Ninety-seven GOP House members have written to President Obama opposing his possible choice of U. N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State because of Benghazi and her now-infamous talking points. Only the Senate gets to vote on the nomination, and so far only John McCain and Lindsey “Butters” Graham have said they would filibuster a Rice nomination.
Having chosen Sarah Palin as his Veep, I think Johnny Mac is forever barred from calling anyone “unqualified.” He obviously didn’t recognize “unqualified” when it showed up at his ranch winking at him and flashing a little cleavage.
Politico is reporting* that Chris Christie was Mitt’s first choice for Veep, but that Mitt delayed announcing his choice and changed his mind either during or immediately after his disastrous trip to Europe and Israel.
The story is based on unnamed “campaign insiders.” The fact that Mitt’s people are talking about this now, rather than, oh, maybe on Wednesday, tells me that they know they’ve lost. The wheels came off the McCain campaign at the end too.
* “Exclusive: Christie was Mitt’s first choice for VP,” Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei
GOP strategist Mary Matalin says that Janna Ryan, Paul’s wife, “lives a real middle class mother life.”
Janna Ryan may be a lovely person and a wonderful mother, but she is not “middle class.” Middle class people don’t have income-producing trust funds (from oil) worth at least $1million and as much as $5 million. She comes from a rich and politically prominent Oklahoma family. They live in a mansion.
Paul Ryan was a rich kid who married another rich kid and now he is running with another couple of rich kids, Ann and Mitt.
From “Romney ignored warnings about Ryan’s history of lies, exaggerations,” CapitolHillBlue:
“Campaign professionals vetting Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as a potential Republican vice presidential candidate warned Mitt Romney’s strategists that the Congressman had a ‘history of exaggeration and prevarication’ that could become a campaign issue and distraction but the GOP presidential nominee’s team ignored the warnings.
“Romney campaign insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that an intense internal battle raged inside the campaign over Ryan’s history of blatant lies, factual misstatements and exaggerations.
“Campaign insiders say Romney was so determined to capture support of the tea party that reveres Ryan that he was ‘more than willing’ to overlook the Congressman’s casual relationship with the truth.
“’Paul Ryan is a loose cannon. He’s Mitt Romney’s Sarah Palin and his involvement with the campaign will sink the Republican Party in this election,’ said another GOP pro, who also asked to remain anonymous.”
Mitt really would sell his soul to the Devil to win. Maybe he already has.
“Paul Ryan, what he did in his speech, I think, so stretched the truth, and I like Paul Ryan, I have a lot of great respect for Paul Ryan, but [what] he said about closing the GM plant, which closed before Barack Obama took president, about the Simpson-Bowles bill which — Simpson-Bowles, which he opposed, and then all of a sudden you see faults Barack Obama for. At some point the truth should matter. “
Matthew Dowd, Republican strategist, on ABC’s ThisWeek
So patently insincere Mitt puts this shameless liar on his ticket. Yeah, that’ll help.
From “Facts Took a Beating In Ryan’s Speech,” Michael Cooper, NYT:
“But an interesting question unfolding is whether there is a tipping point at which a candidate becomes so associated with falsehoods that it becomes part of his public persona — which hampered Vice President Al Gore during his run for president in 2000, when his misstatements on the campaign trail were used to stoke the perception that he could not be trusted in general.
“In the case of Mr. Ryan’s speech, the jury is still out. It was received rapturously by the Republican Party faithful, but his many questionable assertions ensured that much of the analysis on Thursday focused on his accuracy more than his acumen.”
I think Ryan, who was a media favorite even among those who didn’t agree with his budget and his Medicare vouchers, has hurt himself badly. He’s perceived differently and more warily now, and it will be reflected in the reporting and punditry about him.
From “Why I’m Not Buying the Romney Rally,” Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, NYT:
“What if we did include a vice-presidential bounce adjustment?
“If so, it would probably be calculated as follows: since the average vice-presidential announcement has produced a four-point bounce in the polls, subtract four points from any poll conducted in between the naming of the running mate and the party convention. In other words, we’d subtract four points from Mr. Romney’s numbers since he named Mr. Ryan on Saturday.
“If I do that and run the model again, it has a rather pessimistic forecast for Mr. Romney — giving him just a 24 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, rather than 31.3 percent as in the official version.
“The intuition behind this is simply that, under this theory, it’s a bad sign for Mr. Romney that Mr. Ryan has produced a below-average bounce so far. Among the polls that allow for a direct comparison, Mr. Romney has gained an average of about one percentage point since his selection of Mr. Ryan.” Emphasis added.
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen has been chosen to play Paul Ryan in Joe Biden’s debate prep. Van Hollen is the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee (Ryan is the Chairman), and he knows how Ryan thinks and what he will say. He knows the important numbers to plant in Biden’s head. He knows what buttons to push and which to avoid.
Ed Klein is claiming that Obama aide Valerie Jarrett offered Hillary the veep spot to replace Biden and that Hillary turned it down. Klein is the author of a pretty thin Obama-bashing book, TheAmateur.
“Paul Ryan, in his ongoing evolution from active supporter to newfound critic of the Affordable Care Act’s $716 billion in Medicare savings, now claims he actually opposed the cuts before he embraced them (and then turned against them again later).
“The confusing new wrinkle is the latest example of Ryan’s awkward contortions as he tries to reconcile the Romney campaign’s new promise to restore the $716 billion in cuts with Ryan’s previous decision to include the same exact cuts in two Republican budgets he wrote.
“On Thursday, Ryan tried to square the circle with reporters, explaining that he tried to reverse the cuts by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but restored them in his own budgets anyway.
“So the score now stands at: Ryan says he wouldn’t have cut Medicare. Then Obama made those cuts. Then Ryan voted to reverse them. Then he decided to bring them back in the Republican budget. Now he opposes them and thinks they hurt seniors.”
When you’re explaining, you’re losing, and Romney/Ryan are sure spending a lot of time ‘splaining.