Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Remember how late in the 2008 campaign Republican political operatives in the McCain-Palin campaign began dishing to reporters what a godawful mistake Sarah Palin was in the hope of distancing themselves from a trainwreck of a campaign and not being blamed for the Democratic "wave" eelction that followed in November? They wanted to continue working as political operatives after that election.
We are more than a week away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida, and already the Republican political operatives in the Romney-Ryan campaign are dishing to reporters what a godawful mistake Paul Ryan is -- even before the delegates to the convention have voted to seal the deal. I smell panic in the air.
POLITICO reports that GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan:
Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.
In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.
[M]any of the most optimistic Republican operatives will privately acknowledge that their views are being shaped more by fingers-crossed hope than by a hard-headed appraisal of what’s most likely to happen.
And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.
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Nearly all the Republican professionals interviewed for this story said they would share their unfiltered views only “on background” rules of attribution.
But Washington political chatter is a pervasive reality even when the chatterers prefer not to risk personal relationships or professional prospects by publicly second-guessing their party’s nominee. For Romney, even if he ultimately proves the doubters wrong, the skepticism among capital insiders is an obstacle as he seeks to frame a general election argument.
And that skepticism about Ryan among GOP strategists is striking.
They’re worried about inviting Medicare — usually death for Republicans — into the campaign. They’re worried it sidetracks the jobs issue. They’re worried he’ll expose the fact that Romney doesn’t have a budget plan. Most of all, they’re worried that Romney was on track to lose anyway — and now that feels all but certain.
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The most cutting criticism of Ryan, shared only by a handful of strategists, is that Ryan isn’t ready to be president — or doesn’t come across as ready. A youthful man who looks even younger than his 42 years, Ryan could end up labeled as Sarah Palin with a PowerPoint presentation, several operatives said.
“He just doesn’t seem like he can step into the job on Day One,” said the strategist, who professed himself a Ryan fan.
And that’s just what it does to the Romney-Ryan ticket. Forget how it plays in close House and Senate races.
“Very not helpful down ballot — very,” said one top Republican consultant.
“This is the day the music died,” one Republican operative involved in 2012 races said after the rollout. The operative said that every House candidate now is racing to get ahead of this issue.
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Sources close to the selection process tell POLITICO that within the Romney campaign, there was considerable unease about picking Ryan — but also a recognition that each of the possible picks for running mate had drawbacks to varying degrees.
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“It turned a referendum into a choice,” said one Washington Republican lawyer. “[Choosing Ryan] forfeited the no-real-world-experience point Romney has been building up for months [about Obama] and put a new state in play that was otherwise trending his way [Florida].”
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[T]he Romney campaign has quieted few doubts in the 36 hours since announcing Ryan for vice president. The Republican presidential nominee has endured withering press coverage in senior-heavy Florida and dodged questions about where his views on Medicare differ from Ryan’s.
The longer Republicans have to litigate this issue instead of campaigning on jobs and the economy, strategists say, the more ground they will lose against Obama and the greater the odds that Romney will drag down other members of his party.
Yet another operative deeply involved in the 2012 campaign said that in “every competitive race in the country, strategists have held conference calls in the last 48 hours to try to figure out how to be on offense on this. A week ago we were talking about jobs, and this week we’re talking about entitlement reform.”
“Everybody loves Paul Ryan. Everybody supported the Ryan plan,” the strategist said. “But nobody thinks Ryan should be the tip of the spear.”
So who is happy with the Paul Ryan selection? The Conservative pundits and media villagers in the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine. This is what happens when a political party becomes dominated by its own propaganda machine.