Stoffa: Romney’s choice of Ryan seals deal for Obama’s victory

Gabriel Stoffa

It’s a beautiful day in his neighborhood, a beautiful day for the president.

Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my president?

Hi American citizens, I’m Barack Obama and I’m glad we’re together again.

(sung to the tune of “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” theme)


That is the diddy Obama and the rest of the Democrats across the nation will be happily humming all the way through election day as Mitt Romney made the announcement of Paul Ryan for his vice-presidential candidate.

As this election process has progressed, Romney has had to battle both the left and the right to gain a foothold in the peoples’ minds, but he succeeded. On Friday, Aug. 10, Romney was leading Obama in the daily Rasmussen poll 47 percent to 43 percent, while Gallup’s daily poll had the two dead even at 46 percent.

Then came Friday night/Saturday.

While many folks were still out at the bars enjoying a refreshing drink while watching the 2012 Olympics unfold, the Romney crew landed in Wisconsin and the bells and whistles began.

Romney had promised to announce his vice presidential candidate that Saturday morning, and landing in Wisconsin made the odds ridiculously highly in favor of his choice being Ryan.

The problem is, Ryan doesn’t really bring anything significant to the table; more likely, he takes away.

Ryan wants to dash what the Baby Boomer generation and older know to be Medicare and Medicaid against the rocks in order to reduce the federal deficit. A significant portion of those Boomers’ and seniors’ votes are tied up in maintaining Medicare and Medicaid.

Romney already made a statement distancing himself from Ryan’s budget proposals, and stating he will be putting together his own plan. Declaring an alliance and then immediately trying to get away from your new ally is not a very strong tactic, so Romney’s choice of Ryan was not an attempt to secure older or poorer voters.

Ryan is for the definition of traditional marriage; believes homosexuality is wrong; sends out the message that making cuts to defense spending is basically unpatriotic and he’ll have no part of it; and is not in line with many efforts for environmental protection as is currently being presented.

Romney already falls in line with most of those stances, so again, why pick Ryan?

Neither Romney nor Ryan has a military background or a history of international relations, so Ryan loses out on yet another angle the vice-presidential role has commonly covered for prospective presidents. Veteran camaraderie votes are basically a non-issue this election.

Now look at this from the other side.

The Romney and Ryan ticket puts those in need of Medicare and Medicaid into the position of lingering glances toward the seated president.

The far right, which dislikes Obama anyway, is more secure in voting Romney thanks to Ryan, but they were going to vote against Obama no matter what when the cards were on the table.

As of 2012, independent voters are at the highest they ever have been in the last 20 years and make up about 38 percent of voters, according to the Pew Research Center.

Independent voters vote more for issues, and their decisions at the end on whom to cast a vote tend to be a tally of which bloke is the lesser evil.

With that in mind, social issues Obama supports and Romney/Ryan decry become a big bonus for the Democrats, as Americans are becoming far more OK with non-traditional lifestyles; especially Generations X on up. Add to that how Romney, and Ryan to a degree, have been painted as not very “in-touch” with the general public, and you have upwards of 38 percent of votes leaning left.

Using those same numbers from the Pew Research Center, 32 percent of voters identify as Democrats, while 24 percent identify as Republicans. Assuming those folks stick with their party affiliation, Republicans are already running behind, and independent voters remain the deciding game.

The indie voters tend to dislike all the money that seems to define the political process, alongside the Super PACs and special interests.

Though Obama has Super PACs on his side, the Republican side receives far more flack for their PACs in the media. Therefore voters tend to think of Super PACs as being Republican and Republican being more associated with money “buying” an election.

Obama carried the indie vote to win his first time around, and it doesn’t appear they are disenfranchised enough with his track record to want to jump on the Romney wagon so far.

Indie voters can be broken down into four fairly descriptive categories, as explained in The Atlantic article “4 Types of Independent Voters Who Could Swing the 2012 Elections,” adapted from the book “The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of the Independents”:

Starbucks Moms and Dads: “usually have children … tend to be skeptical of big government, socially moderate, concerned about education and national security”

The Facebook Generation: “under 35-years-old … more comfortable communicating via a computer screen than face-to-face and are used to having hundreds of choices when it comes to entertainment and most other aspects of their life”

America First Democrats: “largely male, working- and middle-class voters who are concentrated in the Midwest and Rust Belt … perceive a reluctance on the part of many Democrats to stand up for traditional American values both at home and abroad”

The NPR Republicans: “socially moderate and fiscally conservative … were traditional, socially moderate, country club Republicans named because their political philosophy was in line with New York Gov. and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller … who supported abortion rights and many other socially liberal positions”

Here is the breakdown of how Ryan’s addition to the Romney ticket doesn’t make sense:

The NPR Republicans have a soft spot for social issues, which Ryan and Romney hardly have a leg to stand on. Ryan’s budget plans and Romney’s insubstantial budget plans aren’t likely to make this group want to gamble on something that could bite them in the ass. At least with Obama, they know what is coming.

America First Democrats get punched in the balls with Ryan’s deficit reduction ideas, and the Romney/Ryan push for tax breaks to the rich. Despite wanting more traditional family values, this group generally doesn’t believe Obama is “at war with Christianity” so their family values are not threatened, nor is Obama’s job creation record going to be understood to be an utter failure.

The Facebook Generation clamors about social issues all the live-long day; just check out your feed. Obama made tremendous leaps and bounds in utilizing the Internet for message appeal and delivery during his play for the presidency, while also appearing in positive lights as a media personality; and shows no signs of not capitalizing on the Internet yet again. Obama resonates more youthfully than Romney or Ryan, and this group likes feeling that folks they have to have making decisions are their peers, not their superiors.

Starbucks Moms and Dads make up suburbia, and they are in this crazy thing we call life to make a better one for their kids. Obama has been vocal with support for college loan costs, while readily encouraging states to boost educational funding rather than making cuts. This group wants what is “best” for their children, and Romney/Ryan don’t have enough ideas laid out to put them in the ring with Obama’s ambition for today’s and tomorrow’s children’s grade school and college experiences.

After looking at all that, it becomes fairly clear Ryan is just not a choice for the Republican ticket that makes sense because the indie voters do not appear to fall into line with his or Romney’s plans, except for one possibility.

What if the Republican powers that be, basically everyone on the right that isn’t Romney, decided to push Ryan because they want him in the public eye come four years from now when the title fight for the White House is an open brawl? Not getting ahead of the game was one of the biggest body blows to hit Republicans this election.

What if Republicans would like Romney to best Obama, but as they already weren’t jumping for joy at Romney being the man with a plan, are going to spend the next couple years making Ryan into a golden goose so he can declare a vice presidential candidate that actually shores up some of the “flaws” currently in place?

Sounds like pretty sound political maneuvering to me, because if it isn’t I have to wonder about how out of touch some of the Republicans working within the political game are. Sarah Palin’s inclusion on the ticket four years ago locked in Obama’s win, and Ryan’s inclusion this time looks to be about the same.

If you are into betting, unless Romney throws a knock-out level uppercut at the last second, this bout looks like the reigning champ will take home the belt.