Mitt Romney made a shocking slip today when he introduced his running mate, Paul Ryan, as "the next President of the United States." But not to fear, Fox fans, Fox's own Democratic "strategist" Joe Trippi was on hand to help assure everyone it was no big deal. Obama did the same thing, he told us, without noting that Obama immediately corrected himself, whereas it took Romney almost two minutes - after he had left the podium and Ryan had taken it - to do so. Nevertheless, Trippi told Fox's Bret Baier that Romney "handled it beautifully."
After a discussion about Romney's choice and the announcement, Baier turned to Trippi for comments that were almost certainly known in advance:
Baier: Before we wrap up and take a quick break, Joe, just a little hiccup there introducing the next President of the United States and coming back and laughing it off. Just a moment but, what did you think of that?
Trippi: You know, I think if I remember right, Obama made the same, had the same sort of error when he announced then-Senator but going to be Vice President Biden. I think he said, did almost the exact same thing.
Baier: He did, he did, August 23rd
Tripp: So, you know, look, things happen like that in these things. I don't think it will matter. And I think Romney handled it beautifully.
What "strategist" Trippi failed to note is that not only did Obama immediately catch his slip and correct it also but the larger context. Politico reported:
The more significant difference is not the timing, though. Biden's plausibility as president wasn't in doubt. That's why the RNC criticism implied Obama should be No. 2 on the ticket. Making the case that Ryan is ready to be president on day one, if that should be necessary, is a tougher sell and that's why Romney's gaffe has a bit more political significance.
But I'd say that what's even more significant is the fact that Romney almost certainly felt pressured to choose Ryan. As Media Matters noted, Ryan was the choice the right-wing media demanded. As Politico suggested, it's far more startling for the veteran Romney to make a Freudian slip like that over a young gun like Ryan than for a young gun like Obama to make the slip over a veteran like Biden.
In a must-read article in The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza wrote:
You can’t “run on vague platitudes and generalities,” (Ryan) told me earlier this month. He was speaking about Bush in 2004 and Obama four years ago. But he clearly believes that the same holds true for Romney in November.
“He’s already endorsed these things,” Ryan said. “I want a full-throated defense for an alternative agenda that fixes the country’s problems. I want to show the country that we have a solution to get us out of the ditch we’re in, and to be proud about it.”
Ryan seemed unconcerned that pushing his policy agenda on Romney might damage the candidate. “I think life is short,” Ryan said at the end of our final conversation. “You’d better take advantage of it while you have it.”
Clearly, Ryan "has it" now and it's a sure bet that Fox News will help him do everything to take advantage of it while they can.
This whole thing is kind of creepy.
Trippi should have pointed that out, IMO.
Many that I know who don’t follow politics closely and only pay attention just before the presidential election in the same way that many only follow football when it’s Super Bowl time, all said the same thing, who? Never heard of him.
Once they do get to know him and the Ryan Plan, then we can get a better gauge in a couple of weeks on whatever the polls are about to tell us today.