Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts on Ryan VP

Ryan is a marginally better pick than the typical republican VP pick from a base broadening perspective as he is a young white male as opposed to an old white male.  This pick represents either foolishness or confidence on the part of Romney.  Ryan is energetic, charismatic, and has a great command of policy (which amazingly very few politicians do).   In terms of what he brings to the table from an electoral standpoint, my guess is the following:
-firms up the base, the ryan budgets have been bold political documents that slaughter many sacred cows (thus why they are political documents as opposed to public law)
-I think he will appeal to moderates for whom medicare isn't yet on their mind (under 50)
-I think he might move the needle a bit with women (he is good looking)
What  does he take off the table-
-Scaring people about medicare
-Dampens support amongst old white people, see the point immediately above

Ryan and Obama have both proposed taking an axe to medicare.  Their methods of doing so, IPAB v. shifting to a premium support model/competitive bidding, is very different.  But in the end, both are proposing similar cuts and and the same growth rates for Medicare (GDP +.5%).  Going after Obama on Medicare would have been very cynical but probably quite successful.  Picking Ryan takes this option off the table.  It's a good thing for the country regardless of the outcome.

Ryan has also proposed block granting medicaid.  I don't think this will move the needle.  People that oppose this weren't voting for Romney.  People that support it are already voting for Romney.   People that haven't thought about it won't spend the time to think about it now.

Ryan might make Wisconsin competitive.  I doubt it but he might.

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