Democrats were supposed hang the Ryan Budget around Mitt Romney’s neck.
They were supposed to highlight some of its dramatic cuts in non-defense spending and draw attention to how it gets rid of Medicare as we know it.
They were supposed to ride the general lack of enthusiasm that’s out there for any substitutive cuts to entitlements all the way to the next inauguration.
Well, early Saturday, Romney went on the offensive.
"Mitt's choice for VP is Paul Ryan. Spread the word about America's Comeback Team. #RomneyRyan2012," the Romney Campaign sent out in a message this morning.
Shortly thereafter, this tweet came via Romney’s official Twitter account:
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 11, 2012
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty were considered early V.P. favorites, but there was a concern that their general blandness would kill Republican enthusiasm. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was also an early favorite, but his lack of experience coupled with some mild controversies that came to light over the past few months turned him into a liability.
There will be plenty of time to dissect this pick but, for now, here is the thing that jumps off the page immediately: it’s difficult to see a scenario where this doesn’t rejuvenate Romney’s somewhat lifeless campaign.
Romney basically did two things with this pick: 1.) he appeased a large part of his base that would have voted for him anyway, but will now be far more excited to do it, and 2.) he owned a budget that he would have owned either way.
The one thing that has been lacking from his campaign -- and the main reason for why he was down to President Obama in the polls despite the awful economy and lack of public confidence in the Obama Administration -- was his inability to go on the offensive about anything.
That changed on Saturday morning.
Now that we have a legitimate conservative in the race to discuss what fiscal policies conservatives truly want, maybe we can finally have a real discussion about what each side brings to the table.
Stay tuned, things are about to get interesting.