Foster's Daily Democrat of Dover, N.H., on Romney-Ryan ticket, from Aug. 14, 2012:
Both Democrats and Republicans should welcome the addition of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan to Mitt Romney's presidential ticket as vice president.
For Republicans, Ryan offers clarity and detail.
Nothing clouds this Wisconsin congressman in mystery. There is no fog on the horizon to block the view of voters nor behind which Ryan might hide should he misstep while on the campaign trail.
The husband and father of three has been heavily influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand. From biography.com comes a pertinent reference to Rand:
"Rand's novels and nonfiction work are heavily influenced by and intended to promote her philosophy of objectivism, which holds that individual self-achievement (emphasis added) is more important than tradition or altruism, a theory that is closely tied to laissez-faire capitalism."
Also pertinent to who Paul Ryan is can be found in an excerpt from Ryan's vice presidential acceptance speech when he said of his campaign with Romney:
"We won't duck the tough issues - we will lead!
"We won't blame others - we will take responsibility!
"We won't replace our founding principles - we will reapply them!"
While such words, as well as Ryan's actions in Congress, seem to be energizing the Republican base, Democrats should also be pleased.
As President Obama noted in response to the selection of Ryan, "Congressman Ryan is a decent man. He's a family man. He's an articulate spokesman for Gov. Romney's vision. But it's a vision that I fundamentally disagree with."
Taking the high road as the president has done will be fundamental to moving the discussion forward in a civil fashion. If supporters of the president take the hint, Democrats will challenge Ryan on substance and on policy - both of which are plentiful.
Ryan has developed a reputation as a numbers guy. He relishes delving into the federal budget and analyzing what has gone right and what has gone wrong. Ryan has offered plans and vision statements that leave little doubt the path to fiscal solvency he wishes to help take the nation.
Along with the respect shown Ryan by the president, this should help bring substance to the campaign and hopefully usher aside debates over birth certificates and Olympic dressage.
A debate over how to rid the nation of its Jimmy Carter-like malaise is what voters need. The addition of Ryan to the Republican ticket now makes that debate more possible and more focused than it has been to date.