This morning on Politico in a piece entitled “GOP Pros fret over Paul Ryan”:
Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.
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And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.
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“A top Republican in the 2012 campaign expressed doubt that even a protracted fight about the national debt would produce the kind of outcome Republicans are looking for: ‘My polling says that while the debt does matter to people, (a) they don’t really like any of the things we would have to do to fix it and (b) the economy has roared back as the No. 1 issue in every battleground state, eclipsing the issue that Ryan brings to the fore.’
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Another strategist emailed midway through Romney and Ryan’s first joint event Saturday: “The good news is that this ticket now has a vision. The bad news is that vision is basically just a chart of numbers used to justify policies that are extremely unpopular.”
To put it in perspective: all these voices appear to represent what is left of what used to be the Republican Party before the wingnuts took over.