Am I the only one who’s still head-scratchingly, shoulder-shrugingly, stare-aimlessly-at-the-heavens mystified by the Paul Ryan pick? Any explanation for the selection has to grapple with Ryan's enormous liabilities: He is a congressman who’s never run for office outside his Wisconsin district. He is the author of a wildly regressive budget plan that voters soundly rejected the one time they weighed in on it.
For the rare political junkie who isn’t familiar with the story, Artur Davis is a black former congressman from Alabama (and Obama classmate from Harvard Law School) who gushed about then-Senator Obama at the Democratic convention four years ago and was one of his stronger allies in Congress. He is now a Republican Romney supporter, an evolution most Democrats find inexplicable. (The DNC recently distilled these feelings into this video.) Along with Chris Christie and Ann Romney, Davis was sure to be among the most popular speakers of the night simply by virtue of who he is.
A final note about Romney and tax returns: I love Harry Reid—think he’s been a force for good in the world and a major asset to Democrats as majority leader. But his assertion that Romney paid no taxes for ten years, sourced to an anonymous Bain Capital investor, is simply over the line. If a figure like Reid can throw around allegations like this with no proof to back it up, one wonders where it stops. Surely Democrats would denounce a Republican who said they had it on good authority that certain Democratic officials were crypto-Islamists.
The latest journalist to press Mitt Romney on his tax returns is the ultra-resourceful Josh Tyrangiel of Businessweek. Here’s how he cleverly posed the question in a recent interview: If you’re an investor and you’re looking at a company, and that company says that its great strength is wise management and fiscal know-how, wouldn’t you want to see the previous, say, five years’ worth of its financials? Alas, no dice. Romney’s response: I’m not a business.