Both Republicans and Democrats seem to view Mitt Romney's choice of Wisconsin's Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate as an enormous gamble -- something of a Hail Mary pass.
Some Republicans who know what they're talking about feel that the choice of Ryan switches the Republican campaign away from economic issues on which Barack Obama was weak-to-vulnerable (high unemployment, huge debt, diminished job prospects) to Ryan's specialties of reducing government spending, cutting taxes (which benefit the very rich) and reforming medicare which may (or may not) be widely understood or appreciated.
Ryan is a coherent planner and more focused that Romney has been.
There is a "Happy Warrior" quality to Ryan that is appealing and makes him a formidable ally and an effective opponent. He knows where he stands, and that appeals to the Republican base -- without which, Romney is an also-ran.
Ryan gets along with people, is liked and presents his platform effectively. In fact some feel he will present Romney's program more effectively and convincingly than Romney himself.
But doubts are raised by the Romney campaign seeming to abandon its blaming the economic plight of America today on Obama, whose policies and actions have not inspired the country. Every aspect of America has been hurt over the past four years.
Promises of improvement and revival have not materialized. It is a wounded economy that continues to bleed. For political purposes, all this can justifiably be blamed on (or credited to) Obama, who virtually has no record to run on; every aspect of the population and economy has been hurt.
Some are literally flabbergasted at the choice of Ryan, whom Romney seems to view as a friend and subscribes to Ryan's conservative ideology. The two seem to agree on most things. But by choosing Ryan, Romney seems to have given up on appealing to Latinos and Blacks.
On the positive side, the choice of Ryan may stop the leakage of support from Tea Party factions which, apparently, have been drifting away from Romney as his campaign wanders and stumbles.
Tea Party disillusion may account, in part, to rising polls for Obama.
Without solid party backing, Romney's campaign to be president seems doomed.
Maybe the thinking is that the lousy economy damages Obama with or without exacerbation from Romney. And Ryan's specialties will make it tougher for Obama, even though Obamacare is the lynchpin of administration's achievements.
Some have tried to dismiss Ryan as "Sarah Palin with substance," while others see him as being better at presenting issues than Romney has.
On another note, the choice of Ryan indicates the coming election is not just a referendum on Obama, but a choice of how Americans want their country governed, complete with purpose, planning and an agenda.
Ryan looks not to be a mere vice-presidential adornment (presuming Romney wins), but pro-active for change on conservative lines. A fresh direction for America, if Ryan is what his admirers think he is.
The Presidential race has suddenly livened up, and Romney no longer can be regarded as risk-averse. Choosing Paul Ryan is a considerable risk, if one thinks Romney had the election sewn up with the lousy economy, but it was his only hope if indeed Obama's popularity was gaining because of Tea Party defections.
In U.S. Presidential elections, the most likeable candidate usually wins.
And Paul Ryan is indisputably likeable
As for the Hail Mary pass aspects, it should be remembered that sometimes a Hail Mary results in a touchdown.
Will know on Nov. 6