Well, there it is. Paul Ryan is going to be Mitt Romney's VP choice. As they say in certain parts of the world, I am gobsmacked. Never saw this one coming. I always thought it would be the worst thing in the world for Romney to be forced to talk about the privatization of Medicare for the months leading up to election day. Given that Romney has been loathe to talk about specifics of any kind, it stood to reason that he would avoid the one VP candidate who has been lauded for his "courageous" budget proposals, full of all sorts of details. Mind you, once we got a look at the detials, we realized that Ryan's budget was the same old Republican same old, helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
So why would Romney do this? Maybe the answer can be found in his recent postion that the campaign shouldn't be about his business past after all, but should rather be about the direction the country should take moving forward. Everything should now, according to Romney, be about the future, rather than about his resume because, let's face it, up until now, this presidential campaign has been all about class warefare and Mitt "Montgomery Burns" Romney has been losing.
As Ezra Klein wrote today, when the funadamentals are not going your way, it's time to change the channel. The new channel, it seems, needs to involve so-called "serious" discussions about the deficit and managing the economy and that, I suppose, is going to be Paul Ryan's role.
Here we are in the middle of a campaign that has been almost devoid of substance about to launch into a campaign that may in fact require a serious discussion about the economy, the deficit, and the role of government in a way that absolutely requires a clear articulation of who is going to suffer and who prosper moving forward - exactly the kind of discussion Mitt Romney has tried to avoid so far.
He knows that he has been defined by the Obama Team in a way that will destroy him if things continue as they have been. My guess is that he has taken this radical step of going with Paul Ryan because it allows him to be for something and perhaps redefine himself before it's too late.
But when you consider how ambivalent so many Republicans have been about the Ryan budget plan, and how unpopular it will likely be with the electorate once they understand it, the cure might be worse than the disease.
This has indeed been a good summer for the Obama campaign.