Is it too late for the GOP to switch horses?

National Public Radio has a little quiz attached to its “Political Junkie” program; today the question was, who was the youngest vice presidential candidate in the last 60 years, given that Paul Ryan in 42-years old?  The answer was Richard Nixon, who was 39 when first chosen. Now, we can all hope that Paul Ryan will not turn out to be Nixon reincarnated, but the question was only  part of the endless discussion on Ryan, his position in the party, his contribution to the campaign and his “fiscal policies.”

Every vice presidential candidate is the subject of much curiosity in the beginning; in the olden days, they were chosen for their power to bring the vote of some region of the country or some segment of the population.  As Lydon Johnson did for Kennedy – Johnson was to deliver the conservative south to the liberal northern candidate; and he did.   Lately, it has been more of a broader concept and more marketing that anything else; like dear old Sara Palin, was her job to deliver the women’s vote or to look good on camera?   We never did quite figure out what she was meant to do or what she brought to the campaign.   She was however popular with some and has made a pretty good living being Sara Palin.

Paul Ryan seems different to me; he appears to been chosen because he had a real political philosophy, solid, well-articulated thoughts on the economy and that was something the campaigned lacked before he arrived.  The GOP presidential candidate, or so we we think short of the actual convention and a formal party endorsement, Mitt Romney, has been many things – and that is somewhat of a problem, because he has been on both sides of many importation issues in his public career.  Ryan on the other hand is a man with a plan, one he can clearly articulate and one that is actually written into legislation.  That is a rare quality in the era of campaigning by poll – we have become accustomed to candidates who advocate what polls indicate voters want – that make Ryan a very different kind of politician in 2012.

Ryan is unusual enough to have stolen the limelight – Romney is almost an afterthought now, rather like vice presidential candidates usually are.  Is it possible for the party to switch horses at this point and pick Ryan for its presidential candidate?  It will not happen, but Ryan’s ideas are the ones being debated, he is the one that is credited with bringing serious debate on the issues to 2012 election campaign, not Mitt.   NPR asked the wrong question in my mind, I would rather have posed another question; has there ever been a vice presidential candidate who on the surface appeared to be a much better candidate for the presidency than his running mate?  Or one who became instantly took center stage from the intended presidential candidate. I can’ think of one.


10 Responses to “Is it too late for the GOP to switch horses?”

  1. 1 Bill Hanigan August 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Yes, Paul Ryan seems a striking example of what a potential President should be. I’ve been reading some excerpts from a speech he made 18 months ago to the “Alexander Hamilton Society”-very impressive.

  2. 2 rexdstock1 August 16, 2012 at 7:37 am

    The neo cons don’t care who is in there: like a slot host at Harrah’s, they just need to look a certain way… They just need a bunch of crazy people who sign pledges to Grover, and idiots like Romney who says things that provoke war and then he sends young men and women to those wars… or prison…

    But I thought Ryan was a “fiscal conservative”? That’s what he’s being called. It’s such a dangerous joke.


  3. 3 Bill Hanigan August 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Neo cons ?? You mean the GOP ? Who the hell is Grover ? Some neo con Patriarch ? I do agree Romney seems to spend some time getting his foot out of his mouth.

  4. 4 Ken Adams August 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Rex, you and Bill should continue your dialogue – you come at things from a very, very different perspective –

  5. 5 Ken Adams August 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

    If nothing else, Ryan does not have the foot and mouth disease that Romney has – I am not a doctor, but I believe in extreme case in can be fatal to a political career.

  6. 6 Bill Hanigan August 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Yes, Rex, I read your blog and was impressed. I’m not sure if we come at things from a very,very different perspective. Maybe just different. I googled “Grover” and am now better informed !

  7. 7 Bill Hanigan August 24, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Now in examining Ryan’s position on life and abortion I have to part rather dramatically. In th 90’s I travelled frequently from the ME to India and was interested to find that a major medical business was in ultrsound diagnostics of women in pregnacy. Men are +1 and women were -2-3 in potential earnings, so females were terminated. You could argue this is aiding population control. I doubt this is a subject of interest in the west. At lleast I haven’t heard the commentariot railing against this policy.
    We have the medical knowledge to determine birth defects….are we willing to pursue and develop that knowledge ?

    • 8 Ken Adams August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Abortion is not a simple and it is not linear; that is my issue with the GOP – they would like to make it simple and linear. Good and bad, righteousness and evil. Your Indian experience is not universal – why not make ultra sound illegal it would solve that problem. In many societies that value boys over girls they kill the girl children after they are born, no ultra sound necessary. The problem is not abortion, but a moral sense that puts a higher value on boys and justifies killing a girl to make room for a boy.

  8. 9 Bill Hanigan August 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I believe the Indian Government was trying to make ultra sound advertising illegal in the 90’s. Not sure how successful they were. In respect of abortion, my position is that when the human being is in a state of “recognition”, whenever the medical profession decides what time that is, then abortion is a steep moral. ethical problem for all concerned. I do not think terminating a life before that “recognition” because of autism, gross deformities etc is amoral or immoral. The latest senators gaffe over the female body naturally repelling the rapists sperm is laughable if it were not so serious. This man has obviously held these views for some time !! I hope that is not representative of the views of the Senate.
    You are perfectly correct in the moral outrage at the difference in values on male/female. How to correct it ?????

  9. 10 Ken Adams August 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Of course that is one of the major challenges and dilemmas of our society. I am not in favor of a legislative solution to much of anything – a simple code like the 10 commandments would go a long ways to solving many of our social problems. But of course that is simplistic thinking and some times it takes legislation to change basic patterns of behavior. We have a law, called title 9, it requires colleges to offer equal opportunity to the women as they do the men. It has been harmful to some of the men’s sports, like track and field, but immensely helpful in developing opportunities for women. Women now have the same types of sports available to them at every level in school, something my mother (although she did have basketball of sorts) did not have and her mother had no such opportunities. I know that my granddaughter grew up very differently than my mother and sports contributed a great deal. The ramifications have gone far beyond sports. In the long run, I think the only we can do is to do the right thing ourselves and treat people equally and fairly. And support our daughters and granddaughters in all that they do helping them to develop self confidence and the ability to see their opportunities as unlimited.

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