I don't mean to make too big of a deal about it, but look at this photo (below) and the story it tells.
1) It looks like a father and a son on the day of his bar mitzvah.
2) Romney has a tie and no jacket. Ryan is wearing a suit that's too big for him, and no tie. Together, what does that add up to? One big empty suit.
3) They look silly together. They don't look like equals, or partners. They look like a caricature. Not lost on me is that they are also standing in front of a warship!! And neither of them have a dot of foreign policy or military experience. Putting them in front of a warship just highlights that, and suggests -- unbelievably -- that the Romney campaign has suddenly changed course and thinks this election should be based on military issues.
4) Romney's staff knows they need someone to connect to his base. But what they just don't get -- stunningly -- is that they need someone who can connect to the base on a personal level. Like Palin. She was no intellect -- but she had heart. People loved her. Ryan is all head. He's a wonk. He is idealogical. He is precise. Full disclosure: he is also an old friend of mine, and those characteristics of his are among the reasons why I respect him. But -- this is important -- I am hardly the Republican base. Who on earth thinks that the tea party base (which doesn't even know what the tea party was) is looking for intellect, and details, and precision? They are looking for vagaries and symbols that make them feel superior, if not understood.
Romney has found a VP that makes Romney look old and out of touch. Romney, who has avoided specifics like they are the plague his entire campaign, has picked a VP with 14 years of votes to pick through, and a multi-thousand page budget that he personally wrote that even the Tea Party doesn't understand, and will not like, once they learn more about it.
I can't say what will happen in November. No race in history can serve as an example as to what will happen when billions of dollars are poured into the race from outside sources. And, of course, scandals and gaffes and mistakes can shape any election.
But what Romney's choice proves is that whoever is guiding Romney's campaign appears to have less experience and knowledge than one can find in any politics 101 course. Virtually every choice the Romney campaign is making right now is unwise.
And if you ever read this, Paul -- I'm sorry. None of this is directed at you. You are a formidable leader and a good man and you have a great future ahead of you. I would just suggest that if and when the American prosecutorial eye slams down on you and Romney, that you (metaphorically) get your own lawyer, if you know what I mean. You have your head on your shoulders. Romney and his people, at least right now, don't.