Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan appeared on stage together in Vandalla, Ohio, yesterday, their first joint appearance in nearly a month. It was an interesting event for a variety of reasons, but let's start with what happened when the presidential hopeful introduced his running mate.
For those who can't watch clips online, when Romney introduced the vice presidential nominee, the crowd started chanting "Ry-an! Ry-an!" Romney interrupted them, hoping instead to hear, "Rom-ney, Ry-an; Rom-ney, Ry-an." It looked as if the candidate's ego was getting the better of him -- Romney wants his name chanted, and he wants it to come first.
The moment helped capture a larger area of concern for the Republican ticket. The New York Times reports today that the campaign will have the two men campaign together with increasing frequency, even though it's inefficient to cover less ground, because aides fear Romney is "not generating enough attention and excitement" on his own.
No wonder Romney didn't like the crowd chanting Ryan's name.
As it turns out, Ryan may not be thrilled, either. Politico's Roger Simon has a column today on the right-wing congressman deciding to "distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign." Ryan has apparently "been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, 'If Stench calls, take a message' and 'Tell Stench I'm having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.'"
The quote is a reference to Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, telling the New York Times over the weekend, "I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he'll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him."
In applied terms, Simon's piece went on to note that Ryan no longer likes the directions "dictated by his Romney handlers."
It's quite a presidential campaign, isn't it?
Update: There's apparently some debate about whether Roger Simon's column is satire. I'd just note for context that the piece isn't identified as satire, Simon is a chief political correspondent and not a satirist, and the column is filled with details and anecdotes that are, in fact, accurate. If it is satire, it's awfully tough to tell.