Garance Franke-Ruta scours Paul Ryan's legislative record.
As such, Ryan is both a product of and poster boy for the political city. And it is symptom of the corruption and divisiveness of contemporary Washington that a man who has not passed a single piece of substantive legislation, ever, can be hailed as a substantive and deep thinker and the voice of budgetary sanity while racking up an actual record consisting overwhelmingly of renaming post offices, honoring Ronald Reagan and Wisconsin, providing for the issuance of commemorative coins, and increasing the deficit through massive tax cuts.
I think Romney's decision to talk about theoretical tax cuts instead of his own bipartisan record in Massachusetts demonstrates that it's more about politics, generally, than about the beltway.
Will Wilkinson states the should-be-obvious.
Mitt Romney is a very smart man who has enjoyed some success in politics. This oddly overlooked fact leads me to suspect that Mr Romney, after intensively investigating his options, and knowing full well that the vice-presidential candidate tends to exert, at best, a small influence on the outcome of presidential elections (even when he or she hails from a swing state), simply came to believe that Mr Ryan would make a superior running-mate and, if it comes down to it, vice-president
Really, the only times in recent history that a vice presidential nominee has wounded a ticket has been when weak vetting failed to reveal scandals (Ferraro), when the public grew worried about the candidate's competence (Quayle), or some killer combo of both factors (Palin).