According to The New York Times, Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential candidate. The campaign has said they will officially announce this Saturday August 11 in Norfolk, Virginia, which will be the beginning of a four-day tour through swing states.
The announcement was surprisingly enough discovered through the campaign's mobile app just after 7am. The app said "Mitt's choice for VP is Paul Ryan. Spread the word about America's Comeback Team #RomneyRyan2012." Many began putting the pieces together last night when it was announced that Romney would use his upcoming bus tour to announce his vice presidential candidate, because it was released that Rep. Ryan was also going to Virginia, and the website RomneyRyan.com was redirecting visitors to the original campaign site.
This decision surprised many, not because Paul Ryan is not a strong conservative, but because the fiscal conservatism Paul Ryan has demonstrated through his budget proposals has the possibility of alienating the independent and undecided voters that Mitt Romney could have appealed to.
The public perception about Romney, whether it's because he was perceived as a 'flip-flopper' or because he was a republican governor of a fairly progressive state, is that he is not really as conservative as his campaign rhetoric would suggest. In contrast, there are very few people who actively follow politics who have any difficultly believing that Paul Ryan is just as conservative as he appears to be.
The decision to pick Paul Ryan has a massive risk, because of his desire to partially privatize social security and shred the rest of the social safety net, but it could also have a massive reward by re-energizing the conservative base, and potentially converting a few libertarians who planned on voting for Gary Johnson.