In his New York Times blog, Ross Douthat describes his "basic skepticism about the pick." A neat summary of the reason so many liberals have been giving each other high-fives--and why even a conservative such as Ross himself feels queasy:
This is a game-changer, of a sort: Romney has been running a cautious, content-free campaign, and picking Ryan will effectively force him to become much more substantive on policy, while giving the country the clearest possible choice heading into November. But setting up a clash of worldviews doesn’t address Romney’s most glaring policy weakness, which is the (understandable) fear among hard-strapped voters that Republican policies will benefit the rich more than the middle class. Ryan’s association with entitlement reform is at best orthogonal to that weakness, and at worst it exacerbates it substantially. What’s more, by picking him Romney may have passed up a golden opportunity to take advantage of the Obama campaign’s leftward tack over the last year: Instead of making a sustained play for the center of the country, he’s chosen to raise the ideological stakes.
This will make the race more exciting and more serious, and I’m looking forward to watching it play out. But I don’t think it’s made a Romney victory more likely.
Precisely by making the race more exciting and serious, I myself believe, Ryan will indeed make a Romney victory more likely. But I grant that the case Ross makes here is entirely plausible.
We shall see.