, there isn't anything wrong with Ryan... other than the fact that others would have helped Romney more where Romney needs help.
Moving on to some constructive suggestions, there is a big opening for Romney to broaden his rebuttal to Obama's 'you didn't build that' riff. While business owners were the direct recipient of Obama's disdain, his attitude applies to everybody - not just business owners - who works and strives to move up the ladder of success. When Obama dismisses those who are smart and work hard, he isn't just speaking to business owners, he is saying that millions of workers who have made a nice living for themselves shouldn't get credit for their careers. According to Obama, these people aren't any smarter or don't work any harder than those who they passed on the corporate ladder. They didn't 'earn' their promotions and raises so they shouldn't expect to be able to keep the fruits of their efforts.
Romney needs to make sure these people know he is speaking up and defending them as well. The guy who moved up in the ranks into management? The woman who started as a paralegal and now is a staff attorney? The guy who started in the mailroom and now is one of the top producing salesmen? Romney needs to let them all know that he appreciates their effort and understands that - just like the owner of the business - they are where they are because of their brains and hard work.
Not only does this make sense from a theoretical point of view, it makes sense from a numbers perspective. There are a whole lot more people who work 'for' a business than 'own' a business. Obama has made it clear that he believes government is responsible for all that one accomplishes. Romney needs to let these people know he disagrees with that.