By Wendy Young |
Mitt Romney by nature is a very cautious man. He looks carefully when he before he turns right on red and even more closely when he turns left. He is careful to take both positions on any issue and he brushes those gleaming teeth three times a day.
So why did he throw the dice and pick the guy who wants to kill Medicare as his running mate?
I don't think it's a coincidence that the announcement of Paul Ryan's choice came just after the Fox News Channel released a new national survey that showed Romney trailing President Barack Obama by 10 points. When a Fox survey indicates that you are way behind, you know things are getting bad for the GOP.
Running mates hardly ever make a difference in the outcome of presidential races. Back in the dawn of history, Lyndon Johnson's addition to the Democratic ticket helped John Kennedy win Texas and the White House. In 2008, exit polls showed Sarah Palin cost John McCain votes but he would have lost anyway.
The Fox News survey and two other polls indicate that independent voters just don't like Mitt Romney. Paul Ryan is the darling of the Tea Party and the consolation prize to the fiscal conservatives who wonder how the father of Obamacare ever became GOP presidential nominee. Since it is unlikely that swing voters will support the GOP standard bearer, Romney has decided that his best and only chance of winning is to juice the turnout and passion of the Tea Party voters who have little enthusiasm for the former liberal and governor of the Bay State.
Paul Ryan is the ultimate Hail Mary pass, and like most prayer tosses, the ball will tumble to earth in the end zone.
About Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist and Political Analyst
Jamal Simmons Principal at The Raben Group
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College