Paul Ryan's not-so-bold campaign imprint
The Kansas City Star
One of the topics that came up during a live chat the Star editorial page staff participated in today on KansasCity.com is the somewhat surprising low profile of Paul Ryan in this campaign.
The GOP vice presidential nominee rarely campaigns with Romney, and he doesn’t seem to be front and center on the issues the way you’d expect from a much-advertised policy wonk.
The Ryan pick seems at best neutral for the Romney campaign. The conservative base loves his ideas on fundamentally changing entitlements, but more middle-of-the-road voters find those ideas intimidating. The one time Ryan really fired up a crowd — in his speech at the Republican National Convention — he faced backlash over inaccuracies and falsehoods. And every time the guy does an interview, he gets asked about the math behind his budget numbers, which don’t seem to add up.
Senior citizens haven’t warmed up to Ryan in a big way, maybe because of his youth (he’s 42) and more likely because of his proposed Medicare changes, especially in his first budget. On the other hand, Ryan doesn’t have a lot of appeal for college students and 20-something voters. He’s super conservative on issues like gay marriage, and that sets him apart from the newest generation of voters.
No doubt Ryan will be a leading contender for 2016 if Romney loses tomorrow (or whenever we get the votes added up.) But if Romney wanted a game changer this year, the Ryan pick wasn’t it.