Saturday, August 18, 2012

UK: Romney and Ryan

The Economist


Proposing Vice-President Ryan

The new Republican vice-presidential pick is everything Mitt Romney isn’t

THE media has dubbed it a “bromance”, but “infratuation” might have been a better term. Mitt Romney can barely find the words to express his admiration for Paul Ryan. He is “an extraordinary guy”, “an intellectual leader”, “a man of tremendous character”, “a shining exception” to the pettiness of Washington. Since Mr Romney chose Mr Ryan as his running mate, the pair have laughed together, cried together, hugged, clowned and frowned together in front of the cameras. Mr Romney once joked that Mr Ryan was not, as one might think from their intimate rapport, one of his sons. According to Politico, a newspaper and website for Washington types, Mr Romney “sees a bit of himself” in his vice-presidential pick.

If so, Mr Romney should get his eyes examined: beyond the checked shirts and gelled hair, the two have little in common. Mr Ryan is much more consistent in his political philosophy, much more forthright in his views, much more down-to-earth, much more charismatic and above all, much more daring politically. Lexington is not a psychologist, but he cannot help thinking that Mr Ryan is more the politician that Mr Romney would like to be than the one he is. As inspiring as all those attributes sound, however, there are reasons why few politicians display them. Mr Ryan is far more controversial than Mr Romney. Left and right alike see him as an outspoken ideologue, with all the promise and pitfalls that entails.

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