Is Paul Ryan the Right Choice?

Is bushy-tailed new GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan the right choice for Mitt Romney? The Daily Beast rounds up the best opinions.

Jason E. Miczek / AP Photo

For Ryan

1. “The Ryan Choice,” by The Wall Street Journal “In choosing the 42-year-old, Mr. Romney has embraced the GOP’s reform wing and made it more likely that the election debate will be as substantial as America’s current problems,” said The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages in the wake of Romney’s announcement. And like many other publications, The Journal said that what was really important about the choice was what it said about Romney, adding, “He broke free of the stereotype that he is a cautious technocrat by picking Mr. Ryan, a man who has offered reforms that the country needs but are feared by the GOP’s consultant class and much of his own party.”Read it at The Wall Street Journal

2. “Romney’s Presidential Pick,” by George Will

George Will forges a strong argument in The Washington Post for the convincing executive quality of Romney’s choice, arguing that it must have come about in part as a result of the “desperate flailing” and “unhinged smarminess” of Obama’s campaign. “Romney’s selection of a running mate was, in method and outcome, presidential,” Will writes. “It underscores how little in the last four years merits that adjective.”

Read it at The Washington Post

3. “What the Ryan Pick Says About Romney,” by Fred Barnes

“Mitt Romney, the cautious candidate, wary of being specific, and counting on the bad economy to defeat President Obama—forget all that!” At The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes says Romney’s nod to Ryan makes Wisconsin Swiss cheese of the argument that the presumptive Republican nominee won’t put up a lusty fight on the issues. “Ryan is hardly a cautious choice of a running mate,” Barnes writes. “He’s the boldest.”Read it at The Weekly Standard

4. “Romney, Ryan, and the American Opportunity,” by Conrad BlackThe decision to tap Ryan as his VP “is the most, and possibly first, presidential act W.M. Romney has taken,” opines Conrad Black. And it’s an executive gesture that does much to delineate the differences between the former Massachusetts governor and the Oval Office’s current occupant.Read it at National Review Online

5. “Why Paul Ryan?” by William J. BennettThis is a time for tough choices, writes author and CNN contributor William J. Bennett, and with his decades-long résumé sprinkled with conservative bona fides, Paul Ryan is the man with the intestinal fortitude to take on those challenges. “The president has not led,” Bennett writes. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will lead, and ultimately, they will lead us back on the path to prosperity.”Read it at CNN

6. “Mitt Romney’s Bold Gamble on Paul Ryan,” by Matt LatimerThe decision to bring Ryan into the mix says as much about Romney as it does about Ryan, writes Matt Latimer. The selection of the “young, telegenic, and conservative” Ryan signals that Romney is ready to make the kind of big, bold decisions politicians so often talk about. And talk about. And talk about.Read it at The Daily Beast

Against Ryan

1. “Risky Ryan,” by Frank BruniIntroducing Ryan changed the dynamic of this year’s campaign, writes Frank Bruni at The New York Times. Just maybe not the way conservatives might hope. “He’s a transformative choice—and a seriously, seriously risky one.” Ryan’s entitlement-reform plan and ambitions to slice and dice the federal budget “could do enormous harm” to the Romney effort as more Americans become aware of the details, Bruni writes, and he has “the potential to upstage Romney.”Read it at The New York Times

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2. “If Paul Ryan Were an ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Character He’d Be a Villain,” by Conor FriedersdorfConor Friedersdorf over at The Atlantic says that while, like many young conservatives, Paul Ryan may say he was besotted with Ayn Rand since first he imbibed from The Fountainhead, the Wisconsin congressman is no John Galt. “There is a term for characters in Rand novels that proclaim a desire to spend their lives serving the public,” writes Friedersdorf. “They are villains.”Read it at The Atlantic

3. “Paul Ryan’s Policies, If Implemented, Will Have Deep Consequences For Latinos,” by Stephen A. Nuño“I suppose if you were looking to pick another ‘game changer’ like Sarah Palin to run as your vice president, you’d want to choose someone who is at least twice as smart but half as crazy,” writes Stephen A. Nuño at NBC Latino, “and Paul Ryan certainly seems to fit that bill nicely.” But precisely that which makes Ryan smart is what makes him a crazy choice for Latinos. “While Ryan’s budget proposals seem innocuous enough, if morally numb,” Nuño writes, “they will have deep consequences for Latinos if those policies are ever implemented.”Read it at NBC Latino

4. “Paul Ryan’s Dangerous Vision,” by Donna BrazileMitt Romney’s decision to share his ticket with Paul Ryan spells trouble for the middle class, writes CNN contributor Donna Brazile. “The extreme plan proposed by this year’s Republican ticket would bring huge tax breaks to millionaires, paid for by tax hikes on the middle class, and massive cuts to investments that strengthen the middle class—priorities like education, health care, energy and scientific and medical research.”Read it at CNN

5. “Paul Ryan and the Triumph of Theory,” by E.J. Dionne Jr.“If Paul Ryan were a liberal, conservatives would describe him as a creature of Washington who has spent virtually all of his professional life as a congressional aide,” writes E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post. The Wisconsin native suckled on Ayn Rand might as well have been born and raised on Capitol Hill, and while Republicans paint Obama as a distant intellectual, “in this race, Obama ... is the pragmatist.”Read it at The Washington Post

6. “With Ryan, Romney Has the Plutocrat Ticket,” by Paul BegalaThe gloves are off in the class war with Mitt’s choice to tap Ryan as his veep, writes The Daily Beast’s Paul Begala. “There’s nothing wrong with inherited wealth,” Begala writes. “But there is something wrong with winners of the lineage lottery who want to hammer those who did not have the foresight to select wealthy sperm and egg.”Read it at The Daily Beast