• The Real (Probably Not Actually Real) Reason Paul Ryan Was Picked

    Okay, sure. Paul Ryan is (so far) not looking like such an incredible VP by Romney. According to one poll, only 39 percent of voters consider him an "excellent" or "pretty good" choicecompared to 42 percent who think he's a "fair" or "poor" choice. And, according to Politico, GOP insiders seem to think that "Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong."

    But, what all those people are not considering is the secret hidden value that Paul Ryan has for Mitt Romney. No, it's not that he has the potential to deliver his home state of Wisconsin. And it's not that he could shore up Romney's street cred with the Republican base. It's not even that he's promising to zero-out Romney's tax obligation.

    So, what is it? Well, according to the New Republic's Noam Scheiber,  who has stared deeply into the ever-descending green-on-black digits that make up Mitt Romney's thought process and come away with untold wisdom

    "So, to review, the key recent development is that Romney is poised to lose a race he should by all rights be winning, and conservatives are poised to blame this loss on his ideological moderation… Against this backdrop, the rationale for the Ryan pick strikes me as pretty clear: Ryan is the way Romney and his aides escape blame for their now-likely defeat — blame which would have vicious and unrelenting — and pin it in on conservatives instead.

    "With only minor historical revisions, they will be able to tell a story about how Romney was keeping the race close through early August, at which point the party's conservative darling joined the ticket and sent the poll numbers into steady decline."

    So, he's a patsy! A fall guy! A scapegoat! Just like Lee Harvey Oswald, Osama bin Laden and that asteroid that "killed" the dinosaurs! I knew it!

    Except, wait… To accept this, you'd also have to accept that Mitt Romney is thinking one than a half-step ahead. Which is kind of the most difficult leap to make.

    Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan


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