Christian Schneider of the National Review argues that, in picking Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney did not just concede Florida.
…not so fast. The natural rejoinder is one everyone will be hearing ad nauseam — Ryan’s plan doesn’t affect anyone currently over 55 years old, and participation in the plan is optional. The premium-support model is one that has routinely had support from Democrats. In fact, Ryan’s own mother is among the seniors currently residing in Florida, and she is a Medicare recipient.
But in terms of crass politics, the Romney/Ryan ticket’s prospects are much better than one might think. It may shock Democrats to realize that “seniors” are not an unthinking, monolithic group. They are more diverse than the elderly people you see in campaign ads, shaking prescription pill bottles at each other and cursing Republicans.
Take, for example, Marco Rubio’s Senate election of 2010. At the time, Paul Ryan had introduced his Roadmap for America’s Future, which contained many identical elements to the House budget that Ryan authored last session. As a candidate, Rubio embraced Ryan’s plan wholeheartedly in March 2010: “I support the Roadmap . . . it is the most serious public-policy proposal that’s out there to deal with what this country is facing right now from a fiscal standpoint.”
…And yet, on Election Day in Florida, Rubio emerged with a commanding victory over Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek.