I’m thrilled that Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate. Not because it will make the election more difficult for Romney to win, although it might. I think the choice is good for the country because it ensures that this campaign will confront American voters with a stark choice of direction, and the time for that choice has come.
If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins, and if the Democrats do their job during the campaign in explaining the repercussions of such a victory, come January the federal government will have clear marching orders. The political stalemate will have been broken, even if on behalf of an ideology that I believe is dangerously naive and even cruel.
Conversely, if President Obama wins re-election against a Republican team that has explained its alternative course clearly and bluntly — and the Ryan selection all but ensures that will happen — a victorious Obama will also be able to argue that the debate has been heard and a direction set, and this country can once again begin to move forward.
Whatever the outcome, the selection of Ryan and all it entails is a gamble by Romney that raises the stakes in this election considerably. It’s what we needed.
– Jay Bookman