Who will be the “ideal” Mitt Romney running mate? Will it be a tea-party favorite, someone from a swing state, someone who will offer either gender or racial diversity or both? You can forget all that. It has already been decided by … Barack Obama.

The president has made it clear that he is running not against Mitt Romney, but against Paul Ryan’s budget, which Mr. Romney has embraced. Obama and his minions are making the case that if Mr. Romney is smart he will do his best to distance himself from Ryan’s “heartless” approach. Furthermore, they warn that Romney’s biggest mistake would be to make the chairman of the House Budget Committee his running mate.

As in Hamlet, methinks they do protest too much! What they really fear is a Romney-Ryan ticket. It would be the Democrats’ worst nightmare!

Romney will have an uphill battle if Democrats can make him feel he will be safe with any other running mate, because he will spend the remainder of the election cycle defending himself against the Ryan budget.

The best defense is a good offense. With Ryan by his side, Romney’s on offense. Game on!

As for diversity, Ryan has it in spades. Forget the racial-gender thing. Ryan is an “everyman” or “everywoman.”

While Romney comes from wealth, Ryan reeks of middle class.

While Romney is all spit and polish, Ryan always appears slightly disheveled.

You may agree or disagree with Romney’s position on the issues. However, Romney’s business acumen and personal life make him someone you would admire. Ryan is someone you would invite home to dinner.

While Romney is cool and can be detached, Ryan is warm and fuzzy.

While Romney has been accused of trying to avoid the hard issues, Ryan runs right at them with guns blaring.

While Romney has been short on specifics, Ryan dots all the “i’s” and crosses the “t’s.”

Many fear that Romney is too moderate. Obama and company tell us that Ryan is too conservative.

Romney was the governor of liberal Massachusetts. Ryan was a speechwriter for Jack Kemp and staff director for Sen. Sam Brownback.

Romney is at home at a polo match. Ryan is at home in a sleeping bag.

Romney is a Mormon and doesn’t like to talk about his religion. Ryan is a Catholic and makes the case that his faith directly shapes his views on public policy. That was evident last week when he went to Georgetown and took on the ideology of the ultra-liberal Jesuit professors.

Romney is long on experience. Ryan is youthful and energetic. At 42, he is eight and a half years younger than our “hip” president.

While Romney is an executive capable of making big decisions, Ryan is a number cruncher who is ready with the facts and figures. He will back up – not upstage – the man at the top of the ticket.

Yes, the best way to fight Obama’s attacks on Ryan is with Ryan. Why use a surrogate when you can have the real deal?

While most vice presidents have been inconsequential while in office, a few have played major roles in their administrations. Dick Cheney proved to be an invaluable asset when the country was in the post 9/11 crisis. Paul Ryan will be an invaluable asset as the country faces an even greater crisis – one that threatens to bankrupt the country and leave us vulnerable to our debtors and our enemies.

While Obama and Biden have virtually no “real world” experience, Romney ran Bain Capital and Ryan worked as a marketing consultant for a construction firm founded by his great-grandfather.

Romney is a turnaround expert. This is the ultimate turnaround.

Ryan has a degree in economics. He managed to bypass the old boy network in the House and become chairman of the Budget Committee because of his business background.

Obama and Biden will try to make this an election about personalities. It should be about who has the ideas necessary to keep us from going over an economic cliff from which there is no return.

Do we take more from hardworking taxpayers to further expand the central government? Do we put our trust in Washington or in the free market? Do we give the power to the bureaucrats or return it to individuals, families and local communities?

Win or lose, no one doubts that Romney and his family will be just fine. Meanwhile, Ryan will be running like someone whose life, and the life of his family, depends on the outcome … because it does.

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