I've said it before and I'll say it again: This election should
have been extremely difficult for President Obama to win. With unemployment levels remaining at an uncomfortable level, the Republican candidate should have been able to make hay out of the current economic situation. The problem of course is that Mitt Romney became that candidate, and is not exactly selling his economic plan to the country, especially when he is so grossly out of touch with 47% of it (many of whom would normally be inclined to vote for him).
Paul Ryan was supposed to help bring some youth, experience, gravitas, and energy to the campaign. He has done none of those things. The problem with Paul Ryan is that he too has spent his political life in a bubble; for him: Congress. There he was lauded and coddled by other Republicans who liked his take-no-prisoners economic approach (or - more accurately - save-no-poor-people economic approach). The gory details of his plan (scant as they are) are appalling to most people once they consider the ramifications.
On top of all this, the gaffes, the poorly run campaign, the video leaks, the self-contradictions are all conspiring to ensure this Republican ticket heads into the dustbin of history. This is bad news for both Romney and Ryan, but especially Ryan. No losing VP candidate has ever gone on to win the presidency later in life - not one. This election seems destined to doom Ryan to a life in Congress.
Apparently, this is not making him happy. Politico is reporting
that Ryan is trying to wash the stench of the Romney campaign off of him. In fact, he is reportedly referring to Romney as "The Stench":
(NOTE: Read the entire Politico article at the link... It is snark at its finest)
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, "If Stench calls, take a message" and "Tell Stench I'm having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later."
At a certain point, all running mates on failing campaigns feel they must break free from the manacles placed on them by the top of the ticket. Sarah Palin began pursuing her own path once she learned that John McCain was having strategy sessions with his morning bowl of Farina.
Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)
But on Saturday, the day after he was booed, Ryan broke free. Appearing at a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Ryan showed the glitz, the glamour, the razzle-dazzle that he was supposed to bring to the campaign in the first place.
He did a PowerPoint presentation for the crowd.
The Romney campaign was furious. But Ryan reportedly said, “Let Ryan be Ryan and let the Stench be the Stench.”
By the end of the McCain campaign in 2008, the acrimony between McCain and Palin was well-known. It seems the same is happening here, with the candidates sniping and not-so-secretly blaming each other for their impending failure. McCain went back to Congress and continues to be himself there. Palin went to FOX and reality TV. Romney will likely go back to counting his money like Scrooge McDuck. And Ryan?
Ryan will go back to Congress, minus his golden sheen, rueing the day he got involved with The Stench and his campaign.