What the pundits are saying about Paul Ryan

Some instant analysis in response to news today from the Romney camp

1. Frank Bruni, the New York Times

“He’s a transformative choice—and a seriously, seriously risky one.In the selection of a running mate as in the practice of medicine, there has long been the edict that you “first do no harm.” Ryan could do enormous harm. With glee and persistence, he has laid out an entitlement reform plan that is indisputably an entitlement reduction plan, and while that speaks to a concern for federal budgets and for a ballooning debt that many Americans share, it comes at those fiscal challenges with a scythe when many Americans would prefer a scalpel.”

2. Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker

“Romney has made the most daring decision of his political career.
After spending weeks looking into Ryan’s history for The New Yorker, visiting his home town, and interviewing him twice, I am genuinely surprised that Romney chose him. First, let’s tally the risks of a Ryan pick.”

3. Ezra Klein, the Washington Post

“You don’t make a risky pick like Paul Ryan if you think the fundamentals favor your candidate. You make a risky pick like Paul Ryan if you think the fundamentals don’t favor your candidate.”

4. Gregory Krieg, ABC News

“Choosing Ryan would be an unusually bold move by Romney’s mostly cautious campaign, but the kind of decision some party insiders say will be required to defeat President Obama in November. But it also sets up more than a few potential tripwires.”

5. Michael Potemra, National Review Online

“Because here’s the thing about Paul Ryan: He skyrocketed from intern to VP nominee in two decades, and yet — even among old Senate coworkers — I haven’t heard anyone express resentment of him. That speed of ascent is something that would provoke resentment in most lines of work, and all the more so in an ugly and creepy hothouse of egotism and ambition like Capitol Hill.”

6. James Fallows, the Atlantic

“One request: I hope that when reporters are writing or talking about Paul Ryan’s budget plans and his overall approach, they will rig up some electro-shock device to zap themselves each time they say that Ryan and his thoughts are unusually “serious” or “brave.” Clear-edged they are, and useful in defining the issues in the campaign. But they have no edge in “seriousness” over, say, proposals from Ryan’s VP counterpart Joe Biden.”

7. Michael Finnegan, the Los Angeles Times

Mitt Romney’s apparent decision to add Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan to the Republican ticket portends a fierce debate in the fall campaign over the size and role of government in America.

8. Tim Stanley, the Daily Telegraph

“Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney’s 2012 vice presidential running mate. Together they will surely create the best looking ticket since Clinton/Gore in 1992. Ryan has long been the conservative movement’s heartthrob, the star of a series of online Hey Girl ads that have turned “quantitative easing” and “interest rates” into provocative suggestions. But he doesn’t just bring smouldering charm to the election: Paul Ryan neutralises some of Romney’s weaknesses and solidifies the ticket’s intellectual heft. His nomination is a cautious but smart move.”

9. Matt Miller, the Washington Post

“You’re going to hear a lot about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) being an intellectual heavyweight with a bold, fiscally conservative vision for America. As a former Clinton Office of Management and Budget aide who has looked closely at Ryan’s plans, I can tell you he is not a fiscal conservative, not a truth-teller on America’s fiscal challenges, and not a man with a plausible plan to renew the country.”

10. Robert Schlesinger, U.S. News

“Well so much for the long-awaited Etch A Sketch moment and general election return of Mitt Romney, Massachusetts moderate. His announcement of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick brings a sharp ideological focus to Romney’s muddled political persona. The general election Romney will be as “severely conservative” as primary campaign Romney wanted to be. It’s a bold pick. But I’m not sure it’s a sensible one. It even has a whiff of desperation about it.”

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