• Politically Foul

    When Romney picked Paul Ryan last weekend, the message was that the campaign was now going to rise above the petty and personal that had dominated the summer, and instead be about ideological choices, the size of government, the direction of the country, big priorities ... Right?

    Not so much.

    On the trail in Iowa, President Obama elevated the debate. If by elevating you mean mocking Romney's, er, lofty decision to strap the family dog on the roof of the car over 20 years ago.

    "Governor Romney even explained his energy policy," said Obama. "He said you can't drive a car with a windmill on it. That's what he said about wind power, you can't drive a car with a windmill on it. I mean, maybe he's tried it. He's put other things on the roof."

    At a rally in Virginia, Joe Biden, ahem, rose to the occasion as well, by describing Romney's decision to repeal Obama administration financial reforms.

    "He said in the first hundred days, he is going to let the big banks once again

    Read More »from Seamus in chains: Campaign rhetoric goes “ruff”
  • From congressman to veep: How to make a vice president

    Top Line

    Mitt Romney tapped Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., to be his running mate. Sure -- he's a rising star in the Republican party, but Ryan is also someone who has never run on the national political stage. Top Line caught up with veteran political strategist Tad Devine to take a look at what it will take to transform a relatively unknown congressman into a national candidate.

    "One of the biggest things a candidate has to get used to: the pace," says Devine of his experience working with Lloyd Bentsen, Joe Lieberman and John Edwards all as VP candidates. "Everything happens so quickly in a presidential campaign."

    Devine says the first thing to figure out about a VP candidate is whether they are completely comfortable with the message and the strategy of the campaign. "If they are not willing to go out and deliver that message with numbing repetition, every single day, you are in big trouble," explains Devine.

    But the fast pace, long hours and repetitive stump speeches are only

    Read More »from From congressman to veep: How to make a vice president
  • Paul Ryan shakes up the electoral map

    Top Line

    To the electoral college map! Today on Top Line we tackle how Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as his running mate affects the path to 270 electoral votes. After months of campaigning, Romney has not fundamentally changed the electoral college map. A small number of battleground states, New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and North Carolina, will determine the outcome of this election, Mitt Romney has not altered that.

    [Related: Janna Ryan, stay-at-home mom with powerful connections]

    But Ryan may have shaken things up. Before the vice-presidential pick, Ryan's home state of Wisconsin was leaning toward the Democrats; it was a blue state. Can the Romney campaign now put the Badger State into play? Even if Romney can't win it, can he make the president and the Democrats spend more time and money in a state they'd rather already have in the bank?

    It would be a tough win for Republicans because the Democratic demographic hurdles in

    Read More »from Paul Ryan shakes up the electoral map

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