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Paul Ryan Hits the Trail

Hours after the joining the GOP ticket, Rep. Paul Ryan threw his first jabs at Obama, attacking the president's 'record of failure.' Howard Kurtz, Eleanor Clift, and more Daily Beast contributors on how Ryan will shake up the race.

Ryan: More Powerful Than Romney

Mitt’s running mate has stronger ties to the GOP base than he does. Peter Beinart on how picking Paul Ryan hands Obama a big gift.
Chris Maddaloni, CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

In pressuring Mitt Romney into choosing Paul Ryan, the far right has pulled off a coup. As in, coup d’état.Think about this for a second. In the primaries Romney faced a series of more right-wing challengers: Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain.

What Mitt Just Bought

Tapping Paul Ryan gives Romney a ticket mate who believes the problems facing the country are too serious to demagogue. Good luck with that.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Mitt Romney finally found a way to fire up the base—the other guy’s base. One needn’t venture beyond these pages to encounter gleeful liberal depictions of Romney’s new running mate, Paul Ryan, as an unhinged Randian plutocrat whose plans to kill Medicare (among other mustache-twirling villainies) will make him a “juicy target” for Obama and the Democrats this fall.

Be Afraid, Seniors

Now that Romney owns the Medicare-slashing Paul Ryan budget, the Democrats’ strategy going forward will be crystal clear: scare seniors into choosing Obama. By Eleanor Clift
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

It’s hard to tell who’s happiest now that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is joining the Republican ticket. Conservatives love him as one of their own, while Democrats see him as making their job a whole lot easier. For months, Democrats have been calling the budget plan that Ryan authored “the Romney-Ryan plan,” and now it’s official.

Murdoch Gets His Man

The media mogul is pumped over Romney's selection of Paul Ryan. Howard Kurtz on the conservative campaign to drum up support for the divisive congressman.
Getty Images

It would be too much to say that Rupert Murdoch pushed Paul Ryan onto the Republican presidential ticket. But he certainly gave the conservative congressman a strong nudge.The media mogul used a combination of private persuasion, newspaper crusading, and Twitter talk to urge Mitt Romney’s campaign to shake things up.

Double the Pomade

Robin Givhan on the aggressively-groomed style of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Every political campaign relies on visual shorthand and tried-and-true symbolism to help communicate its message. And so, against the backdrop of the retired battleship USS Wisconsin, supporters waited for Mitt Romney to introduce his vice-presidential running mate: U.

Defense Hawks, Rejoice!

Romney’s VP pick tilts his ticket closer to the neocons on questions about America’s role in the world.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

With the Republican Party's foreign-policy establishment at odds over central questions on national security, the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's choice for vice president tilts the ticket closer to the neoconservatives on key questions about America's role in the world and the size of the military.

A Stunning, Terrible Choice

So much for Romney making a pick that says something about his own views (whatever they are). Instead, he feared what Bill Kristol might say and buckled under. As always.
T.J. Kirkpatrick

Paul Ryan? Really? It’s a stunning choice. A terrible one too. By making it, Mitt Romney tells America that he is not his own man and hasn’t even the remotest fleeting desire to be his own man. He is owned by the right wing. Did I write a couple of weeks ago that Romney was insecure? Well—Q.

Romney’s Smart Pick

Much like Joe Biden lent experience to newbie candidate Obama, Paul Ryan brings fiscal heft to the Romney ticket—he knows the GOP budget plan better than anyone. By Rich Galen
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate will make this election campaign dramatically better. Rather than the grammar-school, nanny-nanny-boo-boo politics we have been subjected to by both sides over the past month or so, now the discussion will immediately turn to Ryan's budget plan.

Ryan's Extreme Abortion Views

Mitt's VP pick is a known fiscal conservative, but his social ideology is at least as radical. Michelle Goldberg on Ryan's insinuations that women who choose abortion could be jailed.
Allison Shelley / Getty Images

By now, you surely know, if you didn’t already, that Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, wants to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher system. You might have read that, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, his economic plan “calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals.

The Plutocrat Ticket

By choosing Paul Ryan—the guy who wants to slash taxes on the rich and gut the government—Romney shows he’s decided to go nuclear in the class war.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

In selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has doubled-down on the one thing he has never flip-flopped on: economic elitism. Romney, born to wealth, has selected Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who was also born to wealth. As the former University of Oklahoma football coach, Barry Switzer, once said of someone else: both these guys were born on third and thought they hit a triple.

Romney’s Bold Gamble

In picking Paul Ryan, Mitt did something he hasn’t done in years—make a big, unexpected decision. Matt Latimer on the risks and rewards to the GOP—and the echoes of Bush 41.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Let’s hope they asked him to spell “potato.”  For those either too young to remember or too normal to be obsessed with politics, today is not the first time a wealthy guy with a big family and trouble with “the vision thing” chose as his running mate someone young, telegenic, and conservative in order to please those wacky right wingers he never deigned to understand.

What’s Right and Wrong in the Ryan Plan

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Or as we will now learn to call it, the "Romney plan for a stronger middle class".Paul Ryan is right that the growth in Medicare costs represents a large problem for the future and must sooner or later be dealt with.

Romney's Empathy-Free Veep

Mitt Romney's pick of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate cements a transformation in his campaign's attitude toward wealth. By Daniel Gross
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Mitt Romney started off this campaign cycle as a noblesse oblige candidate. The son of a rich man, and a rich man in his own right, he faced something of a challenge running as a Republican. Really rich people can win elections in the U.

Mitt Plays to His Right

The candidate doubles down on conservative ideology by tapping the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Mitt Romney is playing to his right by naming Paul Ryan as his running mate, instantly transforming the election into a debate over the Wisconsin congressman’s divisive budget-slashing plan.Based on a report from NBC confirmed by other news organizations, Romney will introduce the Wisconsin congressman as his vice-presidential pick in Norfolk on Saturday morning.

Don’t Forget About Medicaid

We can’t debate Paul Ryan’s vision for Medicare without also understanding his vision for Medicaid, says Harold Pollack.
Joe Burbank / Getty Images

My brother-in-law Vincent sits with me as I finish this piece. He is intellectually disabled and has been repeatedly hospitalized, most recently last week. As someone who relies on Medicare, he will be deeply affected by the outcome of this election.

  • 7 Great Reads on Paul Ryan

    7 Great Reads on Paul Ryan

    Read up on the Wisconsin congressman, from last week’s definitive "New Yorker" profile to a revealing interview with Ezra Klein.

    7 Fun Facts About Paul Ryan

    7 Fun Facts About Paul Ryan

    From noodling a whole mess of catfish to head-banging to Led Zeppelin, Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan is more than a number-crunching policy wonk. Here are seven things you likely didn’t know about the Congressman and Ayn Rand devotee.

    Oops! Romney Introduces Ryan as President

    Mitt Romney introduced Paul Ryan as 'the next President of the United States' this morning—and promised to uphold Medicare, which Ryan's budget gutted.

    Paul Ryan’s High School Yearbook Pics

    Paul Ryan’s High School Yearbook Pics

    Mitt Romney's new running mate was voted 'biggest brown-noser' by his senior-year classmates.