13 August 2012

The Ryan Nomination

Mitt Romney’s selection of a running mate caught many by surprise. While Irene Ryan boasts solid conservative credentials — significantly better, in some regards, than Romney’s own — she is little known outside the rarefied stratum of classic television where she works. Also, she has been dead since 1973.

As a service to my readers, I’m pleased to provide this handy résumé of Ryan’s career and character.

Look out, Joe Biden! Ryan is a skilled debater
who does not concede a point.

While Romney is sometimes criticized for his stiff, awkward style on the podium, Ryan is nothing if not lively, especially after a shot or two of her famed Spring Tonic. Adroit at handling the press, she has been known to dismiss aggressive questioners by tossing them into the Cement Pond.

Especially lively when she’s had a little Spring Tonic.

Ryan is best known in Washington policy circles for a stubborn resistance to government intervention, and for fierce opposition to taxes (“revenuers”).

Although Ryan projects a working-class image, the candidate is in fact quite wealthy and enjoys especially close ties to the petroleum and banking industries.

Considered strong on family values.

A crack shot with a 12-gauge, Ryan is expected to win approval from the National Rifle Association. Having bestowed on herself the degree of M.D. (“Mountain Doctor”), her views of health care are somewhat outside the mainstream. And, as an ardent defender of states’ rights, Ryan believes that the Confederacy won the Civil War.

Clearly, the campaign just got more interesting!

NOTE: Some readers have wondered what I made of the Palin nomination, in 2008. Reflecting the perspective of my neighbors in France, that essay may be found here.

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