Over the weekend, we highlighted national analysis of Paul Ryan as the GOP Vice Presidential pick, we even covered his own neighbors' thoughts at his home in Janesville, Wisconsin. There are also plenty of opinions in Rockford, between major party leaders and political analysts.
The heads of both parties in Winnebago County say just about what you'd expect them to say about the pick, but, one political science professor calls Romney's choice risky, and bold.
"Ryan doesn't have foreign policy experience, Ryan is the author of several budget proposals which the democrats will characterize as cold and heartless." -says Rockford College Associate Professor Bob Evans.
Evans says Paul Ryan is against big government, and as a running mate, he alters the central argument in both parties' campaigns.
"If you look at what President Obama is saying, what Mitt Romney is saying, they're changing their tactics and saying 'I'm for smaller government,' or, 'I'm for larger government,' so it really will re-focus the debate."
Evans believes Romney's election depends on three big decisions.
"One, the vice presidency. Two, his acceptance speech; I think that acceptance speech is going to be one of the most important in the last 20 or 30 years, because it'll be his chance to re-introduce himself to the American people, and they'll be focusing on him, because a lot of people don't know Mitt Romney. The third will be the debates, if he can stand up and debate President Obama effectively, that'll help him."
As for the first decision, Professor Evans thinks Romney might be in a strong position with Ryan by his side.
"It looks like he may have done himself some good on the first test, the V.P. choice. Now, there are going to be some pretty harsh criticisms made, but Ryan's a tough guy, and he'll take the blows and stand up to them."
Evans says, with Paul Ryan on the ticket, the focal point of Romney's campaign has to shift from pointing out President Obama's weaknesses, to highlighting his own strengths.
"There's an old expression 'You can't beat somebody with nobody,' he has to come up with ideas about what he would do, and he hadn't done that, now he's going to have to, because now he and Ryan stand for a different view of government from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden."
Romney's second test, that acceptance speech, will take place at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the week of August 27th.
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