The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | August 4, 2012 | 119 Comments

This is an emergency post. Driving back from the AFP Defending the Dream Summit in D.C., I pulled off the freeway and logged on at a Burger King to get this online as quickly as possible: Mitt Romney must choose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential nominee, period.

There is no time now to fully explain the emergency nature of this post, but let me quickly make three points:

  1. My hatred of media “veepstakes” speculation is well-known. When I turn on the TV and see a bunch of pundits talking about who might get the vice-presidential nomination, I turn the channel. It’s a bunch of useless noise, and I can’t stand to watch it. Nevertheless, a sudden crisis makes it imperative that I speak out.
  2. My first choice — and what I think was the most obvious choice — was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. However, the word among Republican sources is that there were problems with Rubio in terms of vetting. Loath as I am to repeat this, I’ve heard talk that because Rubio is the son of immigrants, there is concern that this might cost Republicans the “Birther” vote. Crazy? Yeah. But whatever the basis for the objections, the general belief is that there is indeed some sort of vetting issue. And so the smart money says that, although Rubio is still officially on the “short list,” he’s unlikely to be the final choice.
  3. The emergency? Two words: Tim Pawlenty.

Friday night, I was talking to some top activists at the AFP summit and one of them assured me that the word among Minnesota Republicans is that T-Paw is at the top of Romney’s VP list, all but guaranteed to be the running mate. Do I have to explain why this shocked me?

So shocked was I, in fact, that I refused to believe it. Certainly, the smart guys at Team Mitt could see the obvious arguments against T-Paw. But then Saturday, I talked to some well-informed D.C.-based operatives and they, too, said they’d heard that Pawlenty was top of the list.

Now I was truly concerned. Dear God, not T-Paw!

Driving home, this worry weighed heavily on my thoughts, and so I called a well-connected and experienced conservative journalist to talk about it — and he’d heard the same basic thing: Pawlenty might already have the VP spot locked up, said my friend, who happens to be a supporter of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. According to my friend, the word is that T-Paw is at the top of the list, with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman the nearest rival. And this is even worse news. While I like Portman OK, he’s a Bush guy, and we don’t need any ghosts of the Bush administration haunting the GOP in 2012.

So if Rubio has been more or less eliminated from consideration, as my sources suggest, we’ve got to do something to stop this crazy talk about a Romney-Pawlenty ticket. You can’t beat somebody with nobody, and of the remaining guys on the short list, Paul Ryan is the obvious pick.

He’s an Irish Catholic from the Midwest, a hero of deficit hawks, young and handsome, and pre-approved by Bill Kristol, who deems Ryan “the Republican party’s intellectual leader.”

This is, I repeat, an emergency, because Kristol says Mitt’s VP pick could be announced as early as Wednesday, or more likely Aug. 13-15. So if conservatives are going to push back against an ill-advised choice of Pawlenty, we’ve got to start pushing now, and pushing hard as hell.

Ali Akbar started a hashtag, #GiveUsRyan, so you can tell @MittRomney you want @RepPaulRyan as VP. Make it happen!

UPDATE: Wow! Bobby Jindal, himself a short-list candidate for VP, praises Paul Ryan at the Red State Gathering. Momentum!

UPDATE II: Twitchy has more from the Red State Gathering:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, himself often mentioned as a top-tier candidate for vice president, today recommended Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan for the job.
Speaking this afternoon at RedState Gathering 2012 in Jacksonville, Fla., Jindal’s message of responsible spending and education reform had plenty of attendees sold on him as the vice presidential candidate. . . .
Asked by Breitbart’s Larry O’Connor his pick for vice president, though, Jindal named Ryan as his favorite of “a lot of great choices.” “Paul Ryan has been specific, bold and courageous in his budget plans,” said Jindal.

Linked by Jackie Wellfonder and the Daley Gatorthanks!



119 Responses to “GIVE US RYAN!”

  1. GAHCindy
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    It’ll be Pawlenty, if only because those snots in “conservative” media love saying T-Paw so much. It’s just so gosh-darn *sporty*. 

  2. K-Bob
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    We’re that scared of West?

    I understand the emergency.  I really, really do.  But I got over that sick feeling a while back when I could see Romney was the cram-down-conservative’s-throat choice.

    Two pasty white guys on the ticket.  Either choice is bad. I like Ryan a lot, but he doesn’t bring the gravitas like West.

    Pawlenty: because Americans are in danger of waking up.

  3. Kimberly
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    From the cheap seats….I’ve wanted Paul Ryan all along!! 🙂

  4. K-Bob
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    We’ll have to see what T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII has to say about that.

  5. #GiveUsRyan! « Jackie Wellfonder – Raging Against the Rhetoric
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    […] (The Other McCain) This is an emergency post. Driving back from the AFP Defending the Dream Summit in D.C., I pulled off the freeway and logged on at a Burger King to get this online as quickly as possible: Mitt Romney must choose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential nominee, period. […]

  6. K-Bob
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    I wonder if T-P has the note from Romney telling him to “get out first, and you’ll be my VP? ”

    I’d keep a note like that.  It might be worth money.

  7. Nva Patriot
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    The veep does not matter

    It is FAR more important that ryan stay in congres to keep the congress critters in line

    The pawlwnty choice is great because he WILL NEVER be a succsessful presidential 2020 candidate

  8. PoliticalClownParade
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    A Romney-Ryan
    ticket would set its sights on entitlements, fiscal policy, and issues of debt and
    deficit right away.  These are issues
    where Jug Ears has failed to lead.  Ryan,
    courageous and an economics wizard would adeptly argue in the public square
    about the calamitous fiscal challenges America faces—something the milquetoast
    Portman and Pawlenty are incapable of doing.

  9. richard mcenroe
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    TIM PAWLENTY: Because Frank Perdue’s family won’t let us exhume him just for an election…

  10. Alvin691
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    If there is a choice between someone from the House or Senate, it must be from the House. We cannot risk loosing any Senators we have. Even Lindsay (gag) Graham has value. I certainly don’t want Portman from Ohio.

  11. Mike G.
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    I don’t know…T-Paw sounds too close to Joe-Paw IYKWIMAITYD

  12. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    Pawlenty is a mistake.  Hell, Portman would be better than Pawlenty.  Go with Ryan.  Ryan is bold and can toally hold his own with the press.

  13. Alvin691
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:30 pm


  14. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    I love Allen West.  But if the choice is Ryan or West, Ryan is the best.  

  15. richard mcenroe
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

     Hey, if you want candidates with a bit more “local color” the Tea Party has already given you three Hispanics for the Senate…

  16. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:31 pm


  17. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    That is like picking Biden!  

  18. DaveO
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    No – take Boehner instead!

    We need Ryan as Speaker!

  19. DaveO
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

    That said: Romney and Ryan are diametrically opposed on matters of fiscal and social policy. Romney is Establishmentarian, which is like Obama, but anti-abortion, while Ryan is more TEA Party.

  20. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Linked and posted!  When Robert Stacy McCain takes his foot off the accelerator while driving on the highway (for anything other than a personal pit stop or to recovery the next deer grill harvest from the front of the KIA) you know it is serious!  

  21. K-Bob
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Ryan delights our palate when it comes to policy.  But he doesn’t sound like much on the stump.

    West is so much better at that stuff, Ryan should ask how much lessons cost.

  22. Christy Waters
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    My dream pick would be Jim DeMint, but since that’s not going to happen, and since we can’t afford to lose him out of the senate, I’m hoping beyond hope for Paul Ryan… and John Bolton as Sec of State.

  23. Christy Waters
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    Pawlenty?? OMG, Romney might as well say “Please vote for the other guy”, with that pick.

  24. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    West does have a gift. 

  25. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:56 pm


  26. Adobe_Walls
    August 4th, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    Someone wake me once he’s made his selection so I’ll know when to yawn.

  27. rosalie
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    T-Paw is a wimp.  I’m sorry, Stacy, but Rubio is just another RINO.  I would love someone who has some damn gumption!  West comes to mind.  But, of course, that’s not going to happen. 

  28. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    Also includes a dramatization gif of RSM’s reaction.  

  29. K-Bob
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

     That ain’t the VP slot, though.

  30. Reginald Desveaux
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    way back in november 08 i expected the republicans to run romney/pawlenty , and i expected them to lose. why panic now? you’ve already romney- if not pawlenty, you’ll probably get portman.these people are tone deaf, if not brain dead. it’s obvious from north of the sympathies to a good and generous (if naive) people.

  31. sheryl
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    I have a sneaky suspicion it will be Ryan. Based on nothing concrete, just a feeling I have had for awhile. Ryan knows his stuff, he knows the constitution, and he knows his math.

    I hope it is not Tpaw, but remember, John McCain broke the mold in that regard, so, if we get Tpaw it would be back to business as usual so we cannot discount that. Romney is a business as usual type of guy, at least he was in MA. TPaw dropped out early, sounds like business as usual to me. John Bolton dropped and decided not to run. Hey, I am reading tea leaves.

    I have to agree with Dick Morris on this one, there should be NO announcement until as close to the convention as possible. Anybody remember offhand the date of the Palin announcement? I know it was close to the convention. It is was brought 70 million plus viewers to the convention speech.  

  32. sheryl
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

     No,No,No…that is “conventional” speaking. We learned in 2008 that the VP is a “heart beat” away from the presidency. The media spent most of the campaign on it, nothing on Biden…It is funny now to hear the media say “the VP is not important”. I heard it last week and threw up a little in my mouth.

  33. Adjoran
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    The first and main job of the VP is to be prepared to take over the top office.  Ryan has no executive experience at all.  He is virtually indispensable in the House right now, too, there are others with their hearts in the right place but no one who can navigate through the thick weeds of budgets and appropriations and still come out the other side.

    Ryan and Rubio are two young stars and the surest way to ruin them is to rush them along too far too fast.  Let them serve with distinction in Congress and, at the proper time, go back and run for Governor of their home states.  After a term or two, they will be ready for the big show.  Experience and maturity have a value.

    “Emergency?”  Puh-leeze!  The only VP nominee who EVER had a tangible impact on the campaign  was Kennedy’s pick of LBJ to keep FDR’s Solid South intact.  Even Eagleton’s replacement made no real difference since McGovern was cold, soggy, burnt toast already.  If this is your idea of an “emergency,” better stock up on Depends and Big Girl Panties for the fall.

  34. K-Bob
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    I would bet an Obama doggy dinner that West learned Oration from the way it used to be taught.

    The ancient Greeks used the memory-castle (memory hotel, memory house, other names come to mind) trick to memorize their speeches. West seems to move very well from point-to-point without getting lost at all, while never (or rarely) looking at his note card.  So I think he uses that technique, too.

    Several of his speeches have been masterpieces, especially his Leavenworth speech.  Wow.

  35. Adjoran
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

     Before people get too excited, it would be wise to remember Dan Quayle.  He, too, was the darling of conservatives, and was considered very sharp on policy and ideology.  He was NOT known to commit “gaffes” UNTIL he was prematurely thrust into the national spotlight when Bush chose him.

    See how frustrated the media is that they have nothing on Romney?  Well, any young man who’s ever had a cup of coffee offers them the chance to make it up.  Whoever it is will have to survive the Quayle-Palin style of media savagery.  Being in Congress is nothing at all like what is coming.

  36. Peter Ingemi
    August 4th, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    My 1st choice is Jindal but it is going to be T-Paw.  Why?

    1.  Doesn’t overshadow Romney

    2.  Able administrator consistant with his message

    3.  pulled out early and endorsed him

    4.  Romney WANTS boring

    5.  If he can deal with defending Romney to the GOP faithful in primaries he can certainly cope with it in the general.

  37. Dave
    August 4th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    I want borning. I don’t want to Romney’s vice presidential nominee to be in the news at any point from the day after he (or, as unlikely as it may seem, she) is announced until sometime in 2019 when Romney’s VP surprises no one by declaring his intent to run for president in 2020.

  38. tennwriter
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    thank you reginald for your kind thoughts.  and yeah, this is the establishment in all their greedy powermongering ‘glory’.

  39. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

     Honestly? My fear – and I grant it’s only me – is that if either Ryan or West were the VP pick, we’d be wasting the sheer quality of leadership we need so desperately in the House.

    I was not a Mitt enthusiast. But now that he’s the presumptive nominee, I’m voting for him, not his VP. I’d grit my teeth over Pawlenty, but it’s not the issue. I view Mitt Romney as much-to-be-preferred over Obama.

    But don’t raid the House. Ryan is necessary, there, as is West. I would cheerfully vote for either man for President, but they didn’t run. I do not want those two men to be taken from the House when we need serious conservatives so badly.

  40. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

     I have Frances Yates’ “The Art of Memory” and also “Rhetoric” in the Loeb edition on my shelves: I am certain that  Allen West has both, as well – and I’m pretty sure he has an easier time with the Loeb than I do!

  41. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

     No, I must disagree, with the greatest respect. Biden was chosen because no one in his right mind could possibly mistake him for a competent rival or successor to anyone at all. He’s the only person who could make Obama seem preferable!

  42. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

     Which is why we need him in the House. We must – now, not in ten years! – undertake the pain of entitlement reform.

    I say this as someone it is going to bite, and that, hard. I’m not quite fifty. I don’t get anything, and I’m going to have to pay. I don’t know how many of us have bitten that particular bullet, but I have. I need to see leadership on this subject, and that’s why I want Ryan in the House, and no where else.

  43. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

     Actually, I had to think about that, and having done so, I’m disgusted. No, I don’t think that’s even vaguely funny or apt. Sorry.

  44. Mr. Romney, allow me to say two words PICK RYAN! « The Daley Gator
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

    […] imagine him debating Biden? A certain other blogger, named McCain, is in agreement with me, which, of course makes him right! Stacy lays out his reasons, and makes some fine points, and yes, like me, he does not really think […]

  45. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

     Which is worth the price of admission!

  46. Dianna Deeley
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

    I refuse to  lose. Thanks for playing “discourage the voters.”

  47. J in StL
    August 5th, 2012 @ 12:13 am

    NO!  NOT RYAN!   Why do people think the VP has any power at all?  As VP he becomes powerless.  Ryan needs to stay  in the  House where he has status and authority and maybe a shot at the Speakership.  The House is where tax laws have to start and shares control of the pursestrings with the Senate.  The Vice President controls absolutely nothing.

  48. johnl
    August 5th, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    If Mitt Romney could run the Olympics and Bain at the same time, the only logical choice for VP is Mitt Romney. Joe Biden would also be a good choice, simplifying the VP debates. Also, picking Biden for VP would not pull any GOP talent out of House or Senate. 

  49. Charles
    August 5th, 2012 @ 12:45 am

    John Kasich would be the best choice.

  50. SusyS
    August 5th, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    It must be Ryan. Scroll down to mid-post for why, right under the paragraph that starts, “Paul Ryan is kryptonite to Obama.”