Commentary: With Paul Ryan in Tow, Mitt Romney Banks on Uniting the Right

Romney Takes a Huge Risk with the Choice of Ryan as Potential Veep

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Yahoo! News asked Republican voters on Saturday to react to Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Here's one voter's perspective.

COMMENTARY | As a registered Republican living in the heart of Pennsylvania in Lancaster County, I couldn't be more pleased with the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate.

A strict fiscal and social conservative, the 42-year-old Ryan has looked more than comfortable interacting with the Republican presidential nominee over recent months. More importantly, Ryan has repeatedly been in attack mode against President Obama on the issues of the size of government and national debt. In my view, this choice unquestionably unites the right and the tea party, providing Romney with a strong base to work from.

But is that base going to be big enough in the key swing states necessary for the Republicans to take the White House this November?

Will seniors in Florida embrace Ryan, who is often painted by Democrats as a enemy of Medicare? Will the unions in Ohio be weary of him given his association with Gov. Scott Walker in his home state of Wisconsin? Will Pennsylvanians see his stance as an opponent of abortion as anti-women? Will Colorado residents interpret his position on gay marriage as draconian?

All are very tough questions which will play out over the next couple of months.

"Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot," reported Esquire.com this morning. Combine that rhetoric with the "pushing grandma over the cliff" images the left has stressed when portraying fiscal conservatives and it's easy to see where Democrats plan on attacking the GOP and the newly formed Romney-Ryan team.

I admire Paul Ryan. As a fiscal and social conservative myself, I find him exceptionally easy to embrace. His desire to balance budgets, reduce debt, and strengthen the military are all core beliefs I share with the vice-presidential nominee.

I wonder, however, how many Americans will feel the same way. Is Ryan too conservative for mainstream America?

"President Obama is part of the problem," said Ryan Saturday morning in Virginia. "Mitt Romney is the solution. It's our duty to save the American Dream."

To the right, he speaks the truth. But whether or not that message will resonate with enough independent voters in swing states this November to make a difference could be a stretch.

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