Yes and/or no.
Now, I’m a big fan of Paul Ryan. We have so much in common, up to and including a love for the great thinker Ayn Rand, Most likely discovered in the dark and lonely aisles of the high school library where many a 14-year-old boy not quite sure of who he is to become sought refuge to find some answers to those nagging questions about himself and how he could make those disturbing thoughts go away. What he surely learned from Ayn Rand, as I too learned and never even questioned, in discovering the greatness of men like John Galt and Howard Roark, that he could also be a great if only all the people who didn’t believe in him could be shown his greatness, as Roark showed Dominique Francon on their first date. And show them all I he will. Just you wait and see.
But what I do think is a mistake for Romney in announcing his pick for vice president is that he for the first time has broken with his time-tested formula of keeping things very close to his chest. He has done that of course with his tax returns. And he has done that with policy. Like many successful businessmen, Romney understands the importance of never ever giving away your game plan.
And why should that be any different for his vice presidential pick? I have written, and still believe, that Romney could have easily kept his pick secret for the rest of the campaign on through election day. Why would he have to, really?
To shore up his base?
His base can be described as a bloc with one simple thought: Anyone but Obama. Do you really think these people would have stayed home if Romney said “Listen I have chosen a great person for VP and you’ll love them, really. And you will see more of them later after I’m elected.”? Of course not. And look at the way he wouldn’t give a hint at gender. There are some who would automatically think Sarah Palin or to a lesser degree those other couple of women in the party, Nicki what’s-her-name and the governor of that state up there. Or even better, what if the pick had no gender at all. Due to Citizens United, along with Romney’s cagey avowal of “Corporations are People”, how many of us would go to sleep dreaming of the dream ticket of Romney/Monsanto?
So, no it wasn’t for his base, perhaps . . .
To change the tenor of the media coverage?
Seriously? Yes, Mitt Romney picking Paul Ryan would make him a darling of the liberal media and all negative coverage would stop. Yes, that does sound crazy. The best he could hope for is that maybe, just maybe they will stop asking him about his tax returns for 15 minutes. (Which of course they didn’t.) There is no honeymoon for Romney here and he should have just thrown a chair through the media’s window and barged in a showed them just how great he is. And the media would love him forever and ever. Oh, if only Romney had read Ayn Rand when he was fourteen-years-old (and his father wasn’t such a closet socialist but that is for another column), the media would be singing a different tune and not caring who Romney picks as a running mate.
And naming Ryan could ultimately backfire in that Ryan’s pride in having read a book at one time may turn off many in the base.
To placate the GOP elite?
Sheep are placated by nature. Enough said. Okay, they meant well when they sent out Dick Cheney to begin the narrative about how a vice presidential choice is the determining whether a ticket wins or loses. Their mistake was to use Sarah Palin as its example of the rule when she was so clearly the exception that proved the rule. SARAH PALIN 2016 20!
To not give Sarah Palin the wrong idea about her chances?
Sarah Palin doesn’t care about the vice presidency. She doesn’t care about the presidency. According to my source inside the Palin camp:
She is too busy being the great and commanding wizard passing along her decrees to her true red-blooded patriotic Ozians who follow her on the Facebook. She doesn’t even have to address the GOP convention. She doesn’t need to. It’s Romney who needs her to. And she may. Maybe.*
And as we have seen from the Romney camp many times before, this advance does not have to be Monday morning quarterbacking. They could pretend that Romney never selected Ryan and just go back to effectively not giving any information about anything that Romney thinks or wants to do.
* I tried to keep the quote from my source verbatim but it was right before bed time and they have been reading a certain book for summer. I removed several ‘you know’s and ‘um’s which in no way affected the essence of the quote.