In selecting U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney said the one thing Americans most desperately want to hear and believe: we can fix this. For the last several years, Americans have looked around and seen only a mess, with stubbornly high unemployment, anemic growth, rising debt, out-of-control spending and a stalemate in Washington. The steady downpour of bad news, combined with the disillusionment that Obama has failed to deliver on his promise of hope and change, have shaken our confidence and eroded our typical can-do American optimism.
That’s why the Ryan pick struck the political landscape like the lightning bolt of a sudden summer storm across an otherwise lazy August weekend. The choice has galvanized a Republican Party that was beginning to despair. Even more importantly, it said to all Americans that Mitt Romney is determined to fix our nation’s problems.
Paul Ryan is a person of substance and ideas. He’s not afraid to take on the sacred cows that Americans know in our heart of hearts must be addressed if we are going to emerge from this fiscal crisis and leave a more stable and prosperous country to our children and grandchildren. He has earned the respect of his colleagues, Republicans and Democrats. And like Ronald Reagan, his is a sunny brand of conservatism with a smile, not a scowl.
The Ryan choice confirms that this year’s election is about two very different philosophies and visions for our nation’s future. Democrats will undoubtedly try to paint the Republicans as cold, heartless budget cutters. That’s a tired old tactic that won’t work this time. Americans understand that things have to change to return our economy to growth and to put vital programs like Medicare and Social Security on sound financial footing.
With Ryan on the ticket, the Republicans look like the party of the future. Obama and Biden seem worn down, tired and out of ideas to turn things around. The party that looks like the party of the future usually wins presidential elections (think Bill Clinton’s “bridge to the 21st century”.)
The Ryan choice was not expected, but it was inspired. He will energize Republicans, but even more importantly, he will help Mitt Romney make the case to all Americans that this is the team that can deliver the turnaround that Washington so desperately needs.