Today in Iowa, the most serious man in America, Paul Ryan, was heckled.
Do these unwashed Iowans know who Paul Ryan is? He's the most serious man in America and also the boldest. Yet they seemed not so impressed:
"Paul Ryan’s first solo campaign trip since joining the Republican presidential ticket was a little like baptism by fire, as he was heckled at the state fair’s legendary soapbox."
"There was no easing into things with a tightly controlled campaign event like the ones typically held by Mitt Romney. Instead, Ryan was dispatched to the Des Moines Register’s soapbox here at the Iowa State Fair, a site where heckling is almost always expected, and where Romney himself last year had a terse exchange with an attendee over Medicare and Social Security, and made the infamous claim that “corporations are people.”
Maybe that's why Romney split up from Ryan-he's been booed and heckled enough. Indeed, this was the same place Mitt Romney had declared "Corporations are people, my friend."
I guess they don't like serious in Iowa. They do, however, like their Medicare. While conservatives are claiming that this is going to force the President to discuss issues, it's interesting that Mr. Serious has already been directed by the Romney campaign not to use the phrase "entitlement reform at all."
"It only took two hours after the Paul Ryan vice presidential announcement for Republican congressional candidates to get their talking points on how to spin the Ryan budget and Medicare attacks."
“Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table,’” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. “Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’”
"The email read like a warning shot, alerting Republicans that they would soon face a barrage of Medicare-themed attacks and telling them they needed to be ready for the scrutiny that was to come. The internal email, obtained by POLITICO, was a clear and immediate sign that Republicans knew Ryan could create trouble down ballot for GOP candidates in tight congressional races."
“Predictably,” the NRCC wrote, Democrats are “already blasting Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Expect your boss to get questions from reporters on how this selection of a fellow House member impacts your race.”
"The memo — the first of at least a half-dozen the NRCC has sent out to campaigns since the Ryan pick was made public that have been obtained by POLITICO — sheds light on the lengths to which Republicans are going to coach their members and candidates to navigate Democratic efforts to tie them to Ryan and his controversial plan to rewrite entitlement laws."
"While Republicans insist they aren’t panicking over the Ryan-centered assault, they also acknowledge that their effectiveness in pushing back will play a large role in determining their success in defending their House majority."Read more:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79673.html#ixzz23Svoo5s8
So if Paul Ryan is a game changer it may be in the Congressional races. There has been a brave attempt to claim that Ryan might put Wisconsin back in play; ie, they are trying to claim that a race that has been breaking for the President by a 5 to 8 point lead in polls is going to go away because Ryan is from the state. Ie, Ryan will lead to a blip of 6 to 9 points in Wisconsin.
In reality he's already imperiled the Romney campaign greatly. Nobody in the GOP seriously-to use Paul Ryan's favorite word-thinks Romney wins without Florida. Yet, Ryan seriously jeopardizes what ever chances Romney has in winning Florida-even before this the last poll had shown Obama breaking away a little with a 6 point lead.
Now he's got to go to tell Florida's seniors and explain the serious plan to take away Medicare entitlements. Oh, wait. They're not supposed to use the phrase "entitlement reform" or "cutting entitlements" or declaring piously that "everything is on the table."
As Florida Senator Ben Nelson observes:
"“Gov. Romney’s pick is not good for seniors in Florida. It changes Medicare as we know it,” the senator said at a campaign stop in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach Post. “I don’t think we want to have senior citizens in their retirement years having to haggle with insurance companies over their health care.”
In truth GOP congressmen are concerned as well they might be. Each and everyone of them now had Ryan for a running mate, welcome or not.
"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."
"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.”
In other words, not only does Ryan seem unlikely to add anything to Romney's electoral math-and may indeed subtract in places like Iowa and Florida, but he has also complicated the race of every Republican Congressperson running in the country.
"Trying to turn the tables, the Romney campaign announced on Sunday that Ryan will travel to Florida next weekend to “highlight POTUS’ record of slashing Medicare for current Florida seniors,” tweeted Romney aide Brendan Buck."
"But Republican unease with the Ryan plan was on full display earlier this summer, when the National Republican Senatorial Committee put money behind an ad that touted Rehberg’s opposition to the polarizing budget plan."
"Democrats have spent years pillorying the Ryan budget with varying degrees of success in selected races, meaning the Wisconsin Republican has political baggage that every GOP incumbent and challenger must now face during the run-up to Election Day."
"The National Republican Congressional Committee, aware of the political liabilities of the Ryan selection, circulated a press release on Saturday — just hours after the vice presidential announcement — pounding Democrats on Medicare."
“House Democrats have built a long record of votes to gut and bankrupt Medicare,” the NRCC release asserted. “The Democrats cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare to pay for Obamacare and empowered a board of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats empowered to gut Medicare.”
This is why the GOP was so quick on yesterday's Sunday shows to argue that Obama is the one who cut Medicare with his ACA health insurance law.
Still an in depth argument should play into the hands of the Dems:
"Polls show that a fight over the Ryan budget could be the decisive factor in certain battleground districts."
"A Democracy Corps poll released earlier this month showed that 52 percent of voters in these swing districts supported the GOP message of the Ryan plan. But after both Democrats and Republicans aired their arguments, Democrats squeaked slightly ahead, with 47 percent of voters opposing the budget and 46 percent backing it."
“This budget is very vulnerable to attack — voters do not like the individual elements and a debate back and forth works to Democrats’ advantage,” read the polling memo from Democracy Corps.
I think most every Democrat felt as Steve Israel did after hearing about Paul Ryan:
"New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, described Romney’s selection of a Ryan as a dream come true for House Democrats. Israel says the move allows Democrats to pound the GOP’s 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."
"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."
None of us did, Steve. Now who wants to guess the next state Ryan gets booed in? We know he's been booed at town hall meetings at home.