Let me finish tonight with this new Republican ticket: Romney-Ryan.
Sounds right. Very alliterative. Better than, you know..."Good and Pawlenty," or "Wake-me-up-from-a-long-sleep...Romney...Portman."
Doesn't have quite the color of Romney-Rubio. Now that has some real cache, real café leche. Or Romney-Jindel — that's got music to it, the aroma of a fresh beignet at the Café du Monde.
So it's Romney-Ryan, somewhere in the middle between a "Hail Mary" and an over-the-middle flea flicker. But here's the problem, and it's showing up already. Romney picked a conviction politician and that, ladies and gentlemen, Romney is not.
Ryan believes in things. He's a devotee of Ayn Rand — a believer in the individual out there on his or her own, a real individualist, and his budget shows it: pullbacks in spending on people in need, more incentives for people on the make, corporate tax cuts on top of Bush tax cuts with a big squeeze on the old, and the old and poor to pay for it. Ayn Rand would love it: less dependency, bigger rewards for the winners.
But here's the problem. Belief is not something Romney is known for. Conviction is alien to him. Romney, his people say, is a "data miner." He doesn't start with a truth; he digs and digs and tries to find what to do based on the data he can "mine."
Not exactly a leader, not exactly a person of conviction, not even close to being a Ryan or an Obama. Ryan believes government should stay out of our lives. Obama believes it has a vital, corrective role in a society that would otherwise be driven by the market, by profit-seeking.
What does Romney believe?
Well, we thought for almost two days this weekend he believed in Ryan and what he stands for. Now, as of last night on 60 Minutes, we know he likes the sound of the ticket "Romney-Ryan," but not if it means actually saying something, meaning something, believing something beyond the one Sacred Grail on which Mitt Romney has set his heart to get himself named president.