I wanted Rubio and all I got was this lousy Ryan nomination

Catherine Byerly

By U.S. Congress (http://paulryan.house.gov/) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On August 11, 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, thus becoming perhaps the worst birthday present I’ve ever received.

After months of rumors that Florida favorite Senator Marco Rubio would be on the ticket, when the news alert flashed across the screen of my phone I was instantly disappointed. In a gun-fight election, Romney pulled a knife.

This shouldn’t have come as a shock to me, since as recently as an April interview at the Newseum in Washington Rubio openly opposed accepting the position. This interview would be repeated by numerous news outlets from CNN to the National Journal, yet it didn’t seem to squelch the rumors.

Maybe that’s because others, like myself, simply didn’t want to believe it. Rubio’s personal narrative of growing up with immigrant parents and working hard to drive his own success speaks to the American spirit. This personal connection and charisma would have been the perfect balance to Romney who has been criticized even by his own party for being cold and robotic.

But instead I got Paul Ryan, who wasn’t even properly wrapped. What are we, Democrats? Put a tie on.

Instead of getting some contrast to balance out Romney, Ryan looks like he could be Romney’s stunt double, and after looking at Ryan’s voting record that analogy really works. Ryan has been a staunch far right Republican during his work in Congress, tough on typical Bush era Republican issues such as abortion and same-sex unions. Ryan truly is a tougher Republican than Romney.

Historically Republicans have been fewer, yet more active voters than Democrats. Thus, a vice presidential candidate who’s farther from the middle than the presidential candidate is an interesting, if not dangerous tactic for Republicans. Instead of using the VP position to bring in voters on the fence near the middle, Romney seems to have selected a candidate that only excites voters who were already likely to vote for him.

Still, just like there is always another birthday, there will be more elections. And maybe then Rubio will be considered for an even better position.