NOW with Alex Wagner | November 05, 2012
>>> tomorrow's outcome is still up in the air but prognosticators are already making prediction -- predictions, plural, regarding paul ryan 's future. after speaking anonymously to several aides close to ryan , philip elliott writes for the associateded press --
>> if the romney / ryan ticket loses it may not be all that bad for the gop wounder kin. john heilemann writes -- joining us now from washington, is the editor of the new republic franklin .
>> we've been watching this tape of the incredible anim mittble bill clinton out there doing this thing. also joe biden out there, two very effective surrogates for team obama. we have heard precious little from paul ryan save an echo of the revenge line they are trotting out over the last 24 hours . do you think in the end, regardless of what happens tomorrow, paul ryan has been a good choice for mitt romney this campaign cycle?
>> i agree with you. he's been strangely disappeared from the campaign trail. i think he's out there, drawing some sizable crowds but nothing like the way the mccain people trotted out even sarah palin at the end of the campaign in order to gin up enthusiasm. but i think there's a way in which had he may have on that slightly hurt mitt romney which is that you look at medicare as an issue, and the way in which the ryan plan has resonated despite the fact that the obama people haven't really pushed it like the way that you mute think they would have pushed it as a potential negative, medicare still -- has become a substantial advantage for the democrats in all three of the swing states according to the polling data. look at florida which i think is much closer than you would have anticipated at this stage and you have to wonder whether medicare and the ryan plan has reed downed against the romney ticket there and look at wisconsin which certainly is closer than you would have expected, but it doesn't look like based on all the polling we've seen, that ryan is going to drag romney over the tlej. i think maybe on balance he's been slightly -- slightly a net negative for the ticket, but i guess the question is, what was the alternative and who could have done better? i'm not sure that there are examples out there that are clearly superior?
>> there was a lot of talk about rob portman being a better selection for mitt romney and i mean everybody has spent so much time in ohio they may be residents of the state by now. in all the ohio photo ops you see rob portman , critical adviser to the romney campaign, he was romney 's debate and sparring partner , seemed to have worked out well for mitt romney . he could have chosen rob portman and maybe had a better chance in ohio .
>> i think choosing anybody less extreme than paul ryan would have been a good move. when you look at when romney has gained momentum it's when he tacked to the center. whoever wins the election, we're in a center country right now. the solutions for the economic problems which are going to be the biggest challenges facing the winner of this election are centrist solutions. we need to have tax hikes, we need to have entitlement reform, people that come together and foster that. paul ryan 's extreme budget is no solution and i really think that in terms of his future, i'm not so sure he's going to play as big a role as some might think because i think the republican party is going to have a big ideological conversation, it's been ongoing, more serious after the election as to what is this part going to be, hijacked by extremists or actually come together and work to solve the economic problems of the country.
>> in "the new york times" today, an article asked by a reporter last month if he expected the broad responsibility for the economy that mr. cheney held for national security as an aide suggested, mr. ryan said i do. a large reason he was chosen was to help romney govern an yads visor to the campaign said, paul will focus on being a partner.
>> i think if romney does win, if all the polls are wrong and he wins.
>> there's a couple.
>> small. you know, i think then he would absolutely be a very strong outreach to capitol hill and be able to work with the republican caucus and congress. i think the senate will have a very strong role in blocking whatever the romney agenda is and we'll see once again, a congress that probably doesn't do a lot and that fights itself into a standstill.
>> that is a rosy picture you are painting, my friend. franklin , to go back to this idea of what paul ryan is going to do next, look, to me, even having this big prognosticating as we are in advance of election day , to me says, some folks in the ryan camp are either nervous or unhappy about the role that the -- that paul ryan has played and are trying to secure sort of some distance between him and romney should it all go south on election day . and we lost the audio there. michael eric dyson in terms of the sort of optics of this, people saying this is what paul ryan will do next, talking about a position as a lobbyist, on the heels of the chris christie bromance, these are folks that i think clearly do not think there is the wind in their sails going into tuesday.
>> the optics are bad, the sound is even worse . the reality for all this discourse about country first and so on, you're already calculating what am i going to do. people are calculating for you what am i going to do. run the heritage foundation , be nerdish kind of person. the right does have an intellectual genius for figuring out ways to put to work those intellectuals and scholars that create a mill of ideas for them that they then aproposate and use in the public state. he's straddled the fence between that and i can see has a future in the politics in the pure sense or generating some kind of intellectual infrastructure that will play a role in the republican party , however it comes out for the next 20, 30 years.
>> they need something aside from trickle supply side economics and intellectual platform.
>> no doubt about that.
>> you're not running the republican party .
>> that hasn't been successful.
>> i think it's true paul ryan will have a big voice depending -- if he's vice president obviously, but if he's not, if he goes back to being a congressman and then runs for president, he's going to be a major voice in the republican party and the war is not going to be in the republican party . it's going to be fought not in a back room somewhere. it's going to be out there in the public with a lot of ranker. it actually is exciting to see and gives the democrats maybe a chance to make some real progress.
>> franklin , i believe we have your audio back. in terms of being a standard bearer for the gop depending on what happens on election day , do you think paul ryan will take that lead role?
>> oh absolutely. look at what this guy has done in a short period of time. he went from being a back bencher to imposing his vision for very, very small, very, very libertarian government on a republican party . he managed to shift an already right leaning party even further to the right on economics. and he did this by savvy mastering of the folk ways of washington and seducing the media and if he'll emerge from this election being entirely inbe sue lated from whatever postmortems emerge about mitt romney . the debate about why the mitt romney campaign went south, if it indeed ends up going south, will revolve around mitt romney 's character and tactics and nothing to do with paul ryan is my prediction.
>> franklin you said mastering the folk waves and seducing the media which is something everybody at this table would like to do. also a reason -- that's why you're the big cheese at the new republic, sentences like that just -- thank you as always, my friend, for your time.
>> coming up, compromise may be a dirty word in the senate, but could a leftward shift on election day change life in the upper chamber ? we will ask senator barbara boxer when she joins us