But with just a few weeks to go, Ryan has emerged as an ingenious pick.
Two new articles today really underscore that point.
The first is from Molly Ball at The Atlantic, who notes that Democrats can't get any traction on the Mediscare, push-granny-off-the-cliff stuff because Ryan is so darn likable.
I thought Paul Ryan came out looking very responsible and intelligent, and personally I did not think the vice president did," said Susan Seifert, a 65-year-old retired housewife who lives on a farm in rural Ohio and brought her 16-year-old granddaughter here to see Ryan and Romney the day after the debate. Given the way he acted, she said -- "all that smirking and grinning" -- Biden "doesn't seem to be taking the country very seriously."
Several older women I met at the rally put it in similar terms: Ryan, 42, struck them as a nice young man, Biden, 69, a grating boor. Some Republicans might have wished Ryan pushed back harder against Biden's aggressive assault, but these ladies appreciate that he minded his manners.