Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Breaking down the Paul Ryan VP pick by assets, liabilities, questions

Meet Paul Ryan: a young, smart and energetic face of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney shook up his campaign by picking the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate. The next three months will determine if it was the right decision and with that in mind, here are some things to consider:

Three assets

1 Youth. He's 42 and provides a youthful image for the Republican Party.

2 Conservative appeal. Ryan is a hero to conservative activists for his bold plan to cut government. He will energize the GOP base that was more excited about defeating President Barack Obama than embracing Romney.

3 Down to earth. Ryan comes across as earnest and substantive and has a touching personal story: his father died of a heart attack when he was teenager. He could add warmth and sincerity that Romney lacks.

Three liabilities

1 The Ryan budget. His proposal would convert Medicare into a subsidy toward the purchase of private health insurance. While that may shore up the long-term viability of Medicare, it's a scary proposition to many older voters. Even if Romney does not adopt the plan wholesale, Democrats will push to make this a central issue.

2 Inexperience. Sure, Ryan has been in Congress since 1999. But he lacks the outside government experience Romney says is vital. He also comes up short on foreign policy experience and national security.

3 Bush era. Ryan voted for the bank bailout and a Medicare prescription drug benefit spearheaded by President George W. Bush — both of which are now anathema to tea party conservatives.

Three questions

1 Are Americans ready to embrace the sweeping changes Romney and Ryan say are needed to fix the country? Bold makes for good campaign slogans but putting words into action is harder (see: Obamacare).

2 Can Ryan do more than excite the GOP base? Can he appeal to Hispanics, women and independent voters? Romney has struggled particularly among Hispanics and Ryan does not seem to help.

3 Can Ryan, who is little known outside Wisconsin or Washington, D.C., withstand the national scrutiny that comes with a presidential campaign? He is untested in a national campaign, and his voting history is already being scoured by Democrats.

Breaking down the Paul Ryan VP pick by assets, liabilities, questions 08/11/12 [Last modified: Saturday, August 11, 2012 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Largo commissioners raise ceiling on next year's property tax rate

    Local Government

    LARGO — The proposed budget included a recommendation for the property tax rate to remain the same, but city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to increase the maximum rate in a move to give city officials more flexibility.

    City Manager Henry Schubert says the city needs to take a look at its operation.
  2. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines
    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  3. Dade City's Wild Things touts cub encounters as conservation, but experts say they lead to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  4. Once close to death in Ukraine, sick girl finds hope in Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    Everything was packed for Walt Disney World. Clothes for three nights. The pressurized air vest and pump that travel with her. The dress she would wear to meet Cinderella.

    Marina Khimko, 13, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment Dec. 7 at the Shriners Hospital for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Thursday, July 27

    News

    href="http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2015/graphics/macros/css/base.css"> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Marina Khimko, now 14, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]