The Ryan pick also comes after a week of a growing chorus of influential conservative voices calling on Romney to choose him.
"The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline," wrote the Wall Street Journal editorial board on Thursday.
Romney has never met with full approval or trust from the conservative wing of his party. The opposition to Obama, far more than a passionate love for Romney, has been fueling the GOP consolidation around its candidate since he effectively captured the nomination back in April. His pick of Paul Ryan can possibly go a long way in giving his base voters something to vote for rather than just a vote against the president. That could be a powerful motivator in turning folks out to the polls in November.
There will certainly be more car elevator-esque stories and other cable catnip to come this cycle. But, for now, we will likely see entitlement programs, spending cuts, and deficits take on a prominent part of the campaign chatter. So, brush up on your working knowledge of premium support. The conversation has changed (for at least a little while).