Up until Sunday morning, the Obama crusade had very efficiently transformed Governor Romney into the latest variant of Gordon Gekko – a rich businessman who pays no taxes and kills off cancer patients in a maniacal corporate restructuring scheme. By and large the strategy worked so well because it allowed the “Romney hood” narrative to speak for itself. It doesn’t require much effort on the part of the President to demonize a rich white guy who allegedly has no feelings. It also played right into the permanent Obama campaign platform that the affluent are stealing from the disadvantaged and are not paying their “fair share” of the tax burden. Despite the clear inaccuracies of these claims the smear campaign was working and Romney consistently trailed in the polls. When conservatives were honest with themselves it appeared that the election was going to end the way of 2008.
But that all changed last weekend. Sunday morning we awoke to find Paul Ryan the nominee for Vice President and the debate promptly shifted to the Ryan Plan and the future of Medicare. In about 30 seconds on the USS Wisconsin, we heard an optimistic Paul Ryan make the case against the growth of the federal government better than anyone in the last year. He was inspiring and clear yet also instilled a sense of urgency in enacting real reform. Ryan gives the Republican Party a young anti-Obama who is committed to controlling the budget and saving entitlement programs for seniors. (He has also helped the Romney campaign raise $7 million in the 72 hour since his announcement).
Ryan wasn’t just a good choice – he was the right choice. If Romney had chosen Pawlenty or Portman it would have made the President’s job far easier. He could have just continued to vilify Romney and run down the clock until voters went to the polls. Nothing would have changed the arguments or debates. Even Marco Rubio wouldn’t’ have been enough.
While the road ahead still won’t be easy the debate has shifted to the irrefutable CBO fact that Medicare is going bankrupt by the end of the decade and the President has no plan addressing entitlement reform. David Axelrod loves to say that the Obama budget funds Medicare for the next 8 years without mentioning that it is insolvent afterward. Romney and Ryan can now go on offense attacking the President for his “bill me later” record on spending and contrast it with the Ryan Plan for prosperity.
Unlike the Romney tax return witch hunt and other baseless attacks, this is an argument we can decisively win. Liberal journalists are brewing with contempt for the Ryan Plan and Joe Biden is back in full gaffe mode. This is a good thing because we actually have a real debate we can win. Here is all the evidence you need to see that Paul Ryan was the right choice and changed everything for the better.