When Mitt Romney selected me as his running mate, I knew the Democratic attack dogs would come out in full force. They would say I’m a right-wing ideologue. They would say my views on entitlement programs are far too radical. They would say putting me on the ticket immediately kills Mitt Romney’s chances of becoming president because I’m a liability. But if we’re being honest with each other—if we’re able to put aside the talking points for a few minutes and say what we’re all actually thinking and feeling — I believe we can acknowledge the real truth here. I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m smart, and I’m articulate. And that scares the ever-loving shit out of you. You can pretend like you have this thing in the bag, but you know good goddamn well that this race just got real interesting, real fast.
It’s okay to admit it. You’re frightened to death of me. It might actually be healthy for you to face your fears now rather than later, when Mitt and I are leading by a few points in the polls and it looks like this thing might end badly for you. Face it: I’m not some catastrophe waiting to happen, like a Sarah Palin or a Dan Quayle. On the contrary, you have the exact opposite fear. I’m a solid, competent, some might say exceptional, politician.
Did you get nervous when you read that last sentence? Is it because you know in your heart of hearts that it’s 100 percent true? Is it because, even if you strongly disagree with my beliefs on Medicare, Social Security, women’s rights, and marriage equality, you know my talent as a speaker and my well-thought-out approach to these issues—no matter how radical and convoluted you find them—might just be enough to win over independent voters? Do you get chills just thinking about how strong my appeal actually is?
I have another question for you: How scared are you that I can convince people I’m right? Because I’m good at it. No, I’m really good at it. You see, I know how to turn up the charm and charisma without putting people off. Then I back up what I’m saying with arguments that, when they come out of my mouth, sound completely accurate and well-reasoned. And I do it with such passion that people automatically recognize me as a man with deep convictions he will stand up for, no matter what. The American people love that shit. They love it. Passion, intellect, and a magnetic personality. Pretty damn intimidating combo, if I say so myself. You want to talk about polish? Man, I’ve got polish for miles. Oh, and by the way, I’ll go ahead and say this next thing because, if we’re being honest, why the hell not, right? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m white. Hoo, brother, am I white.
Yup, you should be scared shitless of me, because guess who isn’t? The people of Wisconsin. They love me. Republicans and Democrats there love me. Hell, I get Democrats to vote for me even if my policies make zero sense when it comes to their livelihoods. Do you know why? Because they like me. They like my story. Young, good-looking kid who pulled himself up by his bootstraps to make something of himself. Christ, I’m a storybook candidate. I balance out this ticket so well it’s almost too perfect. The people of Ohio are going to think that. And seniors in Florida — the state we supposedly lost when Mitt picked me — won’t be so scared as soon they know that my mother lives in Florida, and that all I want to do is reform the health care system so she can receive care that makes good fiscal sense. Boy, I’m going to sell the shit out of that talking point. And I’m going to do a great job of it. Why? Because I’m Paul Ryan. That’s what I do.
And if we’re having trouble getting Pennsylvania on board, just wait until I absolutely wipe the floor with Joe Biden in the vice presidential debates. Don’t think for a second that I don’t know you’re terrified of us facing off, because in the back of your mind you know it could be a bloodbath up there. Well, that’s 77 electoral votes, and by my math that means you can kiss your golden boy goodbye after four short years. All that promise. All that energy. All that potential. Gone in one November night. I’m your worst fucking nightmare. Oh, and by the way, don’t even try to pretend you haven’t imagined me being elected president one day