From Keller @ Large
BOSTON (CBS) – Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney’s running mate, and by the end of the weekend you’ll know more about him than you may have ever wanted to know. My guess is, he’ll be ready when they ask him what newspapers and magazines he reads.
But the thing about Ryan you’ll likely be hearing the most about is his Roadmap for America’s Future, a plan he put out awhile back for curbing the historic growth of our federal debt and deficit.
Here is how the Obama campaign will describe it to you: Ryan wants to strip senior citizens of their hard-won benefits by gutting Medicare. Better make sure grandma has plenty of warm clothing because he’s eager to throw her out in the snow.
As for the poor, forget about it, Ryan wants to renege on the federal commitment to Medicaid.
Counting on your Social Security benefits to help sustain you in your old age? The joke’s on you, Ryan wants to hand that over to greedy Wall Street suits so they can squander it on bad investments.
That’s why the Ryan choice is risky. It gives the Democrats an opening to enhance their global line of attack against Romney, that he’s an errand boy for the rich eager to gut the social safety net.
It’ll be up to Ryan and Romney to point out that Ryan’s entitlement reforms don’t affect anyone over 55, that they inject choice and accountability into a benefits system that is rapidly bankrupting us, and that his plan closes tax loopholes that disproportionately benefit the rich.
Romney achieves a key political goal with this choice – solidifying the conservative vote he must get to compete. And he can claim to be at least trying to seriously address the terrible financial problems our country faces, problems that fuel our economic malaise but have been largely ignored by the incumbent.
But Ryan will be a lightning rod, no doubt about it. At least, until, as most vice-presidential nominees do, he fades into the campaign background.