Since Democrats were sure to try to hang the Ryan budget around Romney’s neck, their reasoning went, why not have the best defender of the Ryan budget fill the VP slot?
Now, while at least one of us at Capital Hill still thinks Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was the best candidate, even he will admit that Ryan is still a very good choice and, aside from Rubio, better than all of the other possibilities.
That said, there is no way of getting around the fact that now everything Ryan has put in his Path To Prosperity is on the line. The stakes have gone way, way up, because not only is the election on the line, so is the future of the United States
If Romney had picked someone else for the VP slot, then should Romney lose it would not be clear that it was due to the Ryan budget. Romney as a candidate, the competence of his campaign and other factors would have muddied the waters. And those factors may still result in a Romney loss. But with Ryan on the ticket, his budget, tax reform and entitlement reforms will be front and center. Anyone can reasonably argue that these were put in front of the voters in the fall. And if Romney loses, anyone can also reasonably argue that he lost because the voters of America rejected Ryan’s ideas.
You can be sure that Democrats and other liberals will bring that up every time a Republican in Congress brings up reforming entitlements or the tax code. “That was part of the Ryan plan,” they’ll respond, “and the voters rejected that in 2012.”