Bill Bennett suggested on his radio show this morning that the Romney-Ryan campaign (or someone else) cut an ad to make famous these remarks (delivered a year ago at the University of North Carolina) about Paul Ryan by Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles:
The following clip would make a nice 30-second ad:
“Have any of you all met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you this guy is amazing. ... He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did, by $4 trillion. … The president as you remember, came out with a budget and I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously. The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing."
Getting this ad up in swing states with a real buy behind it would do two things: It would go a long way to inoculate the ticket against the attacks on the Ryan budget; just as important, it would introduce Paul Ryan to voters as an impressive man and public servant. I think conventional wisdom doesn't yet appreciate how much of a positive Ryan can be for the ticket. Publicizing Bowles's comments could help shape the public's view of Ryan—and improve the public's view of Mitt Romney, the man who picked him.
There’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Just a thin ray, and at the end of a very long tunnel littered with government and private debt.
It just might be that the battles now going on in Congress about this year’s budget will prove to be a sideshow. After all, the difference between the Republicans’ insistence on $60 billion in spending cuts, and the Democrats’ offer of $10 billion is about 1% of the $3.8 trillion budget, a rounding error in the long-term budget outlook.
I can't help but feel there may be hope for the nation yet when progressives start getting nervous about what Democrats are saying on entitlements.
Fred Barnes highlighted Obama's entitlement opportunity in a Wall Street Journal column yesterday, pointing out that Deficit Commission Chairs Democrat Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson have both been entitlement reformers in the past: