GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is whip-smart, with a preternatural gut instinct for making companies fiscally solvent and board members and stockholders happy with fat profits.
But that sure-fire command of the boardroom has eluded him on the campaign trail.
Late Friday night, Romney and his team made another predictably safe and tepid decision by announcing Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate for the GOP ticket.
Romney’s choices allegedly came down to a handful of GOP newbies like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and more mature, elected political heroes like Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and incumbent Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. I would’ve preferred South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, but Romney boxed himself and his campaign into a corner with his lingering lack of strategy.
Heck, Romney and Ryan even look alike with heads of dark hair and dark suits with solid ties.
Ryan is a young, Catholic, representative from Wisconsin. It’s not a “bad” choice; it’s a safe choice that doesn’t invigorate as much as it causes shoulder shrugging.
Mitt’s choice makes John McCain’s cagey selection of Sarah Palin look utterly brilliant. What happened four years ago ultimately turned into an unmitigated, rogue disaster. But at least people were talking about the McCain campaign, and not just talking, there was a loud, ringing buzz, a disturbance in the collective GOP force. Sarah Palin’s nomination in 2008 immediately made an impact because she had a “wow” factor. She became a certain pop-culture phenomenon and historical marker that resulted being more TMZ than McLaughlin Group.
Please excuse me if I sound cynical, but Paul Ryan? This choice has all the zing and titillating pizzazz of watching C-SPAN coverage of The Ways and Means Committee reading aloud from the latest 3,000-page bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code.
Look, don’t get me wrong. I know why Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan. He’s new (read: young) and he’s safe (read: scandal-less). Ryan is the current Chairperson of the House Budget Committee, having garnered the reputation as a bull-dog-tenacious reformer on all things fiscal when it comes to cutting our ballooning national debt, reining in the ponderous Medicare program and balancing the Federal budget.
But that’s been the plague of Romney’s campaign. He’s flatly anemic and absolutely un-inspiring in stirring people’s interest for voting for him. Romney needs to instill a quiet confidence and calm assurance that echoes the spirit of Ronald Reagan. Instead he possesses all the personality of an out-of-touch, one-percenter-elitist who is more filet than ground chuck.
There’s no doubt that Mitt Romney is an accomplished, very smart businessman. But at best, he’s an average politician with a gorgeous head of dark hair sitting on top of an expensive suit. So, it’s not surprising that description also fits the man he chose to run second on the GOP ticket.