Romney made the right choice picking Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate for the 2012 election. Ryan is serious, smart, energised and likable all at once.
The choice speaks for Romney not only because it’s smart in terms of his election chances. It also shows that Romney is not a self-infatuated man. The French Cowboy thinks that Obama picked Biden as his running mate because he was looking for someone who will not steal his limelight. (That plan kind of backfired to the extent that Biden has that unique ability to put his foot in his mouth which can draw a lot of attention. On the other hand, nobody ever cared for what Biden said — maybe precisely for that reason — and so the VP got away with so many verbal faux pas that nobody kept count.)
In terms of personality, Romney is not a very exciting candidate. Paul Ryan is no Sarah Palin either, but he has a charm to himself which make him a welcome refreshment to the campaign trail. There were potential VPs with decidedly less alluring charisma. Romeny didn’t pick any of them. Good for him.
Here’s the short speech Ryan gave after the official announcement that he is Romney’s running mate. The part where he mentions that people talk differently — with less optimism, about smaller dreams — struck me a lot. It reminded me of this piece where a Hungarian-born US citizen tells the story of how he learned what America is all about. There is this section in it:
They [Germans after WWII, no less] thought that Americans were direct and honest. They looked you square between the eyes and told you what they thought. The Americans laughed a lot, often loudly. Their view of life was not tragic, they were not filled with the passionate anxiety of Europeans. Americans had no angst. They didn’t spend their time regretting the past; they thought anything was possible. Give a man an opportunity, he’ll take it, and fulfill what ambitions he had. My German friends called this “practical freedom.” These Americans lived as free men should live. They were modest, never overbearing, gave no quarter to flim-flam, and they were very generous.
When the French Cowboy read this passage, he was thinking: That is exactly right. And yet, the very next thought was a wary: But for how much longer will this be true?
President Obama is not good for America’s mojo.