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Think Tank

Romney Picks Ryan: Golden Boy or Problem Child?

For the second Presidential election cycle in a row, Tim Pawlenty has been passed over. Sorry Tim, you're simply not a "game-changer." Romney is hoping that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is. This is a bold move by the normally cautious Romney.

Ryan, who is a hero to the conservative base and a "conservative policy scammer" according to Paul Krugman, is no safe bet. And yet, just like McCain in 2008, Romney found himself in a position where he looked likely to lose the election based on the current state of the race

What does this "bold" move say about Romney? Does it show his savviness? Is he more of a risk taker than we thought? 

Ryan was always considered the risky choice by political insiders, including many Republicans, and he lacks an affinity with a number of Romney's policy positions, which have been increasingly obscured, to Romney's great detriment, during this campaign. 

And yet, the math may yet work out. 

Here's what Ryan can help with:

-Winning Wisconsin (perhaps more likely)

-Make Rush Limbaugh and others happy (no doubt)

-Energize the Tea Party 

-Leave the campaign with no regrets (If you're losing, why not pull out all the stops?)

On the other hand, there are enormous risks, which Democrats should be expected to fully exploit, notably:

-Ryan is potentially poison to every 50+ voter due to his stance on cutting Entitlements.

Sound familiar? HBO's film Game Change served as a cautionary tale, and Big Think invited its writer, Danny Strong, on to explain what happened the last time the GOP selected a candiate who wasn't ready for prime time. 

Here we go again:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

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