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Analysis: How Choice Of Ryan For VP Plays In Virginia

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, greet the crowd during a campaign event at the Waukesha County Expo Center, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, greet the crowd during a campaign event at the Waukesha County Expo Center, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.

Reid Wilson, National Journal Hotline

While presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate on the GOP ticket has many political analysts focusing on implications for midwestern states, many in the D.C. region see Romney's choice of Virginia as a venue to make the announcement as an indication of how important the swing state will be in November. 

Reid Wilson, editor in chief of the National Journal Hotline, talks with WAMU Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about what Romney's decision will mean for the campaign season in Virginia. Here are some highlights: 

On how the Ryan choice will play among voters in Virginia: "I think it's going to fire up the conservative base, it's going to fire up the Democratic base and it's going to fire up editorial boards all around the state," Wilson says. "This decision has fired up everyone who was bored with the long summer slog that this campaign has descended into. I'm going to be watching the polling coming out of Virginia very shortly." 

How the president is likely to respond on the campaign trail in Virginia:  "President Obama's going to make this entire campaign about Paul Ryan's budget," Wilson says. "Because he has proposed something, that gives Democrats something to go after. I wouldn't be surprised to see the new ads hitting the airwaves in just a matter of days." 

On Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's role at the announcement Saturday: "Bob McDonnell, he got a good little moment where he got to come out and be the first to sort of laud this selection," Wilson says. "McDonnell's going to play a role in this campaign, primarily because he's so popular in Virginia, even though he's not on the ticket." 

What it means for McDonnell's political career moving forward: "That remains to be seen. After next year's elections, he'll be out of a job because of Virginia's one0-term limit," Wilson says. "I wouldn't be surprised to see him perhaps play a role if Mitt Romney wins, in sort of the second wave of cabinet appointees, or perhaps he gets some major slot, such as previous governors of Virginia have, as party chairman." 

How Romney's pick of Ryan will affect the Virginia Senate race: "Every Republican candidate is going to be asked about the Ryan budget, and its impact on Social Security, Medicare and entitlement programs that it seeks to change," Wilson says. "And that means that George Allen and every other Republican in Virginia is going to have to come up with an answer."

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