By Jennifer Rubin, Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/12/2012
Republicans were a bit giddy yesterday over the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Fay, a retiree, attending Romney’s rally in Manassas, Va., told me that she was delighted: “My three children voted for Obama last time. They’re not voting for him again.” She likes Romney and Ryan because they “believe in America.” A couple in their mid-40s said that their 13-year-old son dragged them to the rally. The mother said that Obama turned out to be “not as great as we thought he’d be.”
Among Republican policy mavens and officials it was hard to find someone who wasn’t delighted.
Late yesterday I spoke briefly with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), widely thought to be on Romney’s short list of candidates. Was he disappointed? “Heck no! He made a great choice,” he said of Ryan. He told me, “I saw him this morning. We shared a good handshake and a hug. I told him, ‘It’s a good thing I arranged to get the [USS] Wisconsin here [to Norfolk].” McDonnell saw a “great chemistry” build through the day. He has observed firsthand the heightened excitement about the chance to vote out Obama. “I’m seeing it in a couple of ways. There are the number of calls and volunteers compared to 2008.” He also has seen a stream of GOP officials “willing to go out and be surrogates,” as well as an uptick in fundraising “even in the blue parts of the states.” That, he expects, will only increase with Ryan on the ticket.