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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
Republicans could not be more optimistic about this team
Republican strategists are (claiming to be) super excited about Paul Ryan—he's going to put Wisconsin in play! he won't be as big a disaster in Florida as the rest of the world thinks!—and they're ready to have the conversation about his plan to end Medicare as we know it. In fact, they want to have that conversation. Right now. Please, sweet merciful deity, let them try to explain with all their usual regard for the truth. As one unnamed "Florida GOP insider" put it:
“I’m hearing lots of anxiety and watching lots of email traffic from pollsters and consultants expressing concern — not that we can’t do this but that we need to be on major offense because this will be used here in the extreme.”

David Johnson, a Florida Republican strategist, emphasized the need for urgency on explaining Ryan’s proposal.

“Since the Democrats and Obama have been pounding it already, perhaps having the face of Ryan talking about what it really does is the plus here,” said Johnson. “But the sale and his reception in the first weeks is of course important.”

So ... Ryan's plan is so unpopular that the best way to handle the threat of Romney becoming associated with it in voters' minds is to make Ryan his vice-presidential pick? Say what, now? I think maybe the person who admitted there was anxiety was being a little more truthful.

Also, in addition to how compelling they're expecting Ryan to be as he tries to persuade voters that his plan to end Medicare as we know it isn't really a plan to end Medicare as we know it, Republicans are expecting to get boosts with any number of other groups: Catholics, Midwesterners, Midwestern Catholics, and ... young people. Yes, young people:

“He’s a good salesman to the under-30 crowd and a risk with seniors,” is how former Virginia Republican congressman Tom Davis, who possesses an encyclopedic mind for politics, put it, noting that Ryan’s “youthful earnestness will have an independent appeal.”

A senior Romney adviser said that Ryan, a Gen-Xer, could help them spotlight the economic difficulties of young voters, potentially appealing to both the post-college crowd but also their parents.

Because nothing appeals to young people and their parents like a candidate who wants to cut Pell Grants for a million students and increase student loan interest.

Who are they trying to talk into believing this stuff—themselves, or us?

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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