Is Romney’s risky bet on Ryan about to fail?

Lots of stuff about Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate.

John Cassidy in The New Yorker writes about “desperation:”

Until Romney picked Ryan, the principal rationale for his candidacy had been that he was a practical businessman who could appeal to independents and get the economy moving. Now Romney has tethered himself to a conservative ideologue who serves in an institution, the House of Representatives, that, according to the latest Gallup poll, has an approval rating of ten per cent. Such an abrupt reversal smacks of desperation.

Nate Silver on his blog FiveThirtyEight calls the Ryan selection “dubious” and compares it to John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin in 2008. Silver thinks Romney’s chances of winning in November have been reduced.

My first take on the selection was that Mr. Romney had looked at the polls, concluded that he was losing, and deliberately made a high-risk choice that could shake up the campaign — somewhat as Mr. McCain did with Ms. Palin four years ago. Reporting since then, however, has suggested that Mr. Romney made the pick despite reluctance from his pollsters and others on his political team. So it looks increasingly as though he made a different sort of gamble — more of a true all-in move.

Paul Ryan has been called a ”deficit hawk” and we know he wants to cut the taxes, especially on high income earners, but also cut sharply in the government’s role when it comes to pensions, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. Leading economic commentators are punching holes in Ryan’s reputation as a responsible economist and write that it’s impossible to reach a balance in the economy with the Ryan plan.

Paul Krugman in the New York Times calls Ryan an “unserious” man. His plan would increase, not decrease, the deficit:

If this sounds like a joke, that’s because it is…Mr. Ryan isn’t a serious man — he just plays one on TV.

And the Financial Times’ Martin Wolf is equally critical, calling Ryan’s plan ”incredible.”

Is the Ryan bubble about to burst? Is Romney’s bet on this right-wing ideologue about to fail? It is still a bit too early to tell for sure. But the signs are ominous. We will know more after next week’s convention.


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