Don Roach: Paul Ryan will Not Win Over Rhode Island
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, shocked many in choosing Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate over the weekend. Ryan is the chair of the House Budget Committee and the most significant spokesman of Republicans' return to small government fiscal policy. He’s viewed by many as a policy wonk and as the antithesis to our large government president. He’s socially conservative, an ardent pro-life and traditional marriage supporter, and like me born in the ‘70s (the first Gen Xer on a presidential ticket).
Again, I’m sorry Rhode Island but Ryan won’t sway you to vote for Romney over Obama this election. In fact, the choice of Ryan was definitely not made with Rhode Island in mind. We’re one of the most liberal states in the union and while we’ve had Republican governors recently, when we go beyond statewide politics, Rhode Island aligns with Democrats and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon, Cicilline race notwithstanding. The choice of Ryan couldn’t be any worse for Romney if he had any designs on winning in New England.
Where Ryan helps Romney is every other part of the country, specifically energizing a segment of the Republican Party that has never warmed to Romney. I consider myself one of those semi-traditional conservatives who never has been high on Romney and I love the Ryan choice. In places like Ohio, Florida, and the mid-west this pick definitely helps Romney secure his base while he can continue to run on his centrist ideals. With Ryan he gets the best of both worlds – an attack dog on the right while he rides his center record.
Critical in all of this is Ryan not making the mistakes of Sarah Palin. Palin was not a policy wonk and was exposed as a gimmick choice from McCain, critically backfiring. Yes, there a few conservatives who love Palin, but the rest of us with a little bit of gray matter between our ears don’t want to see her on any national ticket…ever again.
Paul Ryan will get a chance to introduce himself to the national public in a couple of weeks at the Republican convention in Tampa, but between now and then he’ll need to prove a capable campaigner and a competent number two. In all, I’m excited about the pick personally but within the context of Rhode Island, Romney might as well have chosen the man on the moon.
Don Roach is a member of the RI Young Republicans. Don can be reached at email@example.com.
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