When Paul Ryan was named as the Vice-Presidential nominee by Republican Mitt Romney, I was asked about his impact on the Presidential race. I said many times that the Ryan pick would finally energize the conservative base of the Republican Party who were skeptical of their nominee in Ryan. Ryan’s youthful enthusiasm coupled with his wonkish policy appeal was just what the Romney campaign needed. The bland Romney campaign searched for its voice throughout the primary season and through the early stages of the general campaign. Ryan would be that shot in the arm. For a short time, the Ryan pick did help pull even with President Barack Obama in the polls. That momentum seems to have been lost in the last week, as recent reports from the Romney front have stated that Ryan has been muzzled by his Romney’s staffers. Romney’s team wants Ryan to speak less on his “bread and butter” topic, the budget, and more on how badly Obama has run the country. Conservative pundits and grassroots supporters wonder why this is so? Without Ryan’s budget appeal, the Romney campaign is back to where it started, in search of a voice. If the purpose of choosing a VP nominee is to galvanize those voters who otherwise would stay home on Election Day, then why stifle any activity from the more energetic individual from the Romney-Ryan ticket?
How much of a factor should a Vice Presidential pick be for a Presidential ticket? What criteria would you look for when choosing a VP nominee?
I have been wondering where Ryan is and your post provides the explanation I have been seeking. However I am at a loss with its reasoning. I too saw Ryan as a fresh face to the somewhat stagnant Romney campaign. It appears that as quickly he has come in, he has gone back out again. The choice of VP can often make or break a candidate. The VP can appeal to the voters that the Presidential candidate may not be able to reach. In choosing a VP I would look for someone who complements my beliefs and values but also adds an aspect of my campaign that I would otherwise not be able to achieve.
It seams to me that the v.p. nominee should come close to mirroring the presidential candidate’s policies and beliefs. Candidates with extreme views only serve to create controversy and strain within a campaign and among voters. Much like picking players on a team, the V.P. nominee should have strong qualifications, experience, and ability- that back the presidential candidates policies rather than go to any extreem away from those policies.
I do not believe Romney is a strong republican candidate so a strong vp pick would be a plus. The vp should be appealing to all voters and encourage political participation. The vp pick is crucial because they are helping represent the presidential nominee and if something were to happen to the president they are next in line. They need to have political experience and bring something appealing to voters that the president may lack.