Friday, August 10, 2012

Romney / Walsh in 2012!

dynamic duoMitt Romney will announce Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) as his running mate, two sources with knowledge of the decision have informed your LakeCountyEye.

Walsh is a bold pick who will energize the Republican Party, but putting him on the ticket is fraught with risk and instantly puts Walsh's reputation as a loose cannon with a lit fuse front and center in the 2012 campaign.

Romney will announce his choice tomorrow, Saturday morning at the beginning of a bus tour through key battleground states. One conservative blog reported that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been asked to be ready to make the case for Walsh beginning Saturday.

Romney's alliance with the 51-year old Walsh will be the most dramatic development of the 2012 presidential campaign. Romney had been presumed for much of the last few months to be set on a safe pick, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), or former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But now, Romney, who is 43 years older than Walsh, will signal that he is willing to roll the dice. President Barack Obama's reelection campaign and Democratic political groups have been eager for Romney to pick Walsh, the kind of shoot-from-the-lip high-profile small-time player who Democrats believe is political kryptonite.

Both liberals and conservatives will be thrilled with Romney's choice.

Conservatives believe Walsh is one of the loudest, in-your-face legend-in-his-own-mind campaigners who can with a straight face articulate a case for limited government while simultaneously arguing that a less expansive bureaucracy and a revamped entitlement system is the best way to preserve government aid and benefits for the poor, indigent and elderly.


Walsh's public rhetoric and his proposed changes to programs like Medicare will now be central issues that drive the presidential campaign for the remaining three months. It is one way for Romney to turn a campaign that has turned ugly and personal, often to his detriment, into a heated debate over policy.

The battle to define Walsh and his atavistic ideas will set off a messaging war between Democrats and Republicans, the likes of which has rarely been seen.

If Romney were to win with Walsh on the ticket, he would have a mandate to make sweeping changes not only to the size of government, but to programs like Medicare and Medicaid that are products of former President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program.

For conservatives, putting Walsh front and center will satisfy their desire to have a full-throated debate about the entire spectrum of issues that they feel are most pressing: the size of the federal government, the government's role in people's lives, the impact of the national debt on the middle class, and how to maintain a social safety net without creating a "culture of dependency" in which too many citizens receive government benefits.

For liberals, Walsh represents a chance to not just defeat Romney, but an opportunity to discredit, on the biggest stage in politics, the most wide-ranging expression of conservatives' governing principles put forward in recent political memory. Liberals will say that Romney and Walsh want to cut government spending in a way that will hurt the economic recovery and cut assistance to those who need it. Obama himself has already attacked Romney for wanting to "turn Medicare into a voucher program," a reference some asinine thing Walsh said in public someplace or other.


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