Must confess I was surprised, happily surprised, by Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan. It provides good answers to three huge questions:

1. How much does he want it?
It’s been worrying to see Romney so defensively weak while being pummeled by Obama’s negative ads about him and his business record. There comes a time when you have to stop smiling and start snarling. Is this just going to be another half-hearted McCain-type effort? When’s he going to put on the gloves, never mind take them off again? You can’t win this thing without wanting it more than your opponent. The Ryan pick shows that Romney wants it big, and is prepared to fight big for it; not an ugly Chris Christie slugfest, but an ideological fight about the fundamental principles and future direction of the country.

2. Why does he want it?
If he had picked Portman or some other boring grey suit, we could only conclude that he was playing safe, hoping to win by “not being Obama,” and then managing American decline in a more competent way than Obama. In other words, he wanted it more for his C.V. than for the country, more for himself than for the rest of us. The Ryan pick shows that Romney’s not in this just to get the Oval Office, but to get the country back on track.

3. What will he do with it?
This was the question that niggled most conservatives deep in their hearts. Is he just going to re-arrange the deck chairs in a nicer pattern, or is he going to repair, rebuild, and re-launch the ship? Is he going to kick the can down the road again, or is he going to change the game? Does he have the guts, the determination, the courage to do what so desperately needs to be done?

The Ryan pick demonstrates that Romney is not only in it to win it in 2012, but to win for future generations too. It offers a clear choice for America’s future – An entitlement society or a responsible society. And BTW, as Ryan’s budget demonstrates, “responsible” includes caring for the weak, the elderly, and the poor, but in a way that also secures a hopeful future for our young.

Bonus: And check Denny Burk’s analysis of Paul Ryan’s record on social issues for further encouragement. Time to add Paul and his family to our prayers. They’re about to be “Palined.”

  • Mark

    Am I the only one who thinks that Ryan’s actual economic record (voting yes for hundreds of billions of dollars in “stimulus”, voting for ten’s of billions of dollars for Iraq/Afghanistan) is anything but “responsible”?

    • John Gardner

      Nope, you’re not alone. He voted for TARP, the auto bailouts, the Patriot Act. Sure, he’s got some things going for him, but it’s still Romney’s name at the top of the ticket. Gonna be really hard for me to push that button.

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  • David Bissett

    Good points on Ryan. I too am encouraged, and not just because I am from Wisconsin (and my parents now live in Janesville). db

  • Richard

    Sorry, but in Ryan’s plan “responsible” does not include caring for the weak, elderly, and the poor. In Paul Ryan’s world people that fall into those categories play second-fiddle to his “moral responsibility” to lower the deficit.