Eighty-four days to the election – Sean Hannity is counting. And last night, with a little help from Karl Rove, he did his best to help Paul Ryan breathe life into Romney’s uninspiring campaign.
Hannity began the segment with one of his howlers: “This is now become the dirtiest campaign I have seen in my lifetime. A campaign that is full of lies, distortion, propaganda, misinformation (and you know he isn’t referring to the Republicans because they never present lies and misinformation, do they, gentle reader?) … Let's see, [Romney’s] a felon, he hasn't paid his taxes. You know, he wants dirty air and water -- what is left? Are they going to stab granny, slice her throat, shoot her in the head three times and then throw her over the cliff?” (And Obama isn’t a socialist dog-eating, Saul-Alinsky-worshiping Kenyan who’s going to send granny to a death panel?)
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. “While the president and his team of spin masters are throwing mud all in an attempt to distract you the voter, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan, they are out on the campaign trail putting forth bold solutions about how to get this country back on track and get people back to work,” Hannity declared.
We were treated to tapes of Ryan in shirtsleeves, at a rally in Colorado, talking about how it cost $100 to fill up his truck (Oh, how wonderful, he’s got a truck!) and reminiscing about his hard-working youth. “You know, I don't know about you but when I was growing up,.., when I was flipping burgers at McDonald's, .. I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I thought of myself on the American dream, on the path of journey, so that I can find happiness however I define it for myself.” (Really? He was stuck in a pretty good station in life, if the Web site of his family business is any indication. Ryan Central has been around for well over 100 years, and it handles $50,000,000 projects in multiple states. His daddy wasn’t a parking lot attendant, that’s for sure).
Evidently, Ryan is turning the tide in Romney’s favor, or at least that’s the conclusion to be drawn from Hannity and Rove’s interminable discussion of recent polling results. Like an Ohio poll from Rasmussen which showed Romney and Obama in a dead heat, 45-45, and a 51% favorable opinion of Paul Ryan. Rove declared that this was only the beginning. “As people get to know this attractive 42-year-old, very thoughtful, reasonable, sensible, constructive member of the Congress, they are going to say, that's a good choice by Romney. . he's so passionate about the right to rise. This is what we need in the country... You know, that's the kind of America we want for our kids and our grandkids and Paul Ryan embodies this in his life and speaks passionately about it because he has lived the American experiment.”
I assume that, given Romney’s difficulty in identifying with ordinary folks, we’ll hear more about Ryan’s truck and his burger-flipping days, and see more of him in shirtsleeves. Too bad Ryan’s policies don’t promise much help for people who have to flip burgers to make ends meet.
For all of his bluster, he’s looking at a situation where the GOP candidate isn’t getting anything more than the GOP base, and his VP pick is making it impossible to pick up the independents he would need to have a chance here. Further, the point of a VP pick is usually to be able to get that person’s home state – which is why people were anticipating either Rob Portman (Ohio) or Marco Rubio (Florida). It seems that when Rubio’s potential downsides (that credit card…) came to light, and Romney blew his European trip by repeatedly making unforced errors, the campaign threw this desperation play.
Hannity was repeatedly advocating for a Marco Rubio pick, and seems to be trying to cover himself now (as does Ann Coulter) by making a big show of embracing Ryan. Except that the numbers don’t show that Ryan is doing anything for Romney other than a curiosity bounce, which isn’t helping him. So it’s natural that Hannity can see which way this is all going and he’s getting more and more panicked.
Looking forward to what he does and says on Election Night, and more importantly, on the night after…