Of course, I am happy about it and hope that Pete’s warnings are not spot-on for a change, or else that whatever Paul Ryan’s flaws are, they are outweighed by his positive aspects. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard had a nice laudatory article about him recently, but we will know all about him in short order. Given media priorities, we will also know all sorts of things about Mr. Ryan that are not true.
(Speaking of fiction: I even know Tom Clancy fans who will be delighted that there actually is a Vice-President Ryan and will be looking for action.)
I said before, I really like Ryan. I was watching our local hero, Josh Mandel, running for the Senate in Ohio, speaking at a fund-raising function and realized that I just like the young guy and hope the best for him. There’s a less-clouded goodness in the young fellows, an earnestness, radiant confidence and quiet competency, as well. I wasn’t the only older person at the banquet who was saying as we left, “I can’t help but like him.” Ryan has the same qualities and invokes that same response. These things will do Romney good. When I have heard Romney live, I thought that he wanted to project honesty and earnestness, but he looks too massaged, maybe too old, and then he comes across as if putting those things on.
I think honesty and earnestness were qualities people thought they were getting with Barack Obama. I know people who still see that and I wonder about them. Competence? Hmm. Confidence? At this point, if he showed himself a little less sure of himself, he would seem wiser, as if he had learned from experience. It will be interesting to see how all of that looks with Ryan in the race.
I was thinking that I cannot wait to see Ryan in debate with Biden, wondering how wonk matches up against old-fashioned political charm. Then I wondered if this invites VP Biden’s retirement. I can’t find it anymore, but I had read someone’s analysis of certain pairings of the vice-presidential campaign that included other options than Biden for the Democrats, especially if Ryan were the choice. Well, we’ll see.
Update: here is more enthusiasm about the Ryan pick. Why? The focus of the campaign is, more than before, on the idea that smaller government is better. “If we choose to have a federal government that tries to solve every problem, then as long as society keeps growing more complex, government must keep on growing right along with it. The rule of law by the people must be reduced and the arbitrary discretion of experts expanded. . .” Guess who?