The Agenda

Romney-Ryan Reactions

(1) Ramesh Ponnuru has a column arguing that the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate makes the 2012 election an election about the future of the welfare state. 

(2) Ross Douthat notes Ryan’s political strengths, and also the boost he’d give a Romney administration as it pursues its various legislative goals. Yet he ends on a cautionary note:

“But I don’t think it’s made a Romney victory more likely.”

(3) Yuval Levin, in contrast, is optimistic. He has also written a post describing the Ryan Medicare proposal in detail. In particular, Yuval does an excellent job of explaining how it combines aspects of “defined benefit” and “defined contribution.”

(4) Josh Barro, with whom I co-authored an NR article on Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” back in 2010, suggests that Romney picked Ryan because he saw him as an asset for governing rather than for campaigning. Josh gives Ryan credit for embracing a number of “useful but unpopular ideas,” like premium support and a VAT while taking him to task for his vagueness on key policy issues. He ends by arguing that Ryan’s instincts on long-term issues are better than his instincts on short-term issues, which strikes me as correct. 

(5) Reihan Salam has a column in The Daily introducing Paul Ryan to the uninitiated. But let’s be frank: can we really trust this Salam character? 

(6) Allahpundit believes that Ryan “makes winning harder, not easier,” but he also sees it as a bet that has the potential to pay off in a very big way.  

(7) Ezra Klein offers a useful rundown of the implications of the Ryan pick, and Ryan Lizza’s profile of Ryan is making the rounds.

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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