Sunday, August 12, 2012

Paul Ryan: The Un-Romney

Has Mitt Romney now closed the likability gap?

Over the past few weeks Romney has been sounding more like the Tin Man than an American president.

Perhaps with the selection of Paul Ryan as his running make Romney has bought himself what the Tin Man needed: a heart.

For those who do not remember “The Wizard of Oz” the Tin Man sang the line: “If I only had a heart.”

This morning Maureen Dowd opined about “The Likability Index.” She could have chosen a better title, but “The Romney Likability Gap” was already taken… by this blogger.

Dowd might not have known that she was echoing my post, but ideas work in mysterious ways.

Clearly enough, Dowd was working on her column when the news of the Ryan selection was announced. Thus, she needed a cogent, astute and illuminating comment on whether Ryan would help Romney close the likability gap.

So, she called on a savvy political analyst who just happens to be one of the least likable and least objective politicians in America: former Obama consigliere and current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.

Calling Rahm Emanuel shows Dowd committing the sin of sloth.  

Anyway, the man who made Chicago into the murder capital of America and who recently embraced another of America’s least likable individuals, notorious bigot Louis Farrakhan told Dowd that likability does not rub off.

In Dowd’s words:

You can bolster your relatability with your No. 2 pick, at least with certain demographics, as Obama did with Joe Biden. But Americans like to like their president. “You can’t outsource likability,” Emanuel says. “You can’t have an offshore account for it in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.”

Why would Dowd grant credence to a flack? It was not her finest moment.

Yet, choosing Ryan was Mitt Romney’s first presidential-level decision. By all accounts it was an excellent decision. 

Dowd notwithstanding Paul Ryan is an inspired choice. He is the perfect complement to the candidate, in the sense that he is strong where Romney is weak.

Romney lacks charisma; Ryan has charisma.

Romney seems unprincipled; Ryan is a conviction politician.

Romney lacks experience with the federal government; Ryan knows the federal government.

Romney is weak on policy; Ryan is strong on policy.

When Romney does not know the details he tends to become nasty; Ryan has an excellent command of the details.

Romney is phenomenally wealthy; Ryan is a dedicated public servant who sleeps on a cot in his office.

In choosing Ryan, Romney has shown that he understands where he is weak and knows how to overcome it.

As I say, Paul Ryan is the Un-Romney.


Mark said...

I'm an ideologue, but I preferred Christie to Ryan. Christie is the tops for pugnacity, fluency and entertainment value and he's a natural chief executive. A career in Congress a la Ryan is a negative qualification for the Presidency in my book.

But I gotta admit the Romney/Ryan optics look good - 2 healthy, sunny family men who like each other and ooze competence. A tad boring, perhaps, and Ryan's hokie side does nothing for me. But the contrast with Obama/Biden - the look, the chemistry, the discipline - resonates at a gut level.

Moreover the video clips do suggest that Ryan has already transcended his resume. A united base is crucial to max the turn-out.. Ryan does that. Contrast diffidence or apathy in almost every identity group which voted for Obama in 2008.

Landslide, methinks.

Sam L. said...

Rahm wouldn't know likeability if it slapped him in the face, which it should.

Dennis said...

Romney is not my first, second or third choice for President. I see him more as the Un-Obama.
The selection of Ryan is a good one and demonstrates that Romney is thinking strategically as well as on a tactical level. First, by not picking a sitting Senator they up the chances of taking the Senate. Second, by selecting a person who has continually produced a budget, something that the Democrat Senate has avoided like a vampire avoids holy water, that was meant to be a starting point to dealing with the issues of the debt, fiscal malaise, and economic woes we face. NOTE: One wonders how we are ever going to solve problems if we are just going to "kick the can down the road" as Obama and the Democrats have done. There appears to be no "there" there other than to demo gouging for a party I once belonged to, An aside: Where are the "Scoop Jacksons?"
Third, we need to have that national dialogue about the size, reach and power we give to a central government. NOTE: I emphasize "WE" and not the government. Executive Orders that seem to by pass the legislative branch's responsibility are more "King" than presidential.
This campaign looks like the adults agains't the children who seem to only have name calling and gutter politics as to a serious well thought out plan to address the problems we face. We need something more than "gauzy" language.