The more I think about it, the more I think Romney fucked up big time when he chose Ryan. It’s true that one way or another, the Ryan budget was going to come up — the Obama campaign is too smart not to bring it up — and that a last minute push on the issue of Social Security and Medicare would have hurt Romney. So I can see the sense of having the guy who’s the best at selling vouchercare by your side when you have to defend vouchercare.
But if you’re Republican and you’re discussing ending Medicare at all, you’re in a bad situation. So I think Romney’s best bet was to try to make sure that the Ryan plan didn’t become a big issue.
So it’s not surprising that Den Senor helped talk Romney into Eagleton 2, Electric Boogaloo:
Romney’s aides have stressed publicly in the 24 hours since Romney electrified conservatives with his choice that the pick was the governor’s alone. They have been less forthcoming on the flip side: That much of his staff opposed the choice for the same reason that many pundits considered it unlikely — that Ryan’s appealingly wonky public image and a personality Romney finds copasetic will matter far less than two different budget plans whose details the campaign now effectively owns.[….]
Another Republican in conversation with the campaign — though not a member of the inner circle of Romney advisers — said the early skeptics tended to be the political professionals, including consultants Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, and pollster Neil Newhouse, while Myers, foreign policy advisor Dan Senor, and ultimately Romney himself favored Ryan. (Those involved declined to shed light on the campaign’s most confidential conversations; and others, including Myers, disputed that characterization; she said Saturday she kept her opinion to herself.)
It feels good to be able to link to Ben Smith, probably my favorite national political reporter, without giving Politico any hits.