Steven Kurlander defends the idea of selecting Ryan as the VP nominee:

This stigmatic change in the political dialogue is already ruining the chances of the GOP to win important swing states where critical independent, conservative Democrats and even moderate Republicans voters are now getting turned off by this caustic, overriding emphasis on religious doctrine in GOP politics.

Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate is the GOP’s best hope toward repairing this nearly insurmountable damage being done on the primary campaign trail because his presence on the ticket immediately shifts the campaign’s political center of gravity back to the president’s record on the economy, energy, and healthcare.

This is wrong. Ryan’s presence on the ticket makes the election a referendum on Ryan’s budget proposals. It takes some attention away from the economy, it focuses attention on what Romney and Ryan would do if elected, and it distracts the public from the incumbent’s record. Because many of Ryan’s specific proposals are already quite unpopular, and because we can expect those proposals to be demagogued during a general election (just as the GOP demagogued Medicare cuts in 2010), making Ryan Romney’s running mate would be an impressive own-goal for the GOP. A presidential election is a particularly bad time for anyone to be trying to make the case for major entitlement reform, and putting Ryan on the ticket requires that Romney-Ryan make entitlement reform one of their campaign’s main themes.