The Paul Ryan rumours really caught alight a couple of days ago when Mitt Romney gave an interview to NBC in which, in response to a question about his veep pick, he said:
"I expect to have someone with a vision for the country, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country."
That "vision for the country" phrase pointed to Ryan. After all, Rob Portman, the safe-but-dull option, could hardly be said to be a visionary. Whereas Ryan - well, he's all vision (it's reality that may cause him - and Romney - problems).
Most striking about this exchange, of course, is what it says about Romney. It suggests that, like George Bush Snr., Romney doesn't do "the vision thing" - but he knows a man who does.
Staying true to his business philosophy, Romney is outsourcing his own candidacy. Having been accused by his own side of lacking all conviction, he has purchased some. I wonder who he'll pick to make his speech at the convention, or to debate with Obama.
The Republican right (that is, the Republican Party) never really wanted Romney to be their standard-bearer. Happily, it turns out that Romney agrees with them.
Conservatives are delighted. This is from the New York Times today:
Grover Norquist, the Republican strategist who heads Americans for Tax Reform, said in an interview that he did not expect Mr. Romney to lead as president. He just wants him to sign the bills that put Mr. Ryan’s vision into practice.
I'm sure Romney can find someone else to do the actual signing.