Ryan shock waves shake Conn. races

The Connecticut Mirror has an interesting take on Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. In an article published on its website today, the wonkish politics and policy online news site raises the question whether Ryan's selection will hurt Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress.

It probably will.

Ryan's staunch fiscal and social conservatism will play well in many red states, where I suspect most Republican Senate and congressional candidates will happily embrace the ticket. But in Connecticut moderate Republicans win. With his call for a major overhaul of Medicare, slashing federal aid for the needy and his opposition to legalized abortion, Ryan is hardly moderate. Expect Democrats to try to tie Republican candidates to the Romney-Ryan ticket and the Ryan proposals.

The challenge for Connecticut Republicans will be embracing the broad outlines of fiscal reform, while dancing around the uncomfortable details.

Former Congressman Chris Shays, who faces likely defeat in Tuesday's Republican Senate primary, feels Connecticut citizens are ready for Ryan's tough medicine to get deficit spending under control.

"Governor Romney could not have made a better choice for his running mate than his decision to name my friend and former colleague, Congressman Paul Ryan," said Shays.

But Linda McMahon, the former professional wrestling executive who is expected to win Tuesday and continue her quest for a Senate seat, tossed Ryan and his Medicare reform plan over the ropes.

"Linda McMahon will never support a budget that cuts Medicare," said Corry Bliss, her campaign manager.

We don't expect Democrat Chris Murphy, his party's likely candidate for Senate, to let McMahon off that easy. Medicare just became a big issue in the Connecticut Senate race.

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