In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Are Two White Guys What the GOP Needs?

There’s little doubt that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will fire up conservatives and get them to the polls. And he’s an attractive candidate with strong principles who will provide a formidable challenge to President Obama and Vice President Biden.

But there’s a potential downside with Ryan that Mitt Romney could have avoided by picking Hispanic Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, African American Florida Rep. Allen West, Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley or any of the other half dozen or so women said to have been considered.

A presidential ticket is not just about competence and ideology. It’s a symbol to many Americans, an incarnation of their own hopes and dreams for the future. They want to be able to point to the candidates and tell their kids – whether they be little girls or children of color – “Look, you can be president too!” And they want to believe the candidates have experiences and backgrounds that will enable them to truly understand what they go through every day.

On this level, many of the swing voters Romney will need – moderates and even many Democrats – will be disappointed with this pick.

Nearly 60 percent of women in this country work, some because they want to, many because they have to. Many of these women may have been looking for something else in a ticket that instead includes two well off men – Romney much more so than Ryan, though Ryan has a net worth of at least $1 million.

These men’s wives can afford to stay at home and raise the children, which Ann Romney has done. I’m not sure about Janna Ryan, who had a professional career in Washington before she married her husband in 2000, though I see no evidence she works full time today.

Women who stay at home and raise their children work hard too. It’s just that this is not where most female voters find themselves. And Romney needs female voters.

I really have nothing against white guys either, since I was born one and remain that way . . .

But the reason Latinos went overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008 is because as a fellow minority, his elevation to the presidency reflected their own hopes and dreams. Rubio would have shifted those hopes to the GOP. And West would have at least told them the Republican Party was not quite as pasty white as they thought.

Many conservatives felt this way too. The fierce enthusiasm on the right for the candidacy of Herman Cain was partially a way of saying, “Hey, we are a Party for all people!” It’s part of the reason many conservatives wanted Romney to choose West.

And plenty of working mothers are Republicans.

Ryan will help Romney in many ways. But for many voters whose support and enthusiasm they need, after the thrill of seeing Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin compete seriously for the highest offices in the land, the sight of two white guys with pretty blond wives who raise their children at home will fall flat.

72 thoughts on “Are Two White Guys What the GOP Needs?”

  1. Keith, thank you for intelligent comments on the dirty little secret of American politics 2012. My preference, Jindal, was the result of both an assessment of his proven management skills and what he could bring diversity wise to the race. That bothered me because I know we should be looking for the best and brightest, not sexual, racial or religious “value”. Still, I felt obligated to take Jindal’s ethnic background into consideration. Frankly, I’m ashamed of that. Lets hope people judge Ryan for his technical skills and not the color of his skin.

    1. RW….I think a lot of us have looked at the vast wealth of people who could lead this country, who love this country, and would do their utmost to make sure it is still in one great piece stretching from shore to shore for many generations to come. I would have been extremely happy with Jindal, West, Haley, Rubio or Ryan, just as I was with Palin four years ago. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was a woman ~ I’d heard her interviewed on a couple of talk shows from out west and was extremely impressed with what she brought to the table. However, Paul Ryan’s extraordinary skills with budget issues is what Romney needs at his side to help right the great ship America. Romney has some pretty impressive skills of his own, and adding Ryan to the mix might help us get something done. I always appreciate your comments!

  2. Anyone who is considering voting for Barack Hussein Obama over Romney needs to ask themselves (truthfully):

    Is my life better or worse since BHO became President?

    Will my life get better or worse if BHO is re-elected?

    If they answer anything other than the truth, then they deserve what they get–On average, our lives are worse since BHO became President and our lives will be even worse if BHO is re-elected–Period!

    1. One more thing. . .sick and tired of being put into a classification, white/black, women/male, etc. I want candidates (local/state/fed) who will uphold the Constitution and their oath and who will do what is best for the entire country and not just a particular racial/ethnic/sex based group; don’t want any candidates who feel the need to “conquer and divide” by putting us into classifications. Love ya Keith but have to say, I’m disappointed that you “went there” with this column. Otherwise, keep up the great reporting!

      1. In fairness to Keith, we must keep in mind that for years he has been inhabiting an industry that [for the past few decades] is controlled by this sort of thinking.

        Used to be “who can carry the South?” or “the West”, etc.

        Now, it’s all about market segments, targeted message, strategy – to our great peril.

        ‘Political marketing’ is an evil in and of itself. It has nothing to do with integrity and everything to do with manipulative ‘winning’.

  3. WTH? Is this what an election needs to be about? Gender or race? Much was made about Comrade Obama being the first black president and look where we are. In. The. Tank.
    We need experienced people. Romney and Ryan have that. Romney has all his private sector experience with building business and job creation and Paul Ryan has his experience in the halls of Congress and he is a serious financial conservative. Isn’t that what the big issues are right now? Job creation and debt/deficit? We need to move on from the concept of racial diversity for its own sake.

    1. We need people who actually have integrity and courage to sacrifice their time and energy in doing what is right, not just someone with experience in this or that or someone of the right color or ethnic background. In my opinion, because one has to be extremely wealthy to run for office which in itself eliminates many good people, merely leaves us choices that aren’t choices at all except choosing the lesser of two evils.

  4. “But the reason Latinos went overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008 is because as a fellow minority, his elevation to the presidency reflected their own hopes and dreams. Rubio would have shifted those hopes to the GOP. And West would have at least told them the Republican Party was not quite as pasty white as they thought.”

    Well, you know what? These same voters either will stick with “O” – or defect out of disappointment.

    Governor Romney chose based on the competency needed to save us from financial disaster. This displays sound judgment. Rep Ryan is clearly the best person for the job.

    Romney didn’t cow to political marketing pressure – thanks be to God. That’s authentic leadership.

  5. Nah, I’m into “content of character” mode now. Have had enough of the “historic President” schtick. The Ryan pick means Romney is serious about turning the economy around and isn’t afraid of Obama by picking the guy who pushed grandma off the cliff. :D

  6. In all respect Keith, really????
    As a single mom who has to work I could care less what color of skin either Romney or Ryan have. In my opinion, Romney just proved how concerned he is with the deficit by picking Ryan, who knows it inside and out. I’m pumped by this and can’t wait for the debates.

      1. Kevin, I think Keith was dealing with a reality when he wrote the article. I believe all of us on this blog think clearly and look at the qualifications first and foremost. Many others do not. I think we need to give Keith some credit for raising the issue we’ll have to deal with when we discuss candidates with friends, family, etc as the election draws closer. We can’t deny it exists and I give him props for reminding us of it.

  7. I’m sick and tired of all the grouping too, we are all in this together! To Keiths point, as a 52 year old woman, I think Paul Ryan is adorable…he has boyish charm. Certainly I’m not alone, he will appeal to woman, and his policies will make families bottom lines stronger. Maybe a guy can’t see that, just saying.

    1. While I personally agree with you Moe, Andrea Mitchell (who some how got the notion that she speaks for all American women) and Candy Crowley think they know what’s best for the rest of us. . .

      Don’t you just love the internet. . .once they say something, they can’t take it back!!!

      And speaking of saying something. . .

      Russell Simmons Plays Race Card: Romney-Ryan “Two Men Who Will Destroy Our People”

      I think these so-called “leaders” of their respective communities underestimate “their” people. . .if “their” people think for themselves they will realize that BHO has not and will not be in “their” peoples best interest. Not to mention, it makes me mad as anything that they feel the need to classify themselves as anything but “Americans”!

  8. “…America is more than just a place…it’s an idea.  It’s the only country founded on an idea.  Our rights come from nature and God, not government.  We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.” -Paul Ryan
    A fine statement – a true statement – a belief I share. I will vote Romney-Ryan because we share this belief. I have never voted for anyone due to their appearance. I have a brain and I use it. Contrary to the media’s belief, there are many, many, many citizens in this country who choose to use their brain for something other than just keeping their ears apart. May God bless Romney-Ryan and may God please bless America with their win in this election.

    1. Thank you for that quote. I will freely admit I haven’t looked too far into Ryan, though I know some of what he’s said and done. Since the announcement this morning, though, I’ve been scouring and searching, looking at his actual record, not just what he says or what they (either side) says he did. So far, just like that quote appears to point out, he seems to be surprisingly truthful when voting and working within his beliefs. I like that quote, and will happily spread it to friends and neighbors, because it’s so very true.

  9. Are two white guys what we need? Who cares what color they are????? We need to start repairing the racial regression Obama encouraged to try to remain popular.

    1. Ever since I learned about Ryan’s economy-repairing skills, I thought he was the best choice for Romney’s veep. Good job MR!

  10. Two white guys, eh? What ever happened to all that talk about how one day we “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”? Enough already. Skin color has nothing to do with one’s ability to lead.

  11. Romney can never please them all and I am glad that he went for competence instead of pandering to some minority with a less competent candidate. He is not like Obama who just plays for the media, everything is superficial. Romney means business. And it doesn´t hurt that Ryan is also handsome, young, Catholic and a familyman. He was simply the best pick.

  12. I am with the other women who commented. I am sick to death of hearing about the color of skin. This country is in a death spiral due to Obamanomics.Romney and Ryan are men of substance and character. This country was founded by men with principles.Last night at the White House Ramadan dinner Obama said that Islam played a big part in American history.Really Mr.President? Prove it. After 4yrs of Obama America needs a little R&R Romney/Ryan 2012

  13. as a 56-year-old Catholic woman, of Mexican descent, in a border state that gives away driver’s licenses to illegals, who provided for her children when their father refused to pay child support after the divorce, former small business owner, a baby boomer sorely disappointed in herself for being so utterly unprepared for her future, I wholeheartedly support Romney/Ryan. pay day is Wednesday, and I will make a contribution to the R/R campaign (albeit small) and have already signed up to make phone calls, rap on doors and/or lick envelopes. race, color and creed matter not to me. common sense answers and solutions do.

  14. Sounds like this female is being told to find a female-run blog to read. After all, according to you, only females are able to speak to my concerns (esp. those concerns about the economy, the growing deficit, out-of-control government, et al.)

    So much for gender equality and freedom of choice….

  15. It is a no brainier if I had to choose between Ryan or Biden. I would feel comfortable with Ryan as president. He gave an excellent speech in Norfolk.If Biden were president he would keep me on pins and needles all the time..

    I can understand what Keith is saying. The other day I listened to a 30’s something guy tell a story about a visit with his grandmother. who was a big supporter of Obama. He asked why she supported Obama. Her comment was just because I like him. She repeated it again and said her mind was made up. There are so many who go with their emotions. They have not studied economics. Obama is a cult of personality and able to sway people.

  16. I know politics isn’t always about what is good for the country but if women can’t understand another four years of Obama is absolute destruction of this country, then maybe women ought not to vote. As a woman who worked since age 16 and am age 62 now, I never could support a Democrat candidate realizing the party is absolutely controlled by anti-woman, anti-family, anti-life, and anti-America evildoers intent on destroying the family, the rights of parents, the economy, and all of the values and principles upon which women as with men, need to survive with at least some freedom and dignity.

    1. I was just reading comments about an article in a left-leaning blog (I don’t know why I do that to myself when I know it will irritate me so badly!) and found this comment by a woman…”Any woman who would vote for Romney, is an uninformed manupulated step ford wife.”

      This is the kind of non-thinking voter we are up against in 2012!

      1. Compare the comments by leftists…they are always short on legitimate substance/truth/reality and always full of insults/name calling and sarcasm (i.e., “talking points”) over and over and over… and over. Expect those shreiking voices to become even more strident during the next few months. Be prepared to resist those tactics with factually supported truths about the economic condition of our great nation and her citizens. It is not impossible to argue with truth – but, truth ALWAYS wins out. I believe that. Remember, loud voices and media coddling does not a majority make.

  17. America chose a bi-racial man to be our President and a demented old White man as his running mate to govern over us for four years. The bi-racial man appointed many Black people, women, and Latinos to head different government agencies. After almost 4 years they have diminished our country into a polarized, dispirited and destitute people who are suffering from high unemployment and a poor economy with little hope or a plan to make things better. In fact, our own government now attacks us through regulations and threats of massive fines without having any of these policies approved by our elected officials.
    Our foreign enemies either scoff at us or ignore us, and we’re still fighting an unwinnable war.

    I’d say two really smart White guys are exactly what we need now..

  18. I was joking with someone earlier on one of your posts, but do you not think that Obama might now ditch Biden? Biden has been out of the spotlight for a while and his task of introducing Obama on the last night of the Democratic Convention has now been taken by Bubba.

    Only speaking for myself, a white retired and married woman, I do not consider gender or any other demographic in my decision. Many younger women in my neighborhood must work now because their husbands are unemployed and I see the younger men staying home and walking the kids. My guess is that most women will weigh the economy, jobs, homes underwater and foreclosed homes, the looming debt and Obamacare as the weightier issues.

    1. I think if he does ditch Biden, it will be the last act of a desperate man. He’s already thrown so many people under the bus that I’d be surprised if he could even get Biden under there, but nothing would surprise me with Obama. Would he choose Hillary? Why in the world would she want the job? Even she could see that things are sinking fast, and I can’t believe she would want to go down with the remake of the Titanic.

      1. First thing that popped in my head is BO/Dems could say Biden has to withdraw because of health/family issues and that would give BO an out. However, I think I recall Biden has some presidential aspirations of his own, so why would he couldn’t go along with that. Someone smarter than me could see all the possibilities here.

      2. I suspect Hillary would take the job. She knows her only chance at the presidency now is seeing Barack Obama succeed, at least to some degree, and she believes she and Bill could ensure that. Yes, she would get aboard, just as she did in 2008.

          1. Obama would really have to watch his back if Hillary became the VP. I think he knows he can’t really trust Bill or Hill, and while Biden might be dumber than a box of rocks, he’s not going to double cross the POtuS.

  19. Gotta agree with most of the other posters. This election will not be about race, creed, or color. This election will be a choice between liberty (R&R) and tyranny (BHO). I’m choosing liberty!

  20. Reading the fragments of Ryan’s speech: WHEW! I might begin listening again to (some) speeches. I swore off with the o and the gaffer.

  21. If it takes two white guys or any other color to turn the country “green” again, as in jobs, lower unemployment and deficit reduction – color me tickled pink.

    The one and a half white guys have turned me blue in the face from screaming.

  22. I find myself in agreement with most of the posted comments. This election is about choosing the candidates that are most qualified to make decisions needed to change the downward spiral. It ain’t Obama and his team. They have more than proven their inadequacy for the task, indeed they have doubled down and made it worse. Romney choose the best person to help fix the problems, screw the demographics. Vote for the best candidate to help the country, instead of their being a woman/latino/indian.

    No offense to Gov.Haley of SC, she is my governor, but she is not ready for national office. She may well be a one-termer.

  23. I admire your column and read it daily, but my cynical mind reels at the thought of any mother in today’s world telling her child, “You, too, can become a President!” That may have been an admiral thing to which to aspire in the ’50s or ’60s, but America is now far, far from those idyllic times. We live in racial/sexual/religious/class strife today.

  24. Its about the future of this country! I would choose a green man if he could save the USA.
    I’m a little surprised by your article. Really? As plan as “two white guys”?

  25. Pingback: Thrilled with Paul Ryan — Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian

  26. Rubio was the perfect choice. I’m still not understanding why he picked Ryan, and I think it was a mistake.

    it may have energized strongly pro-life and far-right conservatives, but it’s sure taken the wind out of this moderate Republican’s sails.

    1. Poor you, ms “moderate Republican”. You’ve already got the presidential nomination, courtesy of your scorched earth tactics against more conservative candidates. How about you throw a bone to the rest of us…the real heart of the Republican party?

      It was YOUR “moderate Republican” who started this disaster. Don’t think for one moment people have forgotten that.

      And just FYI, I am a pro-choice atheist, not a right wing-nut.

  27. Assuming that Ryan is a liability with minorities suggests that one doesn’t believe that minorities are capable of understanding the complex, profound problems that our nation faces and that they vote like obedient party-sheep.. I don’t think you believe that Keith.

  28. Thanks for the comments everyone, and I respect the hope imbued in many the comments for a society that is free of judgments based on gender and race. But there will always be such judgments, because people are different and the genders are different.

    Paul Ryan is an extraordinary man and will add a lot to the ticket. He may on balance be a better choice than Rubio, I really don’t know.

    But my point is that many people legitimately believe that life is tougher for them, in their workplaces, neighborhoods and their homes, because they are a minority or a woman. To have had a minority or a woman on the ticket would have made them feel assured that someone who probably has a better understanding of their experience would be in power. And it would have attracted more votes from these populations.

    This country has made unbelievable strides with respect to race and gender. But to think everything is perfect is just not the real world. I delete racist comments from this blog all the time. I deleted one from this very comment stream just minutes ago.

    I’m not even saying that Romney shouldn’t have chosen Ryan. I am saying that the choice will be disappointing to some people, and that while I might not completely share their disappointment, I understand it.

    And it will have an effect on their votes.

    1. If blacks truly want someone who represents their struggles than why do they call any black conservative an “Uncle Tom?” The blacks that are raised by single moms who struggle to provide a better life for their kids are derided as “acting white” and are pulled down. The ones who succeed are not a voice for the inner cities anymore. So it really makes no difference anymore what color is on the ticket. It only makes a difference to the white pundits who are trying to make the rest of us feel guilty about our so-called advantages. I will not be falling for that drivel anymore and I hope that the whites that voted for Obama out of guilt will realize what they’ve done and try to fix it.

    2. “To have had a minority or a woman on the ticket would have made them feel assured that someone who probably has a better understanding of their experience would be in power.”

      I believe that my life has been harder and my success smaller because I am female — but I am not so blind as to think that a female person is automatically better suited to represent me.

      Very few votes would have shifted, I think, if a “minority” or color, gender, or sexual orientation had been plugged into the Romney ticket like a spice into a bowl of soup. The Obots want Obots and the race card and gender card are ways of sneaking such into every arena.

      I vote for character and record — not genetics.

  29. Keith, I wasn’t too thrilled with this post, but I did appreciate all the comments. I truly believe that anyone who is basing his or her vote on “identity politics” in this crucial election is someone who would be voting to re-elect Obummer anyway.

    I was hoping Ryan would be the pick for many reasons. Up until a few weeks ago, I was still leaning Rubio. Ultimately, I decided that he might have too much baggage and material to attack and distract with. Also, we all know that the liberal MSM and the Dems would have immediately proclaimed that Romney only chose Rubio to pander to the Latino vote and get FL. Romney chose Ryan because they are very in sync on what needs to be done to solve the economic problems we’re facing. That shows a strength of leadership and character, and that gets my vote!

    Romney – Ryan 2012!

  30. I suspect in the cold light of day Mitt Romney recognized the magnitude of the disaster Obama has created and realized he was going to need all the help he could get to clean it up. I think this was an appointment based not on whether Ryan’s selection would increase Romney’s chances of winning but, rather, on Ryan’s ability to fix this mess.

    I also suspect Paul Ryan would be the most hands-on VP ever. Romney comes from business, where you hire the best people you can and then let them do their jobs. Why would his VP selection be any different?

  31. I think as far as women go it is much less thrilling to see Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton competing than the hope that maybe our daughters and granddaughters will have the same choice of whether to go to work or stay home with the children that many of their mothers and grandmothers had. Perhaps with some competant leadership the economy will go back to a level that folks really can get by with 1 salary without going on the dole.

    Many young ladies today are working for just a hundred or so dollars above the daycare costs not because they want to but because they have to. Others are bringing home the lion’s share because the man is laid off. He is depressed and not himself so it is additional stress for them.

    The president may not be so familiar with the American saying “When Money Goes Out the Door, Love Flies Out the Window.” He appears to be totally ignorant or blissfully unaware of the suffering his policies are creating on a grassroots level.

    Some call him a pro-choice president. But what about the destruction of the choice that women used to have surrounding whether to stay home with their children or to work outside of the home?

  32. Pretty sad when pandering to one “group” or another comes before merit.
    Isn’t THAT what we REALLY need to revive??? In this immediate situation, we need the “smartest guy in the room”. Ryan is that guy. Condi Rice, Allen West, and Marco Rubio get that. I see Allen West in the admin in a position where HE is best suited. Military. Rubio will go on to be Gov, or stay in Senate & be the VP in 2020 as in Ryan/Rubio. Then, Rubio/? in 2028.
    Ryan brings the economic chops to the table. He already made mincemeat of Obama – to his face! Biden will be a stroll in the park.

    And, Ryan has a true gift to speak in laymans terms, where he can get the youth, etc, to not only give him their attention, but to keep it – and pack in a ton of information quickly, earnestly, honestly. You can’t not like this guy. And with just a moment to listen to him, anyone can “get it”. And with our school system being what it has become, that’s saying a lot.

  33. I just don’t get why this is an issue. The facts speak so loudly that I fail to see why gender, race, religion figure at all. Romney knows how to be an executive. Obama, not so much. Ryan is brilliant. Biden is unfortunate. I’ve been called a “bleeding heart liberal” more than a few times. This disqualifies me as a racist.

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