I rarely post anything about non-Massachusetts fundraising emails. But I’m making an exception, because this one from Team Obama gets it exactly right on why Mitt Romney asked Paul Ryan to run as his VP.
Here’s the calculation: Mitt Romney doesn’t need or expect Paul Ryan to convince even one undecided voter to cast their ballot for him. That’s not what he’s on the ticket for. He’s there to reassure and inspire ultraconservative ideologues and corporate interests that they will have one of their own a heartbeat from the presidency.
That means tens or even hundreds of millions more dollars for the Romney campaign and the array of outside groups supporting him — and if current trends hold, more than 90 percent of that money will be spent on TV ads — lying, distorting and trashing Barack Obama. Those ads will have more impact on undecided voters than anything Paul Ryan himself does or says.
Mitt Romney is convinced that picking Paul Ryan is a great investment for him. And his campaign is already touting the pledges and donations they’ve received as a result, with fundraising events planned for this week.
I think that’s correct. Paul Ryan is obviously not a play for undecided moderates. He’s a teabagger through and through, and that’s who the play is about. The right wing is a lot more excited about this election than they were a few days ago, and than they would have been today had Romney named, say, Tim Pawlenzzzzzzzz. They’re counting on right-wing excitement and enthusiasm to translate both into a big fundraising boost and into an enthusiastic base, in the hope that that’s enough.
It’s a big gamble on Team Romney’s part. But when you’re down a couple of runs in the late innings, you might as well swing for the fences and see what happens.