Ruth Dudley Edwards: Battle for Veep is where the action is
Two Irish-Americans slugging it out to be US vice-president? Give me a ringside seat, says Ruth Dudley Edwards
It's four years since Republican Senator John McCain electrified the US presidential election by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Attractive, humorous and articulate, she had been a tough, honest and effective governor of Alaska, but she was destroyed by a hostile media who ridiculed what they saw as rural redneckery and mercilessly exposed her lack of intellectual depth, knowledge of a wider world and occasional flakiness. Independent voters panicked and she became a liability.
Mitt Romney is a cautious man and had been expected to make a safe pick for vice-president. Yet he opted for the quirky, brilliant, likeable, intellectual dynamo that is Paul Ryan, whose passion for small government, fiscal conservatism and individual responsibility rather than state dependency has the Republican heartlands swooning.