Obviously I can’t add much to Pete’s perfectly pitched analysis.
I will emphasize that Romney’s campaign is not going that well. Obama—with the assistance of the MSM of course—is doing better than I would have guessed in pinning the heartless oligarch badge on him.
Romney won’t win the election by playing it safe, although he’s far from needing to and too smart to try to throw some game changing Hail Mary pass in picking the VP nominee.
Portman and Pawlenty are really boring white guys. Portman is stiff, and Pawlenty is a wimpy campaigner.
Ryan would hurt the ticket. If the election is a referendum on Obama’s performance, Romney wins. If it’s a referendum on the Ryan alternative, Obama wins. I know that ain’t fair, but that’s the way it is. And as Pete has explained, Ryan’s plan needs work to be both credible and not needlessly scary. The impression that Romney’s the skilled manager who can preserve as much of the present entitlement system as possible is, like it or not, the ticket to winning.
Jindal is like Palin insofar as the MSM will think they can find plenty to discredit him—like the edgy Catholic articles he wrote in THE NEW OXFORD REVIEW and his extremism in the context of hyper-conservative and colorful Louisiana politics.
Jindal is the opposite of Palin insofar as he 1) is charisma challenged and not a looker 2) is very well educated and even more of a policy wonk than Romney 3) has quite a record of conservative accomplishment as governor 4) doesn’t have a wacky reckneck family. He’ll start slow and grow on America. He will be a refreshing alternative to the blowhard Biden. The McCain choice of Palin was widely regarded as a betrayal of his campaign theme of experience, being ready to lead, and all that. The way the choice was made and the way she was handled showed McCain to be utterly lacking in prudence and less full of integrity than we imagined. The Romney choice of Jindal will seem to be evidence of his careful attention to competence.
Jindal is somewhat boring, but he’s not a boring white guy. His life story is fascinating, unless maybe he’s telling it.
Another big advantage of THE TICKET: Given that religious freedom might be an issue that actually swings a close election, it’s great to have authentic representatives of our country’s two major highly institutional religions.
Finally, as Pete says: Jindal IS a conservative. He’s an ideological, intellectual conservative. Choosing him will say something to conservatives about Romney’s intentions.