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Romney's choice of Ryan is about 'substance'

A supporter holds a photo Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan during a campaign rally at the Waukesha County Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisc.

Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his V.P. surprised plenty of people: he's young, he's got plenty of legislative baggage. Polls suggest jobs are the number one issue in this campaign, but Ryan's claim-to-fame is deficit reduction.

A new piece in Politico suggests he's surprising for another reason: his passion for math. At least the math of federal budgets -- he's a substance and details guy. Politico's Glenn Thrush co-wrote the article and says Ryan is a fascinating pick because: "Romney has pretty much tried every single approach to Barack Obama, most of them negative. And this is kind of a Hail Mary approach on substance. It's not merely just a discussion of core conservative principles -- which I think a lot of people have cast this pick as being -- but it's really a move to change the tone of the conversation and really to kind of beat Barack Obama which is own 2008 messaging. This is really a throwback move to 'hope' and 'change' four years ago."

However, Thrush says the debates are going to be everything this year, and because Ryan will interject a real discussion on deficit reduction, it'll be important for the Romney campaign to remember the importance of the jobs discussion and bridge the two topics together.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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