As politicos debate just how good – or bad – a choice of Paul Ryan is as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 presidential campaign and the broader GOP, in general, PunditMom Joanne Bamberger notes that Ryan isn’t exactly a man ‘of the people’
One of Mitt Romney’s biggest campaign themes as he hammers away at President Obama is the economy, and how he and vice presidential pick Paul Ryan are the best ticket to help put America and it’s middle class back on track. But Joanne Bamberger, founder of the political blog PunditMom, Editor-in-Chief of The Broad Side, and author of Mothers of Intention: How Women & Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America, says Ryan may not be the best pick if the Romney is trying to take focus off of his wealth and to better identify with the middle class.
“Interestingly, the Romney campaign is trying to bill Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as a middle-class man of the people, when in fact, he is much more in common with Romney than the campaign is letting on,” Bamberger says. “Ryan and his family are actually quite wealthy, partly as a result of the construction business owned by his family, Ryan Incorporated. He has reported that his net worth ranges between $2 million and $9 million, according to Mother Jones Magazine.
“So what that leaves the country with is a choice of two tickets – one of which includes only wealthy white men. In 2012, I’m not sure that’s the kind of ticket most Americans can relate to, especially if the issue most voters are concerned about is the economy, how to keep a roof over their kids’ heads, and how they can even try to plan for their children’s college educations.”
But Mort Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report and political observer, says Ryan has turned out to be a better pick than he would have thought, even though Ryan was not his first choice in a Romney running mate.
“I think it’s good choice and it’s going to put on the agenda of this country as the No. 1 issue, the issue that I think is the No. 1 issue, which is the fiscal dangers of this country,” Zuckerman said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. “I just didn’t think he was going to have a broad enough reach in terms of adding to Mitt Romney’s, shall we say, obvious limits as a campaigner. But he seems to have energized Mitt Romney in a way I have not seen before.”
While there are reports that Romney is taking some back room flap from Republicans for picking Ryan, but he’s also taking flap for the VP app his campaign encouraged followers to put on their iPhone phones, so they would be the first to hear of Romney’s choice of vice presidential running mate. But reports say in this case, app users were among the last to know.
“I don’t know what others thought about the Romney VP pick iPhone app, but I think it didn’t work for the campaign as an engagement tool given the time they released the announcement – around 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning in August – a time when many families are on their annual family vacations before the kids go back to school,” Bamberger says.
“My guess is that many people were away and missed out on the special message. I turned on the cable news on that Saturday morning and heard the news of the Paul Ryan pick before I checked my iPhone. So I wouldn’t be surprised if many other voters found out first from TV news, as well, rather than the ‘I think you’re special and I’ll tell you first’ app!”
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