Veep picks have become increasingly important and substantive, given the increase in the power of the vice-presidency. Still, it is important always for candidates to use the veep pick to move to the center. Ryan does not do this for Romney anymore than Palin did anything for McCain. Admittedly, there wasn’t much to pick from, given that Republican moderates are more or less a dead species, but I was expecting someone more palatable to independents/undecided. Ryan’s budget plan, being concrete, makes him really easy to attack and paint as extreme. I’m already seeing a flood of anti-Ryan prop and the announcement’s not a day old. The message is the same across the spectrum – extremist.
This ongoing negative strategy of the administration – really not negative so much as just holding the center -continues to look like a winner. That is not to say that I approve or agree with it – just that it seems to be working.
If I were in Romney’s shoes, and playing politics, I would have nominated a moderate woman – read not Palin – to address his consistent weakness in the polls with women voters. But there are so few GOP choices. There are no less than four GOP female governors, though.