1. Ryan is the anti-Palin. A policy wonk, he will sound intelligent and informed when he talks, especially about budget matters. He also will be measured and thoughtful in his tone. Sarah Palin he ain’t.
2. He will reinforce Romney’s standing with the conservatives in the party, although many will still prefer Ryan to Romney.
3. He will likely appeal to that small segment of supposedly undecided voters who believe the core way to fix America’s budget crisis is radical entitlements reform and substantial tax cuts to so-called “job creators.” But as such people were virtually guaranteed to vote for Romney anyway, this appeal is likely to be of little electoral consequence.
4. He will likely increase the alienation from Mitt Romney of that segment of supposedly undecided voters who oppose the idea that radical entitlements reform and tax cuts for so-called “job creators” are the answer to America’s budget woes. But as they weren’t really going to vote for Romney anyway, this “alienation” is of no political consequence.
5. Given that the number of people in categories 3 and 4 are actually quite small, Ryan’s choice is likely to have no positive effect on Romney’s electoral chances. However, he will likely not be a drag on the ticket like Sarah Palin was. In other words, Ryan’s selection will likely change nothing about the election in the long run.
6. I have eaten lunch in a Wendy’s in Janesville, WI, along I-39, and it is as ugly and besotted a stretch of road as every other stretch just like it through every other town in America. Plus there was a wreck and a traffic jam. I can only assume my experience was not typical.