Media First ROFL Spin On a Paul Ryan Veep Pick: Too Inexperienced to Be President?

The Drudge Report singled out political writer Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker as having the unintentionally hilarious first spin on the reported pick of Paul Ryan to be Romney's running mate. Lizza immediately started to "tally the risks."

"For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience," he wrote. He wrote this with zero ackowledgment of Obama's private-sector experience scooping mint-chip at Baskin-Robbins. If the rest of the media follows this line, this is going to be shamelessly biased:

Besides summer jobs working at McDonald’s or at his family’s construction company, or waiting tables as a young Washington staffer, Ryan has none of the business-world experience Romney frequently touts as essential for governing. In the run-up to his first campaign for Congress, in 1998, that gap was enough of a concern for Ryan that he briefly became a “marketing consultant” at the family business, an obvious bit of résumé puffing.

But that wasn't blind, deaf, and dumb to Obama's resume enough: he also didn't have enough Washington experience:

But Ryan’s Washington experience is also light, at least for a potential President—which, after all, is the main job description of a Vice-President. Ryan has worked as a think-tank staffer and Congressman, but he’s never been in charge of a large organization, and he has little experience with foreign policy. Given how Sarah Palin was criticized for her lack of such experience, I’m surprised that Romney would pick someone whose ability to immediately step into the top job is open to question.

And the experience that Ryan does have is not exactly what voters are clamoring for at the moment. The bulk of Ryan’s House career coincided with the Presidency of George W. Bush, during which he was a reliable vote for many Bush policies that have not aged well: Medicare Part D; the Iraq War; and the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Ryan told me that voting for all of that spending, which added trillions to the deficit, made him “miserable,” but he’ll need a better explanation in his October debate with Joe Biden.

Presumably, Romney’s main reason for picking Ryan is not his early deficit-busting record but his more recent rise to celebrity as a crusading policy wonk determined to tame the federal government. Romney, who has been extremely vague about what he would do if elected, will now own Paul Ryan’s ideas, which include privatizing Social Security, turning Medicare into a voucher program, bloc-granting and drastically cutting Medicaid, and reducing discretionary spending to levels that would affect every popular government program. This Ryan agenda will now fill the vacuum created by Romney’s unwillingness to lay out the specifics of his own plan. Even before this (apparent) announcement, Democrats were planning on tying Romney to Ryan’s policy platform. Now Romney has done it for them.

Lizza could only say that Romney deserves credit for turning this into a strong ideological choice for voters -- as if Obama's extremely liberal record hasn't already done that:

Romney’s choice of Ryan will undoubtedly be criticized as capitulation to the right, and this pick does seem to demonstrate that Romney is not able or willing to distance himself from the base of his party. But the good thing about the Ryan pick is that the Presidential campaign will instantly turn into a very clear choice between two distinct ideologies that genuinely reflect the core beliefs of the two parties. And in that sense, Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan is good news for voters.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis