Rachel Maddow just uttered the line that sums up the rationale behind the Ryan pick.
Ryan is “not the guy you pick to win Florida, he’s the guy you pick to win Fox & Friends”It's far too soon for there to be a transcript, but that's the line. Rachel makes perfectly clear how weak a candidate Mitt Romney is. Romney made a pick that won't help him govern, and that won't even help him reach out to broad swathes of voters come Election Day in November. He made a pick to convince his own party to like him.
Rachel just spent a good ten minutes destroying Ryan, with body blow after body blow. Medicare. Budget. Medicare. Medicare.
Rachel highlighted Kathy Hochul, who won a House seat running against the Ryan Medicare plan and became the first Democrat to win from her district since the Civil War era. Rachel noted that Rep. Hochul's opponent this year, Chris Collins, today felt compelled to state that he "never supported the Paul Ryan budget plan."
Rachel highlighted statements from Republicans all over the country running away from Ryan's plan, including Senate candidates from Scott Brown in MA, to Dean Heller in NV, to Heather Wilson in NM, and even Linda McMahon in CT. If you're too far to the right for Linda McMahon, well, that's saying something.
The thing I found most telling was Rachel showing that, way back in March, the Obama team was already trying to tie Mitt Romney to the Ryan budget. Rachel showed her audience a Politico piece from March 25 describing how David Plouffe was doing exactly that:
White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday branded the House Republican spending plan as the "Romney-Ryan budget," a tactical move to link the budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) with the Republican presidential front runner Mitt Romney.
"If Mitt Romney is the nominee, then this really is going to be the Romney-Ryan plan," Plouffe said on ABC's "This Week." "He said he's going to rubber-stamp it. ... So the American people have to understand, if Mitt Romney's elected president, he'll rubber-stamp that budget. And here's what that budget is. It fails the standard -- it fails the test of balance and fairness and shared responsibility. It showers huge additional tax cuts on the wealthy ... that are paid for by veterans and seniors and the middle class, so it's not a balanced approach."
In summary, Rachel made a couple of things crystal clear about the Romney pick:
1) Paul Ryan is absolutely toxic outside the Republican echo chamber.
2) Barack Obama has been salivating at the thought of running against Ryan for months.
After laying out her evidence, Rachel put the hammer down (with a smile of course), delivering the line that left me on the floor, and which serves as the title of this post.
Ryan is “not the guy you pick to win Florida, he’s the guy you pick to win Fox & Friends”
If a nominee picks an August, he or she is trying to bring a fractured party together at his or her national convention, reaching out to a rival or someone from a competing intra-party constituency. George H.W. Bush, for example, was an August pick for Reagan in 1980.Ryan, she claimed, is a classic August pick.
If a nominee picks a November, he or she is picking a running mate intended to help win the general election.
And if a nominee picks a January, he or she is looking for someone who can help govern once inaugurated.