Another indication that Romney’s choice of Ryan was substantive and astute is that the people who claim to wish for Obama’s defeat who have neither of those traits believe that Ryan is a horrible pick. The Wall Street Journal hilariously and all too accurately called them “the bedwetter caucus” in an August 14 editorial. One such coward sent an anonymous 1,300-word treatise to Howard Fineman at the Huffington Post, who of course pretended that his informant is conservative. Among this person’s howlers:
- “Jeb Bush would have been the strongest contender for VP because of his credentials and appeal.” This is the same Jeb Bush who still thinks that his father’s early-1990s betrayal of his “no new taxes” presidential campaign pledge, which set the stage for the Bill Clinton era, was a good move.
- “Romney won’t win Wisconsin unless it’s a landslide for him.” Really? Then why did the Rasmussen poll for the Badger State move from Romney trailing Obama by three points to leading by one just days after the Ryan pick?
- The dead-giveaway topper: “… support for the Tea Party and the number of people who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters have collapsed since the Ryan Plan was first promulgated.” Tell that to, among many others, incumbent Senator Dick Lugar, ousted in Indiana’s GOP primary by Richard Mourdock; Nebraska’s old-boy network, stunned by Deb Fischer’s triumph in the Cornhusker State’s U.S. Senate primary despite spending only $300,000 (her two opponents each spent over $1 million); and Texas Republican establishment favorite David Dewhurst, crushed by insurgent Ted Cruz in the primary for that state’s open Senate seat.
We can also take comfort and solace in Romney not going the supposedly “safe” route, which more than likely would have led to the selection of Ohio Senator Rob Portman.
We’ll probably never know, but perhaps Romney’s vice-presidential vetting team happened upon two items which should have automatically eliminated Portman from any kind of consideration, and which should, unless demonstrably and consistently repudiated in words and actions in the coming years, forever remove Portman from serious presidential consideration.
The first is that he considers being a Washington establishment fixture a feature and not a bug. As the Washington Post accurately noted in the early stages of his 2010 Senate run, Portman first positioned himself “as a dealmaking insider” until he realized that he had to at least pretend to have Tea Party sympathies.