To hear Democrats tell it, Mitt Romney woke up on Saturday morning and announced Charles Darwin (on acid) as his running mate.
Obama surrogates' narratives were uniform and sadly predictable: "Paul Ryan is a radical," they said, who wants to take away your grandmother's social security check... if he doesn't push her off of a cliff first.
Some went so far as to suggest that this is pick constituted an "admission of weakness" by Governor Romney. They point to national polls - many of which dramatically oversample Democrats - to advance the idea that the presumptive GOP nominee's campaign is in trouble. Of course it's only early August, Romney can't even dip into his massive war chest until after the convention, and the latest tracking polls from America's most reliable national pollsters -- Rasmussen (Romney +2) and Gallup (Tied) -- report a statistical dead heat.
Countervailing facts won't stop Obamites from trying to excite their liberal base and suppress conservative enthusiasm by peddling gross distortions. It won't surprise you to know that your Blogger-in-Chief sees things a little differently, Save Jerseyans. Mitt's decision to pick Paul Ryan was an acknowledgement and affirmation of the Republican Party's core strength...
In 2008, when this website was still in its infancy, I'd travel to political events around New Jersey to try and raise awareness about Save Jersey. I'd meet older GOP politicians who, upon hearing our blog's name, would smile and say something along the lines of "good luck, kid." And when Chris Christie wasn't on most national politicos' radar (or at least at the same frequency as Virginia's Bob McDonnell), I argued day-in and day-out that Christie could emerge as a transformative leader for the Republican Party. The rest is history: the Christie campaign turned a formerly "blue" Jersey "red" by running on an objectively conservative platform. I wasn't surprised; Democrats still can't believe it. Nor can many entrenched Republican leaders!
The months and years to follow bore witness to Republican Scott Brown's capture of Ted Kennedy's vacated U.S. Senate seat in deep blue Massachusetts, hundreds of historic GOP victories in "blue" and marginal territories in 2010 and, most recently, the triumph of Scott Walker in traditionally union-dominated Wisconsin. What was the common thread? Republicans courageously and articulately ran on conservative principles.
President Obama's failures are a matter of public record heading into November, folks. His job approval rating is consistently below 50% and "real" unemployment has reached once-in-a-century levels. I don't expect his persistently positive favorability rating to hold, either, if he and his allies keep it this nasty. In short, Americans really don't need to be convinced that the Obama experiment is working out. What they're waiting for is a comprehensible alternative that (1) buoys their faith in the American experiment while simultaneously (2) appealing to their common sense.
Paul Ryan has repeatedly proven that he's capable of doing just that, Save Jerseyans. I highly recommend watching the Congressman's "Path to Prosperity" videos as well as his widely-circulated 6-minute smack down of President Obama and his healthcare scam. He has an exceedingly rare gift; otherwise, every true conservative would be the next Ronald Reagan. But they're not. Ryan also isn't Reagan, but he might turn out to be something of equivalent or even greater importance for our limited government movement. He's on the right track. Only time will tell.
For now, I'm cautiously optimistic with three months to go. 2012 was never going to be easy. Incumbency is a powerful advantage even under less-than-ideal conditions. But if we work hard, stay true to our conservative, limited government, pro-liberty principles and successfully market them to the people, we stand a good chance of turning things around. Our party's strength is, as it always has been, found in our principles and the courage to see them through. We win when we stand by them AND select messengers capable of communicating them. We lose when we don't. Paul Ryan obviously knows the difference and seems up to the task. Now we're sure Mitt Romney gets it, too. If he finds his voice, Save Jerseyans, then victories up and down the ballot will be close behind.
Matt Rooney is a New Jersey attorney, noted conservative commentator, and the founder & Blogger-in-Chief of New Jersey’s #1 conservative blog, Save Jersey. You can learn more about Matt and the Christie Revolution by visiting today!