Port & Starboard: Is Paul Ryan Right for the Job?

Port & Starboard: Is Paul Ryan Right for the Job?


Mitt Romney sat at the presidential card table with an ace in the hole.  But, he didn’t play it and instead folded like a cheap suit. A gambling man he ain’t.  The odds-makers in the pundocracy were right when they predicted Mitt would not play his “trump card,” — Condoleezza Rice as his Vice Presidential running mate. 

“Is a puzzlement?” As Yul Brynner once said while playing the King of Siam.

He instead opted for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Big Whoop. I know one group who’s cheering the selection – Democrats! Mitt being Mitt didn’t want to upset the GOP’s more conservative flock bloc, because they were not enamored with Condoleezza’s position on several issues, one being abortion.

But, here’s something to ponder: Mitt wins the election with Condi as his VEEP.

In a recent OpEd piece, Regent University Distinguished Professor of Government Dr. Charles Dunn, a President Reagan and George W. Bush appointee, and the author of The Seven Laws of Presidential Leadership (Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2007), writes that in order for Romney to win he needs a running mate who appeals to independents, moderates, and females, and who will help dilute Pres. Obama’s strength among Black voters. 

Any guesses? Hint: Condoleezza Rice. Ryan doesn’t even move the needle.

Dr. Dunn goes on to opine that Rice helps Mitt win key battleground states, possesses the experience necessary to become President, energizes social and religious conservatives, fits Romney’s comfort zone, and counteracts Obama’s harsh, negative advertising.

[Note: Regent is a conservative, faith-based University].

Though I am not a Romney backer, I have to agree with Dr. Dunn that Rice stood out, head and shoulders above the rest. He says that she is the only one with a clear appeal to independents, moderates, and females who, according to Dr. Dunn, will determine the winner of the presidential race.

Sorry, no dice with Paul, thus the Romney/Ryan ticket loses.

Was Rice not conservative enough? Did Romney think her abortion position would offend the right? Did Mitt forget that the right’s Patron Saint Ronald Reagan changed his position on abortion, as did George H W. Bush, wrote Dr. Dunn.

Was Rice not a good Christian? Dr. Dunn notes that Condoleezza “has a strong and consistent testimony as a Christian…active in her church, even serving as church organist and pianist. She does not wear her faith on her sleeve, but she does wear it where it counts in her heart.”

Oy! For those on the far right with reservations, if Jesus was running they wouldn’t vote for him, ’cause he wasn’t “Christian enough.”

Here’s the kicker: Rice has what Romney desperately needs, experience in foreign affairs — his missing link. Ryan’s too. Both better bone up “Where’s Waldo?”

Omitting Rice because she said she was not interested is a cop out. Who would not serve, if asked? 

Dr. Dunn ended his piece by asking, “Will Romney choose Rice? Probably not.”

He was right. My question: Why Mitt, why?  Is a Puzzlement?



Condi Rice is great, really great, but the old GOP establishment isn’t going to fix what ails us. They are, in fact, a big part of why we are in this mess.

Democrats want us to have an old school GOP establishment back scratcher because then they can keep robbing the country blind under the guise of helping the downtrodden. They have done so for nearly fifty years and they hate the fact that there is a wild card in the Congress called the Tea party that is keeping them from continuing on their greedy destructive little path.

They have effectively enslaved the poor to their plantation socialism society for all time and they love it. The large segments that are enslaved are too afraid to do anything about it and those smirking little libs just can’t thank them enough.   

Black America as a whole is not voting for a Republican even if it was a Martin Luther King and George Washington Carver ticket. They unfortunately have been bought and paid for and delivered en mass with a big old bow tied around them. How sad, really, to see a large segment of society voting against their own self interests each and every election. You would think they would look around and realize that the boat is sailing without them but, alas, they are a gift that just keeps on giving to the party of big government. Corruption breeds corruption, and so it goes.

Paul Ryan is perhaps the best man in all of DC. Not perfect by any measure but a good, decent young man who stands for something bigger than himself. The last boy scout and a rare breed in today’s high stakes political game.

He is the risky pick, not Condi, and perhaps the election was lost because of it. Romney may have just sealed his own inevitable fate and the fate of our great nation, but he did so by picking the one guy in the whole land who is willing to stand and deliver the truth. Ryan is the real deal, but in these twitter days in which we live, he is way too smart and honest to break through to the masses and the mass of clutter that surrounds and confuses them.

Is Ryan’s deficit plan the end all?  Heck no, it does not go far enough for my liking, because I think we need to do more and do it faster. I think the falls are right around the bend and, once we are in the sucking vortex that is the point of no return, it will be too late. But at least Ryan has tabled a plan with some teeth in it, and for that he deserves our praise and support.

What my liberal buddy and his colleagues don’t get about the Tea Party or the Conservative movement is that conservatives – good solid Reagan conservatives – are the bulk of the Republican Party, as well as a good chunk of the Independents and a nice little percentage of Democrats. In total, they make up well over 50% of eligible voters and that is why Ryan, not Condi, is on the ticket. Reagan and W got it and they won twice. McCain, Dole and especially Bush 41 did not get it and, once Reagan’s coat tails were gone, Ross Perot sent daddy Bush packing his blue blood bags with his Kennebunkport tail between his legs.

That candy-ass Royal Republican party approach is a ticket to clownville, so when you go there, make sure to pack your big red nose and floppy shoes, because you are going to need them. That is Romney’s problem, and I am sure his handlers have already asked if they can borrow Johnny Mac’s clown outfit just in case. Why do you think Romney went running to Paul Ryan to save his failing candidacy? He has no choice!

The Democrats are always going to provide everything that the left of center wants. Therefore Republicans have to deliver a distinct contrast or there is no real clear choice. When we don’t pay attention to this little obvious fact, it always ends badly.

The Democrats always tell us we need a moderate candidate to win the independent vote. That should be warning enough for us to know that is their only path to victory. The fact is, it is only the true Conservative candidate that wins for the GOP and yet, here we go again.

So I am glad there is a good Conservative on the ticket, and I think Romney got it right, even though it all may go very wrong. Ryan cannot win the election, but I think he helps a little. The problem is the party has tabled a weak Presidential candidate once again and history has not favored us when we do this.

Let’s hope the 2008 Change is not appreciated and Hope that Paul Ryan can deliver a few solid flyovers that get us close.  If he does, there is an outside chance we could pull the rabbit out of the hat. If he does not, it is game, set, and match with a small hope that we can control Capitol Hill when the dust settles. 

Regardless of the outcome, Ryan is a good man taking on a very hard slog. I thank him for throwing in and trying to pull the establishment’s “Man of the year”… “Milk Toast Mitt” over the top. Rest assured that it will not be easy.