He may have matinee idol looks and the hard body of an action hero, but Mitt Romney’s newly cast running mate is already sending shudders through Hollywood.
“Rep. Paul Ryan’s hard-right ideology may rekindle the entertainment industry’s enthusiasm for President Obama,” writes Hollywood Reporter journalist Tina Daunt, who notes that Hollywood zeal for the president could go into “overdrive.” She points out that heavyweight donors out in Tinseltown have already raised $12 million for the Obama campaign, and even hints that the glittering locals are nervous with Mr. Ryan’s admiration of “Atlas Shrugged” author Ayn Rand as well.
“The town’s core values are of the liberal persuasion rooted in the New Deal and a Ryan inflected government, critics say, would upend its legacy. Moreover, for all its wealth, Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry is filled with self-made men and women, many of whom have had to rely on public services at various times or who had family members who do,” Ms. Daunt says, later adding the industry’s “anxiety level and, therefore, its activism and fundraising” could skyrocket.
Mr. Ryan, meanwhile, is not oblivious to Hollywood. According to his Facebook page, his favorite films are “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; his favorite TV shows are “The Prisoner” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
There’s already an official “America’s Comeback Team” campaign collection, touting a team that earned excellent reviews in its first 48 hours of existence. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan “galvanized” wall-to-wall crowds while sending President Obama’s fundraisers scurrying for donations; Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee political director Kelly Ward, in fact, warned the party that conservative financial “floodgates” were open.
The two gentlemen in question are all business as Monday dawns. Mr. Romney heads to Florida on his own, bound for St. Augustine, Orlando and Miami. And Mr. Ryan? He’s off to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, to tour the down-home heartland event with Gov. Terry Brandstad. Mr. Obama, meanwhile, is in Council Bluffs some 130 miles to the west on a campaign tour. The Ryan effect, meanwhile, will be in full force.
“We have a number of states that are competitive where we believe he helps us,” says Romney senior campaign adviser Kevin Madden. “Iowa in particular, that is a state where I think his life story is important for others, something that I think helps him connect with a lot of those voters there.”
FAITH AND BEGORRAH
Interesting ethnic dynamics have emerged this weekend, says Niall O’Dowd, founder of IrishCentral.com and Irish America Magazine. “Paul Ryan versus Joe Biden sets up Irish Catholic political showdown — Lace curtain Irish Ryan against Shanty Irish Biden. Joe Biden and Paul Ryan may appear similar in ethnicity and religion but there are as many differences as similarities,” Mr. O’Dowd writes.
“Their views of the role of government could not be farther apart. Ryan is a disciple of another famed Irish American Ronald Reagan, who was always keen to limit government’s growth. Biden is a child of the New Deal and an apostle of the era of Kennedy and LBJ when massive new government programs lifted millions out of poverty. Ryan is lace curtain Irish, enjoying the benefits of a wealthy upbringing, thanks to a construction company fortune and a successful family legal practice,” he continues. Mr. Biden grew up “mostly in poverty” and “shanty Irish was the term often used,” Mr. O’Dowd says.
“Perhaps it is their uniquely different backgrounds that color both men’s politics. Personality-wise both men are seen as affable and popular and not just in their own parties but with opponents as well,” he observes. “How will Irish Americans react to the contest? Will most Irish Catholics feel the same way? How the Catholic vote goes will decide this election.”
PUTT IT THERE
An early hole-in-one for Republicans down in the Sunshine State: Officials at the 900-acre Innisbrook golf and spa resort near St. Petersburg are renaming the holes on the fabulously verdant and immaculately manicured Copperhead Course after the past 18 Republican presidents during the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month. Yes, the resort will restore the previous names — Sidewinder, Snakebite, Hidden Gem, et al. — once the Grand Old Party is done, well, partying. Here are the new temporary monickers for each hole along the course:
1. Abraham Lincoln; 2. Ulysses S. Grant; 3. Rutherford B. Hayes; 4. James A. Garfield; 5. Chester A. Arthur; 6. Benjamin Harrison; 7. William McKinley; 8. Theodore Roosevelt; 9. William Howard Taft; 10. Warren G. Harding; 11. Calvin Coolidge; 12. Herbert Hoover; 13. Dwight D. Eisenhower; 14. Richard Nixon; 15. Gerald R. Ford; 16. Ronald Reagan; 17. George H.W. Bush; 18. George W. Bush.