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Obama's Game of Chicken

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The race for the Presidency has shaped up to be a game of chicken that just shifted into high gear.  And I like it.

President Obama’s re-election campaign has been gearing up for a run against Mitt Romney for over a year now, and not just because Romney was the most likely Republican nominee.  It has long been conjectured that the Obama campaign was counting on Republicans giving them the rich bogey man who would best fit their class warfare strategy.  


And the GOP primary voters did exactly that.  Not the torrid reprimands from Newt Gingrich, nor the poetic sermonizing from Herman Cain; No constitutional virtuousness from Ron Paul, and no cowboy swagger from Rick Perry.  Just a highly successful, 65-year-old male with an ideal resume, perfect family, perfect hair and perfect teeth.

While pounding him for the transgression of being a self-made millionaire, the Obama campaign had been reportedly hoping that Mitt Romney would select Paul Ryan as his running mate.  The Democrats have been building a case against Congressman Ryan since May of 2011 when the Agenda Project came out with its famous Granny Off The Cliff ad.  This over-the-top video shows a Paul Ryan look-alike forcefully emptying Grandma out of her wheelchair and into the Potomac from high atop a rocky ridge.

As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan has established himself as the pragmatic thought leader for addressing Washington’s insane deficit practices.  He is best known for having submitted the most comprehensive federal budget in many years.  It lays out a recovery plan that gradually migrates unstable programs like Medicare and Social Security from socialism to the sustainable natural laws of capitalism.  The details of the Ryan budget will provide attack points for the Obama campaign, including the Medicare proposal that sparked the Granny Off The Cliff tactic.


The Obama racing team began revving their engines minutes after Governor Romney introduced his new running mate.  Their press release read, “Paul Ryan is best known as the author of a budget so radical, The New York Times called it ‘the most extreme budget plan passed by a House of Congress in modern times.’ With Mitt Romney's support, he'd end Medicare as we know it and slash the investments we need to keep our economy growing—all while cutting taxes for those at the very top.”  Utterly predictable.  They must have written that line months ago.

In May, the Democratic-Party-controlled Senate rejected Congressman Ryan’s budget proposal in a 58 to 41 vote.  But Obama may have difficultly making the extreme label stick, since the Senate also rejected his budget proposal 99 to 0 three months earlier.  Ryan’s budget may have seemed like a yucky diet of fish and vegetables to the fatties in the Senate.  But Obama’s proposal looked like mountains of candy, cake, and ice cream that even they could not stomach.

Liberals have a built-in advantage in democratic elections.  They out-promise conservatives every time, and mean it.  Conservatives are challenged with convincing the public that voting for fewer government indulgences is better for them. 


But the Conservatives do have a trump card.  And that is where Paul Ryan comes in.

Technically, Mitt Romney is ideal for the job of President at a time when the nation needs a turnaround executive.  And, his connection to the American public is warming by the day.  But as Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics puts it, “Republicans are over the moon about Ryan.  And lets face it, they really weren’t about Romney.”

The kind of talk that wins the hearts of citizens is the speech that awakens the instinct of freedom.  It is the call to the wild heart that separates people from animals.  It is the moving appeal to the soul of those who humbly accept the gift, as well as the responsibility, of personal liberty.

Paul Ryan stepped up to the microphone Saturday appearing credible, genuine, and completely competent for the job of Vice President.  With the statements, “We’re going to talk about aspirations” and “We won’t replace our founding principles; We will re-apply them,” Ryan elevated the conversation from the most benefits to the most fitting philosophy for a nation such as ours.

On Saturday morning, the election became a straightforward and classic American race for the presidency.  Mitt Romney made a bold and very wise choice of predictability in selecting Paul Ryan as our next Vice President.  Sporting a decal of the famous double-R logo, Mitt invited Ryan to strap himself tightly in the passenger seat, looked straight through the clean windshield, hit the nitrous oxide switch and, with all the emotions that a Mormon Bishop can muster, respectfully exclaimed, “In your face, Mr. President!”


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