And over the next few weeks, reporters for the major newspapers and TV networks will be going through Ryan's budget with a fine-tooth comb, and asking Romney pointed questions about where he stands on the more controversial parts.
Ha ha, just kidding! It's safe to say the MSM won't stop at just putting lipstick on this pig; they'll pull out the entire Tammy Faye Bakker makeup kit to make Ryan's proposals more palatable to the general public.
And the Glenn Kesslers and Politifacts of the world will hand out umpteen zillion Pinnochios to anyone who points out that the Ryan budget says what it actually says.
The good news is that this really is a sign of desperation on the part of Team Romney. Romney's basically thrown out his entire game plan, and has gone with a veep choice who effectively upstages him the way Sarah Palin upstaged John McCain. He hadn't really wanted a campaign about issues; he'd just wanted to be the businessman who would come in and set things right with his business know-how. Now that his time at Bain's been gleefully shredded by the good guys, he really had to shake the Etch-A-Sketch and get a reset.
You can never really get a reset in these things; the damage to his personal brand has been done. But lately he's been saying he wants a campaign about the issues, as if examining his actual record was somehow unfair. He'll get that campaign. But as an ex-girlfriend of mine said a few decades back, you don't always want what you think you want.
I'm also wondering whether it was a desperation move in another way: ever since Romney's spokesperson had good things to say about Romneycare several days ago, the wingnuts have been demanding that Romney choose Ryan, basically as their price for getting over that indiscretion.
That'll keep 'em happy for about fifteen seconds. As the book of Proverbs says, "There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’." The limits on the writer's prophetic insight are revealed by his failure to mention Republican wingnuts in the list that follows.
Ezra has a list of ten thoughts about the Ryan nomination here, and he's worth reading, as always.
Update, courtesy of TPM:
Within minutes of physically embracing his new running mate Paul Ryan on a Norfolk, Va., stage, Mitt Romney was distancing himself from Ryan’s controversial House budget proposal.
From Romney campaign talking points, distributed to reporters after Romney’s first appearance with his VP pick (emphasis added):
Does this mean Mitt Romney is adopting the Paul Ryan plan?
• Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.
Yep, Mitt's got the lack of courage of his lack of convictions.
My intuition is that that'll be a fail. Ryan's known for his budget, all of his budget, and practically nothinig but his budget, so help us God. If you nominate someone whose identity is tied up in One Big Thing, you've pretty much tied yourself to that One Big Thing, come hell or high water, no matter how much ambiguity you'd like to create. That goes double for someone like Mitt who barely has an identity of his own to begin with.