Paul Ryan is in the race, and Democrats are delighted. They think they will be able to successfully demonize him for his proposal to make radical cuts to entitlement programs along with giving tax breaks to the wealthy.
In reality, a victory will be difficult for Democrats to pull off. Two reasons:
First, Ryan is intelligent and passionate. He can make outrageous policy sound sane. That will pull in some independent voters and solidify wavering Republicans.
Second, pundits are failing to credit that vast group of ill-informed Americans whose vote is relentlessly determined by their longing to be associated with a winner.
Paul Ryan is that winner. You can feel it; he’s confident, likable, funny. He’s a decent man, and in spite of questions raised by Democrats, yes, he is ready to step in as president if necessary.
Name the last presidential election where charisma didn’t win the day.
Some suggest Ryan may be a problem by outshining Romney, or simply become less of a factor in the November election as vice-presidential candidates tend to do. So we’re in pretty good shape, say Democrats.
Maybe not. Romney and Ryan have great chemistry, and it shows. Somehow, around Ryan, Romney feels more like a winner. They are a team. Somehow, Ryan makes Romney’s awkwardness OK, almost endearing.
Beware of “winner syndrome,” Democrats. It usually prevails. It did for Barack Obama in 2008.