Liberal Weisberg is no friend to the GOP, but his assessment of the ideological and practical consequences of Ryan on the GOP ticket seems correct (and represents the views of most in the political class). The fall campaign will be (even) more ideological, a more ideological campaign is not a bad development, and selecting Ryan involves practical, electoral risks:
Given the options he had left himself, this was probably the best choice Romney could make. Ryan stands for a clear proposition—the radical scaling back of the federal government’s social commitments—and through his pick, Romney now represents that as well. Usually, a vice presidential candidate scrambles to fall into line with the top of the ticket….
Curiously, both conservatives and liberals profess to be pleased with the choice, the former because Ryan represents their beliefs and the latter because he offers clear positions they can challenge. Though both cannot be right about the political impact of the selection, the campaign itself will benefit from Romney’s choice. Ryan’s presence on the ticket makes this a better and more interesting election. It forces the debate the country needs to have about entitlement spending and ensures that the remaining months will be more than an argument about whose negative ads are more disgusting.