“Paul Ryan represents Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: Math.”

If Glenn Reynolds’ analysis is true, then President Obama is looking at a huge defeat this November:

The 2008 Obama campaign was all about hope and change. Obama’s nomination was to mark the end of rising sea levels, his presidency was going to mark the end of racial strife, and he was going to deliver “net spending cuts” and reduce the budget deficit “by half” before the end of his first term.

The Obama administration sold its near trillion dollar “stimulus” plan by claiming that without it, unemployment would reach 9% while with it, unemployment would stay below 8%. Despite the bill, unemployment hit 10% and has, in fact, remained more than 8% for the past 42 months. The “stimulus” money, meanwhile, seems to have vanished into a welter of crony-capitalism deals of which the Solyndra debacle is only the most famous.

President Obama came into office with a lot of big ideas for America. Yet after almost four years, it is clear that Obama has no idea what he is doing. He apparently thought that the economy would recover on its own, despite his policies, and so he was free to use the crisis as an opportunity to push his big-government agenda. As then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said after Obama’s inaugeration, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” I think that Obama’s administration is completely flummoxed by the lack of economic growth over the past four years. Newly-minted vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan put it well today: “If President Obama’s economic policies of borrowing, taxing, and spending worked, we would be entering a golden age along with Greece.”

Paul Ryan represents a real threat to President Obama’s reelection strategy, which is apparently to ignore his broken promises and record of failure and instead demonize Mitt Romney as an outsourcing, job-killing, one-percenter felon who wants to take America back to the Dark Ages. Instead, Romney and Ryan have an opportunity to demonstrate to America that, unlike the current president, they actually know how an economy works. Congressman Ryan first came into the national spotlight nearly three years ago when he took point on Republican opposition to the president’s healthcare bill:

I have been watching Congressman Ryan for a while. He is a good man, with a great family and strong convictions. Even when I do not agree with him on a policy decision, he has the ability to explain concisely why he voted the way he did. Libertarians will say that his budget did not go far enough in cutting spending, but I say that it did the job of starting the conversation about our unsustainable future. By putting him on the presidential ticket, Mitt Romney shows that he is at least serious about having that conversation. And that is why President Obama will be a one-term president.

*Title courtesy of the great IowaHawk.

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