The first name being bandied about as a running mate for Mitt Romney is Paul Davis Ryan, republican congressman from Wisconsin. He is also the author of the republican budget plan that was recently shot down in the U.S. senate.
He was born in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1970 and although his father was a lawyer he has that sort of working class back ground that Mitt Romney is so painfully lacking. He actually knows what it is like to scrounge for a living. His father, like his grandfather and great grandfather died in his fifties of a heart attack. He used the social security benefits from his father's death to pay for his college tuition. While in school at Miami of Ohio he even did a turn behind the wheel of the Oscar Meyer wienermobile. When he first hit Washington he waited tables for a while and worked as a trainer at a local gym. When Romney speaks about blue collar roots everyone in the crowd knows he is spewing utter B.S. But this guy, Paul Ryan actually walked the walk for a while. It is a connection Mr. Mitt needs.
While not an evangelical, Ryan is a practicing Roman Catholic and as we've seen the evangelicals will take a Roman Catholic over a Mormon every day of the week. It also puts him firmly on the anti choice side of the aisle, something that warms the cold cockles of every arch conservative heart in the land.
Most importantly, however Ryan is from Wisconsin and the Mitt desperately needs a place like Wisconsin to go red in November. Ryan first won his seat in 1998 with 57% of the vote. His lowest vote percentage since then has been 63%. Two years ago he won with 68%. Those are land slide numbers.
He also seems to have a modicum of an economic plan. Something else Romney lacks, or at least will commit to. Of course the plan is typical republican trickle down nonsense, but at least it is out there and has solid form. It is a double edged sword. Romney will have a running mate who actually has taken a stand on something, unlike himself. However the down side is that it gives Obama a clear point of attack. And attack he will.
Economist Paul Krugman points out the Ryan plan will raise taxes on 95% of the public, but will cause a four trillion dollar revenue loss over ten years because of tax cuts for the rich and corporations. In fact the plan calls for, among other things, the elimination of all corporate income tax. It also seeks to dismantle medicare as we know it. It would seem you can find a republican who actually used to work, but never one who can remember what it was like. Or at least one who isn't owned by some body's board of directors.
If there is a a glitch in this seemingly bright idea about Ryan it is that he not only voted for the Wall St. rescue, but also the bailouts of GM and Chrysler. Romney first opposed the auto industry life rafts and then, in typical Mitt style, took credit for them. Those votes will not endear the congressman to the tea party brown shirts. They demand all their people to be untainted by even the slightest hint of liberal, or centrist genetic makeup.
Of course that ultimately takes the tea party bullies back to the final question all of the far right must ask itself this November. Who do I hate more? That answer is always going to be Barak Obama.
Paul Ryan will have to survive a vetting process that will be so invasive and far reaching that by the time it is over the Romney people will know at the exact date he stopped wearing diapers. The Palin disaster is still too fresh. So there are no done deals right now.
Paul Ryan seems like the right fit for our pal, Mitt, but don't start printing up the bumper stickers just yet. Everyone has a skeleton or two and there is still a long way to go.