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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (L) (R-WI) introduces U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) as he addresses supporters at Lawrence University during a campaign stop in Appleton, Wisconsin, March 30, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STAT
Romney picks Ryan and waves goodbye to the 2012 election
The site's back up and we're ready to roll. Sorry for the downtime, but what a great day to talk about politics! In about 20 minutes, Mitt Romney is scheduled to announce the selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee. In the short-term, it might be a boost for Romney, as it will take the discussion away from his secret tax returns for a few days. But any bump will be short lived as voters learn about the Ryan plan to end Medicare—and Romney's embrace of it. Voters won't like it when they realize Romney picked Ryan because he got bullied into it by the right. And of course, there's no way those secret tax returns are going to fall off the radar either. Basically, this Mitt Romney's attempt to create Romney 10.0 or 11.0 (I can't keep track). And it's a ton of fun.

5:36 AM PT: Check this out, from August, 2010, 3 months before the mid-term congressional elections—with conservatives as energized and Democrats as demoralized as they have ever been:

Representative John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, the minority leader, has praised Mr. Ryan but said the Roadmap would not be a part of the Republican agenda this fall.

“There are parts of it that are well done,” Mr. Boehner told reporters last month. “Other parts I have some doubts about, in terms of how good the policy is.”

Republicans won that election, keeping their distance from Paul Ryan. A few months later, they changed their position and embraced his plan wholeheartedly, voting to end Medicare. And shortly after that, they lost NY26 for the first time since the Civil War, precisely because of the unpopularity of Ryan's plan. And now Mitt Romney has tapped him to be VP. F'ing brilliant. If you're David Axelrod.

5:43 AM PT: Romneyland seems to be pretty aggressive in saying that the Paul Ryan pick was made one week ago, August 3. Presumably they don't want the Ryan pick to be seen as something they did either in response to pressure from the right or as a result of Romney's rapidly weakening numbers.

5:46 AM PT:
Every voter should watch this video of Paul Ryan saying we're living right in the middle of an Ayn Rand novel. It is just weird.

5:48 AM PT: Bill Kristol, who urged Romney to pick Ryan, is giving a victory speech on Fox now, but he's careful to echo the Romney script that Romney had retroactively chosen Ryan before Kristol and conservatives urged Romney to make the selection.

5:52 AM PT: George Allen finished speaking a few minutes ago. Apparently Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Ultrasound) will introduce Romney and Ryan.

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