Romney’s choice of Ryan as running mate immediately reminded me of McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, both in similarity of choice and by contrast in the circumstances of the two choices. Romney didn’t have to do this–didn’t have to make a pick ostensibly anathema but actually scary to the left because it helps solidify and rally a doubtful base. It’s true that the Republican/Tea Party base could certainly use some shoring behind Romney, but this time, the base is not as hostile to Romney as they were to McCain and Obama keeps digging his own holes that need shoring. McCain needed a lightning rod or he was finished. Romney doesn’t. Romney could have made a safe pick, one that would make the base yawn but keep planning to vote for him and that would not draw the opposition lightning.
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