Romney banks on Ryan to shore up conservative base

(By Deutsche Welle) In an era of deep partisanship in the US, Mitt Romney has chosen rising conservative star Paul Ryan as his running mate. Romney is hoping that the party base can deliver him with the White House.

With the Republican Party convention in Tampa, Florida less than a week away, presumed presidential candidate Mitt Romney has sought to unite a party badly bruised during a brutal primary process by selecting conservative icon Paul Ryan as his running mate.

“The old Romney was a moderate centrist Republican who would not have liked a Paul Ryan type figure,” Darrell West, an expert on US domestic politics at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C., told DW.

“But the political landscape has changed dramatically and Romney has concluded that he has to move to the right to win this election,” West said. “The new Romney is much more conservative than the old Romney was.”

According to Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, although Romney’s rightward pivot has electrified the Republican Party, it carries serious pitfalls that could alienate him with centrist voters in November.

“Given that Ryan represents a much more hard-edged kind of conservatism on social issues as well as on economic issues, it is a gamble – a very large gamble,” Ornstein told DW.

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