The Romney campaign is thrilled at the Paul Ryan pick because now they'll win the conservative vote.
Liberals are thrilled at their ticket because now we'll win the November vote.
But none of the above are as happy as the people in charge of getting Democrats elected to the House and Senate. Mitt Romney's Friday-night news dump had them dancing in the aisles.
Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, described Romney selection of a Ryan as a dream come true for House Democrats. Israel says the move allows Democrats to pound the GOP proposed changes to Medicare and Medicaid – issues where his party has traditionally had an advantage over Republicans – rather than the state of the U.S. economy.No shit. And all of this from a GOP that claimed that jobs, jobs, jobs was the only thing that mattered. Think about it—Democrats have spent the last year trying to turn Paul Ryan into a household name so they could wrap his budget around the neck of every Republican who voted for it. But outside of political circles, Ryan remained largely unknown.
“I was shocked,” Israel said of the Ryan announcement. “I was secretly hoping they would pick Ryan. With all the polling on his budget, I didn’t think they would make my hopes come true."
Yet here comes the bumbling Romney campaign, panicked by poll numbers and a conservative base agitating for Palin II, and what does it do? It single-handedly delivered to congressional Democrats what they would've had to spend more millions than they have to do—nationalize Paul Ryan.
Democrats have already won a pair of House special elections in tough turf by focusing on the Ryan efforts to destroy Medicare.
Even before Mitt Romney made Ryan his running mate, the Medicare attack had had successful try-outs, resulting in the upset win of Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul in a special election in Western New York in 2011 and this year in the special race in Arizona to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.This election will now be fought on the same turf as Hochul's race, which delivered to Democrats a seat in a region that had gone Democratic only three times in the last century, the last time over 40 years ago. In fact, there were nearly 100 GOP-held seats (pre-redistricting) more Democratic than Hochul's.
The reality is that Ryan is now every Republicans’ running mate whether they like it or not, forcing GOP candidates who would just as soon run from the debate over senior citizen entitlements to embrace the third rail of American politics like never before.By moving right with Ryan, Romney didn't just seal his own fate this November, he didn't just boost Democratic chances of holding the Senate, but he's officially put the House in play.
One GOP insider lamented that party leaders “have spent the last year” trying to take Medicare off the political front burner, but the Ryan pick “puts it all back out there now.”
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11:20 AM PT: Watch down-ballot Republicans scramble to contain the damage that the Ryan pick is causing them:
Scott Brown in Massachusetts is between a rock and a hard place. And that's from the Boston Herald, the paper that has been fluffing him.
All Republicans in Connecticut are feeling the heat.
In Nevada, “No one is happier today than Sen. Dean Heller, one of Rep. Paul Ryan’s strongest supporters who said he was ‘proud’ to vote twice for the Ryan budget plan that essentially ends Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies,” says Shelley Berkley.
We've already seen how the Ryan choice is playing in Florida.
And in Montana, GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, running for Senate, has already run ads (paid for by Senate Republicans), bashing the Ryan budget.