Leah Barkoukis

There is absolutely no question conservatives are excited about a Romney/Ryan ticket. Every VP contender came out with resounding support of Ryan and organizations from pro-life groups to the Tea Party Patriots were equally in favor of the choice. 

Thus, it was no surprise that Team Obama was quick to unleash the army of attacks because the reality is – they’re worried. First came this video. Then they dubbed the two the “Go Back Team” and warned that Ryan is “severely conservative” (if Romney basically killed a woman who knows what a ‘severely conservative’ Veep could do…besides push Granny off a cliff). Next, the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi came out with the usual spiel about how Romney/Ryan will tread on the middle class and gut Social Security and Medicare as we know it. But then there was this from Buzzfeed, which in one fell swoop slanders Sarah Palin, attempts to show divide within the party and calls into question whether and what type of game-changer Ryan is.

But aides were quick Saturday to reject the early analysis that choosing Ryan represents a "Sarah Palin pick" for Romney — a high-risk move intended to turn around a flailing campaign by elevating a polarizing politician.

"I don't think that's a fair comparison," said one adviser. "Paul Ryan has been a leader on these issues for years. He's not an unknown quantity. He may bring the same excitement to conservatives... But this wasn't a base move."

Another senior adviser, commenting on the comparison in an e-mail to BuzzFeed, was more sarcastic: "The number one policy wonk in the country... Sarah Palin...?"

First of all, did you happen to notice that all the quotes above were from anonymous campaign advisers? It reads like fiction to me, or maybe Harry Reid contributed. Anyway, the criticisms against Palin attempt to paint her as a negative game-changer with no experience or competence to have been the VP. No matter what Cheney said, picking Palin was the furthest thing from being a mistake. As Dan pointed out, Palin had more executive experience than candidate Obama. She also has an astounding record in Alaska, was wildly popular among Republicans and in September of 2008, POLITICO reported she drew the largest crowd (60,000) to any Republican campaign event in the cycle.

The article continues:

But he said one central difference between Ryan and Palin is that the former will be able to hold his own on policy details.

"Gosh, can you imagine that Vice Presidential debate with Joe Biden spouting Mediscare type slogans, and Paul Ryan walking through the numbers?" the adviser said. "The contrast there is going to be astounding."

The flaw in that implication? Palin rocked the debate against Biden: 

Palin was a positive game-changer and so is Paul Ryan. The Republican Party stands by both candidates and I’m confident Ryan’s popularity will continue to climb as voters get to know him, even though he’s already faring well. As Guy wrote earlier:

Any way you slice it, this is a game-changer.  As I wrote earlier this week, Paul Ryan is one of the sunniest, most likeable conservatives on the scene today.  He's also the party's top wonk and is completely fluent in fiscal issues.  I predict that Democrats will publicly gloat over this pick ("he'll be so easy to demonize!"), even as they privately worry.  Paul Ryan is earnest, smart, articulate, attractive, calm, good-humored, and exceptionally gifted in explaining his case in persuasive and unthreatening terms.  He's from the Midwest, has blue collar appeal (unlike Romney, he did not grow up wealthy), and has a beautiful young family.  The Left will launch vicious and totally dishonest attacks, as they have throughout the last two years of budget debates.  But never before has Paul Ryan enjoyed a larger platform from which to make his case to the American public:  The country is going broke, a fiscal calamity awaits, but we can avoid it if we take responsible, urgent action.  This campaign is about to get a major (and needed) injection of seriousness.

But this isn’t as much about Ryan as it is about yet again, dragging Palin into the picture to be the proverbial punching bag for the liberal media. This tactic amounts to nothing more than another personal attack to deflect The One’s deficiencies. It’s not going to work and the real Romeny Camp has spoken

Buzzfeed is hiding behind anonymous quotes to portray conservatives as divided on Ryan as VP. Our campaign is on the record endorsing Ryan, while Buzzfeed falsely cites "aides" to avoid the real story - our party is united behind leaders like Governor Palin AND Paul Ryan. Not content to debate the issues, the liberals at Buzzfeed are helping Democrats continue their personal attacks to protect THE ONE.


Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography