Tag Archives: Vice President

How is Biden’s Performance Doing with the Battleground State Newspapers?

We’ve blogged the imagery of the campaign down the stretch recently and following Joe Biden’s often odd performance last night I decided to see how it was playing on the covers of today’s Battleground State newspapers.  In short, Biden’s over-the-top theatrics don’t come off as well as his partisan supporters might think:




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Grading the Vice President Debate — Mark Halperin

This is what he does best:

Candidate grades are based on both performance and success in using the debate to improve their ticket’s standing in the election.


Style: Started out understandably on edge, but used his natural confidence and born fighter verve to battle past his nerves. Did a mini-Romney, throughout: firm and tough, presented his case as planned, unflinchingly hard on the Obama administration without self-consciousness or overt hostility. Waited patiently to answer questions (in contrast to his opponent), then replied cleanly with prepared statements. Clearly rehearsed, but managed to appear candid and comfortable. A strong advocate for his boss, selling Romney generally as a “car guy” with big ideas, big skills, and a big heart.

Substance: Nitpicked at the Obama foreign policy, but didn’t wrap the criticism with a tight thematic bow. Neatly and purposefully blurred lines between the parties on Afghanistan, Iraq; tried to win the argument on taxes, but went more for smoothed edges on Medicare and Social Security. Surprisingly, didn’t talk up Romney’s specific plans very much, favoring an overview defense of conservative principles and a critique of Obama.

His worst moment: After wisely maintaining a cool façade in contrast to Biden’s stylistic antics for the early part of the debate, lost his rhythm and became too smug and smart alecky in his responses, forfeiting what could have been an even bigger edge.

His best moment: Hitting Biden on the rise in unemployment in his beloved hometown of Scranton, PA during the Obama years.

The main thing: Democrats and perhaps others will criticize him as light and vague, but for those who have never seen Ryan before, he came off well for a running mate. Intelligent, calm, and mature. Never took any big risks or descended into wonkiness. Added some polish to the Romney cause, although he did not supercharge the Denver momentum. His team will be happy with this performance, and Romney can approach his next debate without any residual distraction. Key for Ryan’s future, win or lose in November: solidified his hold on a top spot among party leaders.

Grade: B


Style: Way too manic for most of the debate. Grinning, twitching, laughing, smirking, interrupting, blinking, sighing, stammering. Palpably over-rehearsed, although so innately genuine, able to get away with it better than most politicians. Didn’t show much grace, even at times arguing with the moderator (an excellent Martha Raddatz). Interjected, lectured, and showed off too much. Sometimes tried to make too many points in quick succession, speaking more to insiders than the country at large. A classic Bidenesque upshot — endearing and energizing to supporters; nails-on-a-blackboard to detractors. Calmed down for the last third of the debate, allowing his points to formulate without competition from his own theatrical verbal and physical tics.

Substance: Offered strong, serious critiques of the Romney/Ryan records and plans, but often failed to link up his charges with a real-life implication for real people. Took pains to defend the President’s record and use the warehouse of knowledge in his head to indict the opposition. Left some unanswered questions on Benghazi that Republicans are sure to pursue.

His worst moment: His opening series of off-key laughs and forced smiles obscured much of his good work on the party’s high cards of taxes and Medicare, and on Romney’s thin critique of the administration’s national security record.

His best moment: Trumping the confusing back and forth on national security with a single tough and folksy line about the other ticket: “These guys bet against America all the time.”

The main thing: In a debate without much news or many breakthrough moments, Biden’s overheated style is almost sure to be the media, late-night laugher, and conservative takeaway from the ninety minutes. Biden didn’t commit any major disasters, but surrendered the gravitas edge. Democratic partisans will say he fought hard and schooled Ryan on every topic; many others will find his an odd, off-putting performance, far too lacking in the many attractive aspects of Biden’s personality. But his substantive strength and intense passion may soothe the frisson of agonized panic shivering through his party in the wake of the Denver disaster. Obama can borrow a few elements of Biden’s performance, but the over-the-top aggressiveness won’t be seen again on the Democratic side in the remaining two debates.

Grade: B-

Instant Twitter Reactions to the Vice President Debate

2 most important tweets of the night are regarding the view of Undecideds on CNN holding dials that go up and down depending on how they view the answers:

Post-debate reactions:

Begin Debate:

Switch to Domestic Issues

Ryan Rally in West Chester, Pennsylvania Tuesday (Aug 21) 3:30pm

Paul Ryan continues to target Blue Counties in Pennsylvania. Following his stop in Allegheny County in the morning Representative Ryan is heading East to Chester County where Obama won by 9 points (54 to 45) in 2008:

Join Paul Ryan for a Victory Rally!

When: August 21, 2012 – 1:30pm
Where: American Helicopter Museum & Education Center, 1220 American Blvd, West Chester, PA 19380

To RSVP and get your ticket, please click here http://mi.tt/Nzmy3h
Doors Open 1:30 P.M. and the event begins 3:30 P.M.
All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

For questions, contact us at: TeamPA@mittromney.com or (717) 746-8098. For Important Campaign Updates: Text (PA) to GOMITT (466488)

Ryan Rally in Carnegie, Pennsylvania Tuesday (Aug 21) 11am

The Ryan express continues to chug through the Battleground states. He has visited Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Florida in his first six days on the campaign trail.  Tomorrow he is in New Hampshire with Mitt and on Tuesday he heads into a deep blue part of Pennsylvania, Allegheny County that Obama won by 15 points in 2008:

Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman selected by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his running mate, will bring his tour of the battleground states to Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning with a visit to a family-owned steel-supply company in Allegheny County. Ryan’s visit will occur as the debate over the economy and the future of Medicare grows louder, and they become key issues in the presidential campaign. Ryan told the Tribune-Review that Medicare helped our parents and grandparents and must be there for future generations. “To save it, we must reform it, make it stronger,” he said.

Join Paul Ryan for a Victory Rally!

When: August 21, 2012 – 9:00am
Where:  Beaver Steel Services, Inc. in the Rosslyn Farms Industrial Park, 1200 Arch Street, Carnegie, PA 15106

Victory Rally with Paul Ryan and the Republican Team!
Doors Open 9:00 a.m. and the event begins at 11:00 a.m.
To RSVP and get your ticket, click here http://mi.tt/SBwhXJ

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

For questions, contact us at: TeamPA@mittromney.com | (717) 746-8098; For Important Campaign Updates: Text (PA) to GOMITT (466488)

“This is my mom Betty, say Hi to my mom” — Paul Ryan

Here was the introduction to Paul Ryan’s “Protect and Strengthen Medicare” speech in The Villages, Florida:

The Skinny

So many things fly through my twitter feed that I find interesting but not enough to expand into a blog post, I thought I’d combine then into one post:

  • jimgeraghty: Unemployment is 8.3%, no press conferences in eight weeks, and President Obama is doing an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
  • BuzzFeedAndrew: Joe Biden in 2001 praising Paul Ryan personally:”I don’t want to hear Democrats say he is a bad guy.” http://t.co/hnDLWCWD
  • TheFix “We want this debate. We need this debate.” — Paul Ryan in Ohio on Medicare.
  • Mike O’Brien@mpoindc Ryan on Biden’s ‘chains’ comment: “These are the kind of things you say when you’re desperate in a campaign.”
  • Jon G.@ExJon The Wisconsin unrest and Occupy movement were test runs for November. It’s going to get ugly.
  • Jon G.@ExJon The left will get a lot more violent the closer we get to the election. Especially if Romney starts pulling ahead in the polls. #BePrepared
  • Jay Cost@JayCostTWS  This is why those polls of Hispanics showing historically unprecedented leads for O should be doubted. http://bit.ly/N3Xwrq
  • Gabriel Malor@gabrielmalor  L. O. L. RT @politico Obama is preferred by people who don’t vote, according to a new poll out today: http://politi.co/Pl8exH
  • Jay Cost@JayCostTWS   Price of gas is up three cents in week. Dunno where predictive models suggest it’s going, but if prices don’t break soon…HUGE campaign issue
  • zerohedge@zerohedge  Brent over $116

Huge Line to See Paul Ryan at Miami of Ohio

For an anecdote on Paul Ryan’s popularity, my little old site (I’m nobody, really) has had over 300 visitors in the last 24 hours soley from my information post on Ryan’s rally at his alma mater in Ohio. This compares to the sitting Vice President Joe Biden is getting 500-900 attendees at his rallies (Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia). Note I’m giving Biden the benefit of the doubt with the 900 figure in Virginia.  Multiple reports set the crowd at 600… I love it but as a wise man regularly reminds everyone…Don’t get cocky.

Paul Ryan Rally in Oxford, Ohio Wednesday 5:30pm

Putting a double whammy on the Buckeye state, Mitt Romney concludes his bus tour Tuesday in Ohio and his Vice President nominee hits his old stomping grounds Wednesday:

Join Paul Ryan at Miami University Engineering Quad

When: August 15, 2012 – 3:30pm
Where:  Miami University, 450 E. High Street, Oxford, OH 45056

Doors Open at 3:30 PM an d the event begins at 5:30 PM
To RSVP and get your ticket, click here http://mi.tt/MVqIH1

Parking at Millett Hall: 500 E. Sycamore Oxford, Ohio 45056

Questions: (614) 547-2290 or EventsOH@mittromney.com; For Important Campaign Updates: Text OH to  GOMITT (466488)

Ryan is a 1992 graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

20 Things the Romney Campaign Nailed in the Ryan Rollout

Mark Halperin heaps loads of praise on a Vice President rollout that can go wrong in so many ways:

As a matter of pure execution, regardless of what one thinks of Ryan’s ideology, Boston gets major props for pulling off a very strong veep launch. Some of what has worked involved a bit of luck, but clearly, the Romney campaign meticulously gamed out how to best launch the pick:

  1. The choice and the timing of its announcement was a kept a secret up until the last minute, allowing the campaign to control the rollout.
  2. The announcement event was well staged.
  3. The optics of the Romneys and Ryans together are very good.
  4. The talking points intended to smooth over rough spots (such as policy disagreements between the top and bottom of the ticket) were carefully written in advance.
  5. Boston had a thought-out pushback on the Medicare issue – raising ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts – and made sure all surrogates were ready to make the same case.
  6. The campaign was correctly confident that the last two days of the Olympics wouldn’t be a barrier to getting major coverage for the pick.
  7. The timing allowed for the requisite “60 Minutes” interview, insuring a big and valuable audience.
  8. They also put in place the requisite People magazine hit.
  9. They had ready to go an experienced, strong team of managers and communicators to manage the Ryan process.
  10. They tick tocked the selection process for the media in a way that produced news stories that were 98% on message for Team Romney.
  11. They rapidly distributed favorable quotes from previous Romney skeptics expressing jubilation over the choice.
  12. They made sure Ryan had a well-written first speech.
  13. Ryan was well-prepared and has capably conveyed an excellent balance between eager teammate/junior partner and tough player.
  14. They tweeted out endearing candid photos from the trail.
  15. They had their allies aggressively tweet positively about Ryan while pushing back hard on the Democrats’ attacks.
  16. They were privately very gracious and sincerely regretful to those not selected, minimizing any sour grapes story lines or interviews from the Tim Pawlentys of the world.
  17. They isolated the interesting and favorable biographical aspects of the Ryan family and made sure they were delivered to the media.
  18. They devised a short-term schedule for the two candidates together and then separately that smartly makes the most of their current velocity.
  19. They used the pick to define and send signals about Romney, emphasizing the “bold” meme.
  20. They anticipated that the announcement and addition of Ryan would produce much bigger crowds for their events and they handled the logistics of the swell without too many hitches.

The result of all that technical planning and success is that Romney is a more energized and focused stump performer today than he was just four days ago. The weekend’s major events have gone well and that is reflected in the candidate’s demeanor. His performance in the “60 Minutes” interview was also better than usual, apparently thanks to having his partner by his side.

Again, to be clear: this is not an endorsement of Ryan or a prediction that the pick will ultimately be a net positive. But Boston gets credit for executing a process that can go wrong in a million ways — and, so far, has been smooth sailing.

Democrats Glee at the Ryan Pick May Not Mean What They Think it Means

Plenty of news articles write about the selection of Paul Ryan simultaneously energizing both the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign:

With his decision to run with Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney did something truly rare in today’s world of politics: He united the left and the right.

It’s understandable why conservatives would be pleased but the Democrats reaction was a bit more curious:

  • “I haven’t been this happy waking up since I was 12 and got a BMX for Christmas,” a top Democrat tells the Hill.
  • Rep. Paul Ryan might just be “the one thing everyone in this election agrees on,” writes Talking Point Memo’s Sara Libby. The GOP conservative base got its “dream pick” and Democrats got their “dream opponent.” As soon as word started getting out that Romney had picked the Wisconsin lawmaker to be his running mate, Democrats rushed to express their glee. Bill Burton, the co-founder of the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA, called the choice a mistake hours before it was made official, reports USA Today. “If it’s really Ryan, Romney will have picked one of the only people who could have had an impact in the race,” Burton wrote on Twitter. “But, not the way he wants.”

Democrats track record of glee over Republican Presidential tickets, however, hasn’t proven to be the most accurate indicator of success. There are multiple accounts of the Democrats hoping to run against Ronald Reagan in 1980:

  • The Carter White House thought in ’79 and ’80: ‘If they just nominate Reagan. He’s too old, he’s too extreme. We’ll be just fine.’
  • In an article title: “Is defeat probable for GOP if Reagan wins nomination?” Check out these whoppers: “‘Reagan is the opponent of choice for Carter,’ says I.A. Lewis, director of the Los Angeles Times poll, a point on which most analysts agree.'” From the same article, “The odds are very good that Reagan will not be successful in November. It looks like the Republicans have done it again. Down-the-line conservatism has triumphed over down-the-line center forces.”

And in 2000, George W Bush’s selection of Dick Cheney elicited a very familiar reaction to what we are seeing today:

Advisers for the vice president said the selection of Mr. Cheney, a 59-year-old oil executive and former defense secretary, gave Mr. Gore a freer hand in picking a running mate. Democrats could hardly believe their luck. ”On our side, there was maybe 70 percent relief and 30 percent glee,” said James Carville, a Democratic strategist and longtime adviser to President Clinton.

And we all know how both of those elections turned out. So I wouldn’t worry about Democrats alleged happiness over the Ryan selection.  Their glee resembles much the same as their hopey-changey leader — a lot of bluster and not much behind it.

Battleground State Impact: Paul Ryan in Wisconsin

Without a doubt the Paul Ryan selection was a “national” pick (change the campaign conversation) and not a regional pick (deliver a state or area of the country).  But that doesn’t necessarily mean Ryan won’t have a meaningful impact in his home state or elsewhere in the mid-west. Neighboring Iowa is 90 miles from Ryan’s hometown/district of Janesville (Ryan heads to Iowa Monday) and he was a staffer for Ohio governor John Kasich, giving him surrogates in the important Battleground state.In 2008 President Obama carried his district over John McCain but Ryan out-polled the Obama campaign by 17 percentage points in his district (68 to 51).  Clearly there were many crossover voters in his district. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at his home-state and reports Ryan’s influence may quickly turn the Badger State into the toss-up category:

Some polling has shown that Mr. Ryan would help the Republican ticket in Wisconsin, where the battle is thought to be much closer than in 2008, when Mr. Obama carried it by 14 percentage points. In July, a poll by the firm Public Policy Polling found Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney by six percentage points. With Mr. Ryan on the ticket, the lead narrowed to a single point.

According to a July poll conducted by Marquette University, 36% of the state had a favorable opinion of Mr. Ryan, compared with 29% with unfavorable views. About a third of voters said they didn’t know enough about him to make up their minds. Opinions were divided by party. Among Republicans, Mr. Ryan was viewed favorably by 12-1, but Democrats viewed him unfavorably by 5-1.

Vice-presidential nominees most often carry their home state, but a handful in recent history haven’t, among them Democrats John Edwards of North Carolina in 2004 and Lloyd Bentsen of Texas in 1988, and Republican Jack Kemp of New York in 1996. In recent presidential elections, few candidates have come from true swing states.

State party leaders say Mr. Ryan’s appeal extends across Wisconsin and beyond the GOP base. His congressional district is part of the Milwaukee media market, giving him broad exposure to much of the state’s population. The district isn’t heavily Republican, showing Mr. Ryan, who has won by wide margins in recent elections, can appeal to independents and Democrats . In 2008, both Messrs. Ryan and Obama carried the district, Mr. Ryan with 68% of the vote and Mr. Obama with 51%.

Welcome Home Event for Romney-Ryan in Wisconsin Tomorrow

UPDATE: Full Romney bus tour itinerary as of Sunday morning here.

Maintaining his original schedule to tour North Carolina tomorrow, the Romney campaign will divert the campaign stops to Wisconsin to welcome home its newly minted Vice President candidate, Paul Ryan:

Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Campaign In North Carolina And Wisconsin

Boston, MA – On Sunday, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will continue “The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class” bus tour in North Carolina and Wisconsin. They will attend a Victory rally at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, and hold an event at Absolute Style in High Point, North Carolina. They will then hold a homecoming rally at the Waukesha County Expo Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The following events are open to the press…

Event: Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan Hold Waukesha Homecoming Rally

Waukesha County Expo Center
1000 Northview Road
Waukesha, Wisconsin

 Doors Open:  4:00 PM CDT

 Invite Time: 5:30 PM CDT

 Program Time: 6:05 PM CDT

RSVP at attend here.

Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan

With Paul Ryan’s wonkishness, the lighter side of his personality is often over-looked. An enterprising young lady in Chicago began creating pick-up lines the overly wonkish might use and “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan” was born:

It all started with a fantasy about noodling for catfish with Paul Ryan. At her office in Chicago, Emily Zanotti, 30, a conservative political consultant, was reading Monday’s New York Times profile of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan that mentioned his love of hunting catfish with his bare hands. The image of Paul Ryan “standing half naked in a river”—as she envisioned it—gave Zanotti an idea.

Using MemeCreator.com, she pulled up three images of Ryan and put them behind the wonkiest, most inside-baseball political pickup lines that came to mind. “Hey girl,” the white text flashed in front of Ryan’s picture, as he gazed longingly into the camera. “I had a dream about you last night. We were cutting the budget. It got pretty intense.”

“Comeback Team” — The Paul Ryan Rollout

Paul Ryan: A reformer. A visionary. Ready to lead.

Romney Campaign Memo on Paul Ryan

This is the talking points the Romney campaign expects surrogates use when making media appearances.  Below they directly address the expected Medicare misrepresentations by Obama and his surrogates in the media:

Top Line Message: Why Paul Ryan

First and foremost, Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan because he meets the threshold test of being able to step in as Commander in Chief should he need to assume the responsibility.

Second, we all know that jobs and the economy is the number one issue to voters, and Paul Ryan understands the need for pro-growth economic policies and that massive debt is a drag on job creation. He brings energy and ideas of how to reform spending and bring about a balanced budget.

Paul Ryan possesses detailed knowledge of the federal budget. Under President Obama we have a record national debt, an unprecedented credit rating downgrade, and an utter failure to save entitlement programs for future generations.

The Romney-Ryan ticket will continue to put forward idea after idea on how to grow the economy and get spending under control. We are happy to compare our understanding and knowledge with President Obama’s failed record on jobs and financial control any day. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proven records of solving problems, compared to this Administration’s failed record.

Response to President Obama’s Attacks:

We all know that President Obama will continue to run a fear and smear campaign. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan bring new ideas about creating jobs and controlling the budget. President Obama’s campaign has accused Mitt Romney of committing crimes and killing people, and now they are making false charges against Paul Ryan. They have lost all credibility.

Questions and Answers About The Romney/Ryan Ticket:

1) Does this mean Mitt Romney is adopting the Paul Ryan plan?

· Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.

· Romney’s administration will go through the budget line by line and ask two questions: Can we afford it? And, if not, should we borrow money from China to pay for it?

· Mitt Romney will start with the easiest cut of all: Obamacare, a trillion-dollar entitlement we don’t want and can’t afford.

· Mitt Romney also laid out commonsense reforms that will make good on our promises to today’s seniors and save Social Security and Medicare for future generations.

2) Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have different views on some policy areas – like Medicare spending, entitlement reform, labor, etc. – do you think those differences are going to hurt or help?

· Of course they aren’t going to have the same view on every issue. But they both share the view that this election is a choice about two fundamentally different paths for this country. President Obama has taken America down a path of debt and decline. Romney and Ryan believe in a path for America that leads to more jobs, less debt and smaller government. So, while you might find an issue or two where they might not agree, they are in complete agreement on the direction that they want to lead America

3) Do you worry that Paul Ryan’s controversial Medicare plan will hurt the campaign with independents?

· No. President Obama is the one who should be worried, because he has cut $700 BILLION from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and put in place a panel of Washington bureaucrats to make decisions about what kind of care seniors will receive under Medicare. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a bipartisan plan to strengthen Medicare by giving future seniors the choice between traditional Medicare and a variety of private plans. They are committed to ensuring that Medicare remains strong, not just for today’s seniors, but for tomorrow’s seniors as well.

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America’s Comeback Team: RomneyRyan.com

Checking out the new Romney-Ryan Ticket URL revealed the following: http://romneyryan.com/

Note on the official site the space on the right side is filled out with a form (it’s not just empty space).

Update: The link now redirects to the full mittromney.com feed.

The Speech that Got People Talking About Paul Ryan for Vice President

Per the Washington Examiner:

In April, Paul Ryan took the stage to introduce Mitt Romney, then the winner of the Republican primary in Wisconsin. Conservatives reacted favorably, sparking speculation that the speech was a trial balloon for Ryan as a Vice President candidate for Romney. Ryan challenged Obama for his “broken promises” reminding voters that he would try to divide Americans because he could not run on his record. “I seem to remember him saying that he was going to be a uniter, not a divider,” Ryan said. “Frankly this is one and the worst of his broken promises. We do not need a campaigner-in-chief, we need a commander-in-chief we need a leader that America deserves.”

“The presidency is bigger than this. He was supposed to be bigger than this.” Ryan continued, “We need solutions, not excuses. We need a president who takes the lead in not one that spreads the blame. We need someone who appeals to our dreams and aspirations, not to our fears and anxieties. We as Americans deserved to choose what kind of country we want and what kind of people we want to be.”

Paul Ryan Stories: The Robert Costa Edition

Robert Costa of National Review has done some of the absolute best reporting on Paul Ryan and his Vice President chances.  Even today at 5:57pm he blogged about the charter plane flying from Boston, MA (Romney HQ) to Janesville, WI (Ryan’s hometown) evidencing the likelihood of Ryan being the Vice President pick.

Here are some of his best hits on Ryan over the last few months:

10 Quick Hits: Paul Ryan as Vice President

There will be thousands of stories hitting the wires about Paul Ryan following tomorrow’s announcement.  Here are some of the more interesting, non-biographical write-ups just prior to the news hitting:

  1. 10 Reasons Paul Ryan Should Be Mitt Romney’s VP Pick — US News, Mary Kate Cary
  2. The Illogic of Romney Picking Paul Ryan for Vice President — US News, Robert Schlesinger
  3. Why do conservatives want Paul Ryan to be vice president? — Washington Post, Ezra Klein
  4. Mitt Romney Could Cut Into the Youth Vote With Paul Ryan As His Vice President — Business Insider, Brett LoGiurato
  5. The case against Paul Ryan for vice president — Washington Post, Chris Cillizza
  6. The case for Paul Ryan to be vice president — Washington Post, Chris Cillizza
  7. Paul Ryan Is Not a Vice President. Paul Ryan Is a Fake. — Esquire, Charles P. Pierce
  8. Why a Paul Ryan VP Selection Wouldn’t Add Up for Mitt Romney — The Atlantic, David A. Graham
  9. Why Obama wouldn’t want to run against Romney-Ryan. — National Review, Jeffrey H. Anderson
  10. The Case for Paul Ryan for Vice President — Reason.com, David Harsanyi

What Happens to Paul Ryan’s House Seat? He Can Run for Both Offices

With multiple sources now reporting that Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney’s Vice President nominee to be announced tomorrow, what happens to his House of Representatives seat? Roll Call has the answer:

GOP insiders in the state said there has already been some quiet discussion about who would likely vie to succeed Ryan in a special election, should he get picked by Mitt Romney and the pair win the White House race in November. Presumptive state Speaker Robin Vos and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus top the list of potential GOP contenders in a district that the party would be favored to hold.

If Ryan were to be tapped as Romney’s running mate, his name would appear twice on the ballot in November — for vice president and for re-election to his 1st district House seat. Wisconsin election law stipulates that a candidate’s name cannot be removed from the ballot after the filing deadline, according to the state’s Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections. The state’s filing deadline has already passed and the primary is scheduled for Aug. 14, which could be right around the time Romney announces his running mate.

If Ryan were to win both races, the state would hold a special election in 2013 to replace him in the House.

Paul Ryan to be Romney’s Vice President? Announcement Tomorrow 9am

UPDATE: Here is the specific site for the Romney bus tour Norfolk RSVP.

* Per Twitter: BREAKIN: Fox News is reporting that Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate! (same organization that got Supremes Obamacare ruling wrong fwiw)

The interwebs are aflutter with Mitt Romney scheduled to announce his Vice President nominee tomorrow in Norfolk Virginia when he tours the USS Wisconsin as part of his 4-state bus tour.  USS “Wisconsin”?  Sounds like Paul Ryan and plenty of people have details that play into that idea:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that the Romney campaign has begun to prepare a vigorous effort in support of Paul Ryan if he is selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick—something now likely to happen soon. For example, GOP officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is among a group of Republicans who has been asked to be ready, in terms of his schedule and other practical preparations, to make the case publicly for a Romney-Ryan ticket as early as Saturday.

We’ve blogged plenty of info on Ryan which you can check out below:

11 Vice President Quick Hits — Who’s Missing?

More than a few great reads on the current state of the Veepstakes:

  1. Byron York breaks down the likely Romney thought process in the VP decision and ends up with Rob Portman (or maybe Pawlenty)
  2. Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes argue if Romney is forced to defend the “Romney-Ryan” plan then might as well make it the “Romney-Ryan ticket”
  3. Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provides excellent info on Ryan as VP resting on whether Romney believes his campaign needs a course correction
  4. The Wall Street Journal editorial argues Americans are hungry for leadership willing to take on the hard issues and Ryan is that leader
  5. Rick Lowry argues Romney should not to fear the scare tactics against Ryan’s reforms
  6. New York Magazine’s Brett Smiley reports a comment from Rob Portman at a fundraiser: ‘I’ll probably stay in the Senate
  7. David Graham in The Atlantic takes a look at the “risks of picking Rob Portman
  8. Buzzfeed (May 8): 15 interesting things about Rob Portman
  9. National Review’s Robert Costa reports Rob Portman’s Saturday will be spent at Pelotonia, a bike tour he once attended with his pal, top Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens
  10. PJ Media: Do all signs point to Rob Portman?
  11. Christian Science Monitor: Can Paul Ryan deliver Wisconsin?

Portman Barnstorms Colorado

Potential Romney Vice President nominee Ohio Senator Rob Portman barnstormed across Colorado today hitting five stops to counter the President’s visit to the Rocky Mountain State:

Rob Portman, campaigning for Mitt Romney in Colorado on Wednesday, reminded supporters of the state’s election-day importance saying, “so goes Colorado, so goes the nation” and invoked President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The Ohio senator is shadowing Obama’s two-day, four-city swing in the state. Portman is on a bus tour through Colorado hopping on and off Romney’s campaign bus to greet and thank volunteers and supporters at the presumptive GOP nominee’s campaign offices and other locations.

A loyal Romney surrogate, Portman told a small crowd of supporters in Lakewood, Colorado that recent polling in the state speaks for itself. “President Obama is in Colorado today being greeted by a poll put out by CBS, the New York Times, Quinnipiac showing Mitt Romney winning Colorado by five points,” said Portman, adding that the data shows a trend in favor of Romney. The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday morning indicates that Romney holds a 50%-45% advantage in Colorado, a state that Obama won by nine points in 2008. Romney’s five point edge is just within the survey’s sampling error. According to the poll Romney also has a ten point advantage over Obama in Colorado when asked which candidate would do a better job fixing the economy.

Portman also said that Obama, while campaigning for president in 2008, said then-opponent Sen. John McCain couldn’t run on his record and he so would run negative campaign. Portman says Obama is now doing just that because he can’t run on his record. “He said, you know look, if you don’t have fresh ideas he said, you turn to stale tactics and attack your opponent. He said that if you don’t have a record to run on, then you make your opponent unacceptable. He said you make a big election about small things,” said Portman. “That was President Obama four years ago. Folks, that’s exactly what he’s doing today in Colorado and in his campaign, negative attack ads, trying to distract people from his record.”

Portman Trying On “Attack Dog” Role of Vice President? Shadows Obama

One of the more important roles of a Vice President nominee is to play the “attack dog” of a Presidential ticket allowing the Presidential nominee to stay above the fray laying out his own agenda.  Joe Biden is good in this role because he is able to authoritatively just make shit up and no one calls him on it.  Sarah Palin was brilliant at this, evidenced by her electric convention speech, for an otherwise flawed ticket in 2008. It looks like Ohio Senator Rob Portman is trying this role on for size starting tomorrow as he heads to Colorado to counter-punch for Romney during the President’s campaigns visit:

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman will be in Colorado on Wednesday to offer counterpoints during President Barack Obama’s campaign visit there, and he will accompany Mitt Romney on a three-city Ohio trip next week that concludes with a rally in his home region of southern Ohio. The Romney campaign said Tuesday that details of the Aug. 14 bus tour in Ohio will be announced later, but a campaign website promoted an evening rally next Tuesday outside the Ross County Courthouse in Chillicothe that would wrap up Romney’s four-state bus trip… At least two other possible contenders, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, are expected to join Romney on the bus tour when it is in their home states. Portman’s office said he will be in central Ohio this weekend to take part in the Pelotonia bicycle ride to benefit cancer research.

Details also will be announced later on Portman’s trip Wednesday to Colorado for the Romney campaign. The president is scheduled to be in four Colorado cities over two days beginning Wednesday. Like Ohio, Colorado is a highly contested state.


Romney Victory Center Opening Today in Ontario, Ohio

Come out today and join Ohio Senator Rob Portman at the opening of the Romney Victory Center in Ontario, Ohio at 11:30am.

The office is located at:
2069 West 4th St
Ontario, OH 44960

You can RSVP here.

Update: Here is the Senator phoning supporters:

Halperin’s “Clip ‘n Save” on the Vice President Selection

I really like Mark Halperin’s reporting despite his occasional lurches Left. With the Veepstakes winding down in the coming weeks, he throws out 10 fundamentals to the news cycle on the selection:

  1. Romney’s advisers can manipulate the guessing game effortlessly, and they know it. Many political reporters trying to break the story will take any morsel and go with it.
  2. Boston will almost certainly engage in some feints in order to build up suspense and throw the media off the scent.
  3. Watch Drudge closely for both hints and feints.
  4. Unless you have been directly involved in one of these, you can’t believe the number of calls and emails that will go from journalists to Romney campaign officials from now until the pick is made public, with pleas such as “My career will be hurt if I don’t break this,” “My career will be made if I break this,” and “I don’t need to break it, but please be available to confirm the story right away for me if someone else breaks it,”and, “You owe me.”
  5. We’ve never had a veepstakes like this, with so much new media and social media. That gives Boston fresh opportunities, and also presents new challenges for keeping the pick a secret.
  6. Just because the Romney campaign announces some future scheduled events doesn’t mean they can’t cancel them.
  7. One big variable: does Boston want to keep the identity of the selectee a secret until the morning of the announcement? If so, they have to be clever about moving bodies around — unless the pick is not someone the media is currently tracking/watching.
  8. If Romney calls the runner-up short-listers to tell them they aren’t being picked, he will almost certainly not tell them who he is picking.
  9. Smart news organizations will track charter planes, the schedules and movements of the adult children of potential picks, hairdressers, and printers.
  10. Given modern technology, the length and depth of preparation, and the ethos of the Obama campaign, Romney’s pick will be hit harder and faster than any selection ever.

Major Media Blitz to Coincide with VP Announcement August 10th? Probably

As you can see from the limited blogging (and lack of Battleground state news) everyone is taking a bit of a time-out during the Olympics.  That will change soon as Mitt Romney completes his overseas jaunt and is now beginning a major media buy across the Battlegrounds:

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is quietly laying the groundwork for a high-profile blitz of several key battleground states in the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Republicans briefed on the plans say it has all the trappings of a vice presidential rollout tour.

Beginning August 10th, Romney will ramp up his campaign operation with a splashy four-day bus tour targeting the largest media markets in several of the states that will decide the November election, CNN has learned. And in a show of force and party unity, Romney will be joined at each stop by prominent Republican officials and campaign surrogates.

Some details are still murky, and Republicans cautioned that they are subject to change, but:

  • August 11, Romney will hit three of Virginia‘s biggest population hubs along I-95 – the Washington, D.C. metro area, Richmond and Norfolk
  • August 12, Romney heads down to North Carolina
  • August 13, the Monday after the Olympic Summer Games finish in London, Romney will arrive in Florida for campaign stops in Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami
  • Romney aides are also scouting multiple campaign venues in Ohio for later that week, knowledgeable Republican sources told CNN. Other states may also be added to the itinerary that week

“Sounds like V.P. week,” said one Republican familiar with the schedule, who did not want to be identified revealing the campaign’s plans. “Hitting the big markets in the big states. It just makes sense.”

6,300 Words on Paul Ryan

Read Ryan Lizza’s account of Paul Ryan is about as accurate as you’ll find over the coming months especially if he gets tapped to be Mitt Romney’s Vice President:

Ryan won his seat in 1998, at the age of twenty-eight. Like many young conservatives, he is embarrassed by the Bush years. At the time, as a junior member with little clout, Ryan was a reliable Republican vote for policies that were key in causing enormous federal budget deficits: sweeping tax cuts, a costly prescription-drug entitlement for Medicare, two wars, the multibillion-dollar bank-bailout legislation known as TARP. In all, five trillion dollars was added to the national debt. In 2006 and 2008, many of Ryan’s older Republican colleagues were thrown out of office as a result of lobbying scandals and overspending. Ryan told me recently that, as a fiscal conservative, he was “miserable during the last majority” and is determined “to do everything I can to make sure I don’t feel that misery again.”

As much as he relished the battle against Obama—“European,” he repeated, with some gusto—his real fight was for the ideological identity of the Republican Party, and with colleagues who were content to simply criticize the White House. “If you’re going to criticize, then you should propose,” he told me. A fault line divided the older and more cautious Republican leaders from the younger, more ideological members. Ryan was, and remains, the leader of the attack-and-propose faction.

“I think you’re obligated to do that,” he said. “People like me who are reform-minded ignore the people who say, ‘Just criticize and don’t do anything and let’s win by default.’ That’s ridiculous.” He said he was “moving ahead without them. They don’t want to produce alternatives? That’s not going to stop me from producing an alternative.”

Ryan’s long-range plan was straightforward: to create a detailed alternative to Obama’s budget and persuade his party to embrace it. He would start in 2009 and 2010 with House Republicans, the most conservative bloc in the Party. Then, in the months before the Presidential primaries, he would focus on the G.O.P. candidates. If the plan worked, by the fall of 2012 Obama’s opponent would be running on Paul Ryan’s ideas, and in 2013 a new Republican President would be signing them into law.

Read the whole thing.

The Final 100 Days — A Primer

Susan Page in USA Today has done some of the best reporting this election season.  With the 100-day mark in the countdown to the election approaching this Sunday, Page puts together a lengthy write-up on five key events from now through election day that could change the direction of this incredibly tight election:

There are moments we know to expect, and that are likely to matter, over the next 100 days. Here is a reader’s guide to five of them:

Jockeying at the Olympics

In London on Friday, Michelle Obama will lead the official U.S. delegation at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, typically an event marked by national unity and pride. Mitt Romney will be there as well, a reminder to voters of his success in turning around the troubled Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. Ann Romney will stick around to see the horse she co-owns, Rafalca, perform in the dressage competition.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

History says the unemployment report for July, released at the end of next week, will do more to shape November’s outcome than those that follow. That’s because election-year perceptions of the economy begin to be firmly set in the summer — and the economy is driving this election. This year, the October jobs report is scheduled to be released on Nov. 2, four days before the election. Other important measures of the economy’s course are the GDP estimates — due July 27 for the second quarter (with revised estimates in August and September) and on Oct. 26 for the third quarter, from July through September.

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