But a major transformation is happening before our eyes. Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate is reframing the race and setting new terms of engagement.
Suddenly, instead of Somebody vs. Nobody, the campaign is becoming Something vs. Nothing. Because of Ryan’s substantive agenda and ability to articulate it, the GOP ticket is now the Something running against the Democrats’ Nothing.
Part of that dynamic is Ryan’s age, which, at 42, is making Republicans the party of change and the future. Meanwhile, Dems, with their burdens of incumbency and the decision to stick with failed, unpopular policies, are becoming the party of the status quo. The Obama-Biden bumper sticker says “Forward,” but their fixation on Romney’s taxes and his long-ago business career seem small and dated.
Biden especially, having morphed from gregarious and seasoned into demented and dangerous, is a vivid symbol of the tattered brand. The fact that the White House must keep insisting he remains on the ticket reflects a team on defense.
This remarkable development crystallized in just a week. The race now feels more like 2010, when the Tea Party swept out a generation of Democrats, than it does 2008, when Dems won everything.
You see the change in growing GOP crowds, which are far more enthusiastic. Fund-raising, never a problem, is even better.
Romney himself is tapping into a new level of emotion and energy. His team is setting the agenda, especially on Medicare, instead of just ducking the latest Obama incoming.
Most important for America, this is no longer a Seinfeld election — about nothing. The 2012 race is becoming about very big things.
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