How excited is Rep. Raul Labrador to see one of his House GOP brethren, Wisconsins Paul Ryan, on the presidential ticket?
Judge for yourself.
I think Mitt Romney just won the election on Saturday, Labrador, R-Idaho, told the Statesman editorial board.
If so, were going to see something that hasnt happened in my lifetime. Or Labradors. Or Ryans.
History just doesnt suggest a running mate can win a presidential election. Or lose one. And yes, that includes gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden. In other words, I see your Sarah Palin and raise you Dan Quayle.
History instead suggests that the buzz and the backlash over Ryan will fade into the background.
Which means that another prediction about Romneys selection will likely fall by the wayside: the notion that putting the chairman of the House Budget Committee on the ticket will elevate this campaign to a substantive and overdue debate about the debt and spending priorities.
I hope it happens. Its what our country needs.
Theres obviously plenty in Ryans record to debate.
Theres his own paper trail such as his budget, which passed the GOP-controlled House in March on a party-line vote. And there is Ryans lesser-known work on a deficit reduction commission assembled by none other than President Barack Obama. Twelve of the 18 members of this bipartisan panel voted for a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases a $4 trillion blueprint authored by former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, voted for this plan; Ryan voted no.
Yes, we could debate about whether Ryan represents a conservative, cutting-edge numbers guy or whether he is a partisan hardliner who would cut too heavily from social programs and does not have the ability to forge or accept bipartisan compromise.
We could debate all of that.
But history shows that presidential elections take their tone from the top person on the ticket and that the focus, appropriately enough, falls there.
Will things be different in 2012? If they are, this truly will be a change election.
On Sunday, we editorialized against the controversial Dynamis Energy project the proposal to convert trash from the Ada County landfill into electricity.
Based on what Dynamis has said and not said we said we cannot and do not support the project at this time.
Now, the backstory.
For more than a month, since Dynamis officials held an impromptu June 29 meeting with Statesman reporters and editors, I have been trying to arrange a meeting between company officials and the editorial board. (The June 29 meeting was held late on a Friday afternoon, and I was the only editorial board member who could attend on short notice.)
After some haggling, we had an appointment to meet on Aug. 8 at Dynamis Eagle offices. About 90 minutes before the appointment, Dynamis postponed the meeting.
How come? Dynamis cited a protest to the project, which the Idaho Conservation League filed Aug. 6 with the state Department of Environmental Quality. ICL said it will protest a state air quality permit for the project, because the group believes the plant will violate state and federal air standards.
Dynamis will not be hosting any media interviews until the administrative process related to the outstanding air quality permits is complete, Dynamis legal counsel Wade Thomas wrote.
To me, that timetable is very important, and disconcerting. The DEQ permit is the last key regulatory hurdle facing Dynamis. Holding a meeting after the end of the permitting process is, essentially, an academic exercise. I also fail to see any reason why Dynamis couldnt meet, the ICLs letter notwithstanding.
On Thursday, I emailed Thomas a list of questions we had hoped to cover in our meeting. My reasoning is simple: If any or all of these questions have been addressed publicly, in meetings or in public documents, then there should be no reason why Dynamis can't answer them now. In an email Friday afternoon, Thomas said Dynamis position on media inquiries has not changed.
I know some will dismiss this as a battle between a company and a newspaper. But I believe a company such as Dynamis owes transparency to anyone who has an environmental or economic stake in this project. When we pose questions, we do so on readers behalf and in the public interest.
Kevin Richert: 377-6437, Twitter: @KevinRichert