August 13, 2012 -- Newly-minted vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan got an official "welcome to the race" from President Obama yesterday.
"My opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan," Obama said at a fundraiser in Chicago yesterday. "I want to congratulate Congressman Ryan. I know him; I welcome him to the race."
And, the president added, "Congressman Ryan is a decent man. He is a family man. He's an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney's vision -- but it's a vision that I fundamentally disagree with."
And with that, the ideological debate begins
The Obama campaign is up this morning with new web video from Florida -- where Mitt Romney campaigns today -- featuring seniors talking about the consequences of a Romney-Ryan ticket.
"Medicare is a boon to senior citizens," one white-haired Florida woman says. "And without that we choose between food and going to a doctor."
Meanwhile. the Romney campaign is doubling down on the argument that President Obama has dismantled welfare reform with new ad that attacks the president for his "long history of opposing work for welfare."
As for how Ryan might change the electoral landscape -- Wisconsin may now be in play, but he question remains: Will Ryan's choice make winning in places like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Iowa that much harder?
It's not just seniors that Team Obama will target, but working class white voters who are very sensitive to these government programs.
Team Romney, however, is playing offense too. In an email to reporters last night, Ryan's new communications director, Brendan Buck, alerted the press corps to an event Ryan will be doing in central Florida next weekend.
Far from ducking the state, Buck notes, Ryan will "highlight President Obama's record of slashing Medicare for current Florida seniors to fund Obamacare. He will also note that the Romney-Ryan ticket is the only one with a bi-partisan plan to strengthen Medicare for today and tomorrow's seniors."