The Ryan Effect

 

In 2008, the Democrats did something ingenious. They found their first 21st century candidate for the presidency.

No more Al Gores or John Kerrys. No more Clintons. No more Cold War-era fossils. In fact, one of the biggest reasons Barack Obama was able to beat Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democrat primaries was because he created a new brand based on the future. The Obama brand was able to smash the once-omnipotent Clinton brand because the Clinton brand was yesterday’s newspaper while the Obama brand was tomorrow’s.

Obama was the quintessential 21st century candidate: a young, hip, and biracial man with a glamorous wife, adorable young children, and friendships with pop culture icons like Jay-Z.  Obama’s campaign was equally 21st century: they used social media to great effect before most people even knew what it was. They were tweeting their followers at Kanye West concerts while John McCain, God love him, was campaigning with smoke signals.

This time, the tables have turned. While Mitt Romney sort of straddles the 20th and 21st centuries, his running mate is most decidedly 21st century. Paul Ryan is 42 years old, making him almost a decade younger than the young whipper-snapper of the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama.  He sleeps in his Capitol Hill office like it’s a dorm room. He does the insanely tough workout P90X. He walks around wearing headphones, like NBA stars and Olympic athletes. He is cool.

This matters in a nation that has always been forward-looking, pioneering, innovative, and geared toward the future. Negativity and the past don’t win the big battles for the future. Obama knew that when he crushed the Clinton machine and later, the 20th century GOP machine. This time, the Republicans get it, and they’ve found a dynamic, fearless 21st century guy in Paul Ryan. Even Mitt Romney has become cooler, tougher, looser, and more forward-looking since Ryan joined him on the trail.

Call it The Ryan Effect.

And consider a major piece of early evidence that The Ryan Effect is resonating. Today, John Zogby and his firm JZ Analytics released a poll of 1,117 likely voters taken over the weekend after the Ryan announcement was made. He found that an astonishing 40 percent of the youth vote — those 18 to 19 years old — now support Romney/Ryan. In 2008, a whopping 66 percent of the youth vote went to Obama. This is a major development. Younger voters are disillusioned by Obama’s Chicago-style politicking; they can’t get jobs in the Obama Economy; they’ve got growing concerns about the nation’s debt and how it’ll effect them; and they’re increasingly becoming more libertarian, if not conservative. “They want change,” Zogby said.

Yes, they do. Most of us want change. But we want real change. Not phony Greek columns, “we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for” change, but rather honest change that will restore the nation and the promise of the quintessentially bright American future. After all, that’s what the 21st century should hold for America. And that’s what the Ryan Effect is starting to deliver.

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  1. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pseudodionysius

    The key to a successful corporate turnaround artist is identifying the man that’s going to be his successor. Romney has done that, electrified the ticket, and rallied the base.

    If he wants to go down in the history books on the plus side of the ledger, he’s making an excellent start.

    And having the Incredible Hulk deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention and deliver the hard truths that will frame the final push for the finish is about as perfect a pitch as you can throw in the final innings.

    When Paul Ryan turned to publicly thank Scott Walker and wasn’t ashamed to do it, I thought I was watching the final battle scene of the Return of the King. I’d rather go down to defeat with friends by my side than enemies burning my crops and stealing my land.

    This isn’t a time to bunt; its time to swing for the fences. Bases are loaded. Bring it home.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn

    I wonder if four years of Obama have changed American youth. He pandered to those who wanted everything and wanted it handed to them, and they rewarded him by turning out in unprecedented numbers. Many who have come to voting age during his term still want everything, but the abject and obvious failures of his policies have demonstrated to these new young voters the fallacy of the free lunch. They want everything just as every 18-24 year old does, but they realize that they have to get it for themselves. Rather than wanting it handed to them they now want barriers to their own efforts removed. They want opportunity, and they will make their own outcomes. They cling selfishly to their desires just as others in their place in times past, but the desires have changed back to a more American sort. They may realize that America the idea, not America the government, will provide them with their wildest dreams. If this is so, then Romney/Ryan and the talk of an opportunity society will win huge. Or, I could be dreaming.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    Ryan is a game changer.  His energy is infectious and his connection with the young has a bit of JFK in it.   Of course his morals rise far above that of the former president and the current one for that matter.  Our country likes good men to lead us and we have one in Ryan.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @KCMulville
    The King Prawn: I wonder if four years of Obama have changed American youth.

    I’ve said to my children, and also their friends, especially when they admit to supporting Obama:

     —    that’s your money he’s spending

    They get that.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @iWe

    I am all for this being cast as Ryan vs Obama. It is a perfect clash of symbolism vs substance.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @dasmotorhead
    Pseudodionysius: 

    I’d rather go down to defeat with friends by my side than enemies burning my crops and stealing my land.

    This isn’t a time to bunt; its time to swing for the fences. Bases are loaded. Bring it home.

    What Pseudo said.

    I think Romney and his team finally woke up this weekend. He’s sounding better. Not only has he “become cooler, tougher, looser, and more forward-looking since Ryan joined him on the trail,” but his writers are responding, too. Geraghty in today’s Morning Jolt: “I don’t know who wrote those remarks, but I think Romney’s got a very, very sharp speechwriting team.”

    The pieces are all coming together. I like it.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Ryan is the first “Happy Warrior” on a national GOP ticket since Reagan.  And he inspires Mitt Romney to follow suit.  Put a crowd of disillusioned under-25 Obama voters looking for work and struggling to pay their student loans in front of Paul Ryan and I think they’ll be ready to listen.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @NoCaesar

    Great post.  As a college freshman I was a first time voter in 1980 and voted for Anderson, believing the lies about Reagan, but accepting the evidence before my eyes that Carter was incompetent.  By 1984, after 4 years of Reagan, I was a fervent Reagan voter and have only gone more rightward since.  Overwhelmingly the fellow Generation-Xers I know have followed a similar track.  This is one reason why I find Obama to be such a bizzare anomoly.  He is one of a very few Gen-Xers who really believes the Leftist BS.  

    It looks more and more likely that Romney/Ryan can pull off a similar cementing of the rising Millenial generation to our cause.  Especially if we have 16 years between the two of them. 

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JamesBuss

    Obama is a 21st century candidate only superficially. In reality, his ideology is the same old tired, big-government statism espoused some 75 years ago by such hipsters as FDR and (even further back) Woodrow Wilson.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheMugwump

    If I could be Cincinnatus for a day, my first decree would be to revoke the voting franchise for everyone under 30 (except for those serving in the military).  People in this demographic don’t have the requisite understanding or experience to cast an informed vote.  Ditto for welfare queens, disability cheats, and other assorted moochers.  People who don’t contribute to society should have no say in how its run.  

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay
    ~Paules: If I could be Cincinnatus for a day, my first decree would be to revoke the voting franchise for everyone under 30 (except for those serving in the military).  People in this demographic don’t have the requisite understanding or experience to cast an informed vote.  Ditto for welfare queens, disability cheats, and other assorted moochers.  People who don’t contribute to society should have no say in how its run.   · 1 minute ago

    Darn tootin.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn
    ~Paules: If I could be Cincinnatus for a day, my first decree would be to revoke the voting franchise for everyone under 30 (except for those serving in the military).  People in this demographic don’t have the requisite understanding or experience to cast an informed vote.  Ditto for welfare queens, disability cheats, and other assorted moochers.  People who don’t contribute to society should have no say in how its run.   · 10 minutes ago

    Meh. With great freedom comes great risk. Let them vote once or twice for a nitwit like Obama then spend the next 40 years atoning for such stupidity.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @FeliciaB
    Pseudodionysius: The key to a successful corporate turnaround artist is identifying the man that’s going to be his successor. Romney has done that, electrified the ticket, and rallied the base.

    If he wants to go down in the history books on the plus side of the ledger, he’s making an excellent start.

    And having the Incredible Hulk deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention and deliver the hard truths that will frame the final push for the finish is about as perfect a pitch as you can throw in the final innings.

    When Paul Ryan turned to publicly thank Scott Walker and wasn’t ashamed to do it, I thought I was watching the final battle scene of the Return of the King. I’d rather go down to defeat with friends by my side than enemies burning my crops and stealing my land.

    This isn’t a time to bunt; its time to swing for the fences. Bases are loaded. Bring it home. · 1 hour ago

    Most excellent, Moody Man!

    Preach it, Monica!

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @MBF
    ~Paules: If I could be Cincinnatus for a day, my first decree would be to revoke the voting franchise for everyone under 30 (except for those serving in the military).  People in this demographic don’t have the requisite understanding or experience to cast an informed vote.  Ditto for welfare queens, disability cheats, and other assorted moochers.  People who don’t contribute to society should have no say in how its run.   · 15 minutes ago

    A lot of people under 30 work for a living, pay taxes, and contribute to society. We’re the ones that will be crushed under the weight of the welfare society that you old timers created. If anyone should lose the ability to influence fiscal policy, it should be the blue-haired welfare queens that expect young working families to subsidize their retirement.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DavidWilliamson
    Monica Crowley:He found that an astonishing 40 percent of the youth vote — those 18 to 19 

    years old — now support Romney/Ryan. 

    I think that was 18-29. The Liberals I know at work are in their 30’s and 40’s and haven’t given up on Mr Obama. But, they have a job.

    It’s very encouraging that the younger voters are learning from the University of hard knocks, but sad that they have to learn the hard way, because of the generation before them.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TroySenik
    Mark Belling Fan

    ~Paules: If I could be Cincinnatus for a day, my first decree would be to revoke the voting franchise for everyone under 30 (except for those serving in the military).  People in this demographic don’t have the requisite understanding or experience to cast an informed vote.  Ditto for welfare queens, disability cheats, and other assorted moochers.  People who don’t contribute to society should have no say in how its run.   · 15 minutes ago

    A lot of people under 30 work for a living, pay taxes, and contribute to society. We’re the ones that will be crushed under the weight of the welfare society that you old timers created. If anyone should lose the ability to influence fiscal policy, it should be the blue-haired welfare queens that expect young working families to subsidize their retirement. · 14 minutes ago

    I’d like to associate myself with MBF’s comment (the part about the young folks, anyway). If we were going to prune the franchise, my preferred criterion would be the ability to pass the Naturalization Examination. 

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheMugwump
    Mark Belling Fan

    A lot of people under 30 work for a living, pay taxes, and contribute to society.  If work and taxes were sufficient, then my paperboy should have the right to vote.  If anyone should lose the ability to influence fiscal policy, it should be the blue-haired welfare queens that expect young working families to subsidize their retirement.  People who have worked their entire lives have earned a franchise.  As for transfer payments from the young to the old, I agree, at a minimum social security and medicare should be subject to means testing.  As they soon will be given our precarious financial situation.  

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheMugwump
    Troy Senik, Ed. If we’re going to prune the franchise, the obvious litmus test seems to me to be the ability to pass the Naturalization Examination.  · 8 minutes ago

    Edited 7 minutes ago

    I would be in favor of this, also, except the Supreme Court has already struck down literacy testing.  My only point is that a universal franchise is a bad idea.  People should be qualified by some sort of agreed upon standard before they’re allowed to vote.  Age as a qualification is completely arbitrary.        

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @SchrodingersCat

    It was a sad turn of affairs when four years ago this nation elected a man based on style and hipness over substance (certainly BHO is the epitome of an empty suit with a great crease).

    It will be sadder still if Ryan’s main appeal is his youth, style and coolness versus the substance of his ideas.

    Are we as a nation no longer able to look beyond the superficial?

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn
    Schrodinger’s Cat: It was a sad turn of affairs when four years ago this nation elected a man based on style and hipness over substance (certainly BHO is the epitome of an empty suit with a great crease).

    It will be sadder still if Ryan’s main appeal is his youth, style and coolness versus the substance of his ideas.

    Are we as a nation no longer able to look beyond the superficial? · 4 minutes ago

    Ryan represents the first Republican in a generation where style and substance meet in the same individual.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @user_83937

    Thank you, Monica.  That’s the first time somebody has called me young and hip, for quite some time, (same age as Obama).

    I have always resented being lumped in with Boomers.  I have little in common with my older siblings.  They, and their kids, are furiously liberal.  I try to be a happy warrior conservative.  Obama is the anomoly, in my cohort.

    Now that most Boomer’s kids are well past the age of 18, can we pay attention to the difference in the parents of the youngest cohort?  It’s not just the Obama effect, disillusioning youngsters.  It’s non-Boomer parents rearing youngsters.

    Meanwhile, an interesting idea I have heard suggested that, as age is a qualification for elected offices, voters should only be allowed to participate in elections for offices that they, themselves, would qualify for.  Sort of a Learner’s Permit for voting, allowing young voters to only participate in elections for more junior and local officals.  Not a great idea, as I would much prefer that sensible 20 YOs voted for president, than delusional Boomers and their progeny, but still an interesting thought.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    DocJay: Ryan is a game changer.  His energy is infectious and his connection with the young has a bit of JFK in it.   Of course his morals rise far above that of the former president and the current one for that matter.  Our country likes good men to lead us and we have one in Ryan.

    AMEN to that!

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    iWc: I am all for this being cast as Ryan vs Obama. It is a perfect clash of symbolism vs substance.

    Right vs. Left,  Free Enterprise vs. Socialism, America vs. Western Europe

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    Gary The Ex-Donk: Ryan is the first “Happy Warrior” on a national GOP ticket since Reagan.  And he inspires Mitt Romney to follow suit.  Put a crowd of disillusioned under-25 Obama voters looking for work and struggling to pay their student loans in front of Paul Ryan and I think they’ll be ready to listen.

    Ryan is a Happy Warrior, indeed! 

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    No Caesar: Great post.  As a college freshman I was a first time voter in 1980 and voted for Anderson, believing the lies about Reagan, but accepting the evidence before my eyes that Carter was incompetent.  By 1984, after 4 years of Reagan, I was a fervent Reagan voter and have only gone more rightward since.  Overwhelmingly the fellow Generation-Xers I know have followed a similar track.  This is one reason why I find Obama to be such a bizzare anomoly.  He is one of a very few Gen-Xers who really believes the Leftist BS.  

    Great point.  Thanks!

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    FeliciaB

    Pseudodionysius: When Paul Ryan turned to publicly thank Scott Walker and wasn’t ashamed to do it, I thought I was watching the final battle scene of the Return of the King. I’d rather go down to defeat with friends by my side than enemies burning my crops and stealing my land.

    This isn’t a time to bunt; its time to swing for the fences. Bases are loaded. Bring it home.

    Most excellent, Moody Man!

    Preach it, Monica! 

    Amen!

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    David Williamson

    Monica Crowley:He found that an astonishing 40 percent of the youth vote — those 18 to 19 

    years old — now support Romney/Ryan. 

    I think that was 18-29. The Liberals I know at work are in their 30’s and 40’s and haven’t given up on Mr Obama. But, they have a job.

    Yup that was a typo.  My apologies.  Good catch!

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MonicaCrowley
    Schrodinger’s Cat: It was a sad turn of affairs when four years ago this nation elected a man based on style and hipness over substance.

    It will be sadder still if Ryan’s main appeal is his youth, style and coolness versus the substance of his ideas.

    Are we as a nation no longer able to look beyond the superficial?

    My point was about a forward-looking and appealing candidate.  That’s Ryan.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Member
    @Eeyore

    Sorry, got to play the Eeyore card.

    “…astonishing 40 percent” Romney/Ryan “whopping 66 percent” Obama.

    That’s a 6 point move. Statistically significant, and important, especially as it is very early in the Ryan presence. But it seems a bit of adjectival excess. It’s certainly heartening, and I would expect it to grow. I’m also thinking a lot of those hope-n-changey young’uns may skip voting this time if there are much more pressing issues that Tuesday, like a good concert in the next town, or a twofer pizza deal, dine-in only.

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Inactive
    @RedFeline

    Great article, Monica!

    Mitt Romney had won my support, but, now, with his choice of Paul Ryan, he has earned my total respect. Romney has chosen a 21st Century person, one who is not an ideologist or Utopian, but pragmatic with an understanding of the bottom line. Ryan is also articulate and can put the economic and financial arguments clearly. 

    The younger generation, the Gen-Xers, is moving forward into this century with so much political and economic experimentation behind them. The ideas of the Founders which made America great have been clearly contrasted with those of Europe, and the choice is clear. More of the failing past, letting government dictate life? Or into a new future embracing the incredible ideas that gave Americans freedom to create life as they wanted it to be? And what a wonderful country they created.

    When I heard Romney talk about these ideas, he was electrifying and made me cry. Two GORGEOUS men with a plan to move America into a bright future, and raising emotions that reach right into the soul of the American people, raising pride in their country; what more could anyone want? 

    • #30

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