Romney's Vice Presidential Nominee Is...

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 11 2012 12:27 AM

Romney's Vice Presidential Nominee Is...

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JANESVILLE, WI - JUNE 18: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) looks on as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets people during a campaign event at Monterey Mills on June 18, 2012 in Janesville, Wisconsin. Mr. Romney continues hs campaign swing through battle ground states as he battles President Barack Obama for votes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan, according to NBC News and Jon Ward. Good enough for me! I'll have more tomorrow if/when actually hear from the man upon whose conservatives have placed the crown of leadership.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Does Ryan have to give up his House seat? No. See Wisconsin's election statute 8.03, which specificies that the prohibitions on running for multiple offices "shall not apply when a candidate for the office of president or vice president of the United States is nominated for another elective office during the same election. If the candidate is elected president or vice president of the United States such election shall void the candidate's election to any other office. A special election shall be held to fill any office vacated under this subsection." As was the case when Joe Biden joined the Obama ticket, the veep nominee can run for his current job, just in case.

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Who broke the news? I'm going to give the credit to The Weekly Standard, whose Steve Hayes has covered Ryan as closely as any national reporter, and whose Bill Kristol begged Ryan to run for president himself until it became a legal impossibility. At 10:52 p.m. ET (9:52 p.m. central), Hayes and Kristol co-wrote about a story about the Romney campaign's "vigorous effort in support of Paul Ryan if he is selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick—something now likely to happen soon."

What will conservatives think? Are you kidding? This has all the base-unifying power of the Palin nomination with none of the uncertainty. As John Dickerson explained back in June, as Scott Walker was fending off the Wisconsin recall, conservatives wanted Romney to embrace the Spirit of the Badger. "If [Romney] ran loud and proud in Wisconsin," wrote Dickerson, "it would send a message that he’s going to govern in the same audaciously conservative mold as the state’s favorite young guns." And now he has.

Do Ryan and Romney have any static to get over? Sort of.

Ryan's task in life from at least 2007 on was to make his party out-evolve the Democrats on health care reform, to come up with a plan and popularize it.

"Ryan touts two reforms in particular," wrote Duncan Currie, in the first of many Weekly Standard homina-homina pieces on Ryan. The first one, prominently championed by [Rep. John] Shadegg in the House and South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint in the Senate, would let Americans purchase their health insurance from out-of-state companies. Such competition could depress costs across the board. The other Ryan-backed reform would provide either tax credits or tax deductions for individuals and families who buy private health insurance themselves. President Bush embraced the tax-deduction formula in his 2007 State of the Union Address."

Well, that's not really what Mitt Romney did in office, and that's not what he's running on. There's a second- or third-day story here.

What do Democrats think? They're broadcasting all kinds of happy confidence. "Paul Ryan is the most anti-middle class nominee [Romney] could pick," says Bill Burton, who runs the pro-Obama Priorities USA super PAC. The Ryan choice "amplifies" that PAC's message: That Romney is absolutely souless. Eddie Vale, spokesman for the big labor PAC Worker's Voice, sends reporters a late-night memo alleging that "the destruction Romney and Bain wreaked would be thrust upon all of America by the Romney/Ryan plan." Democrats have run against the Medicare portion of the Ryan budget in every significant election since 2011, and they've won a few -- Kathy Hochul's House race in New York, Ron Barber's in Arizona. Of course, the Kristol/WSJ argument was that Democrats would do this no matter whom Romney chose, so why not pick the starting pitcher?

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics