Tales from the Trail

A Number Cruncher could add up to become Romney running mate

Washington number crunchers are finally getting some respect.

Just take a look at Mitt Romney’s search for a Republican vice presidential running mate.

With the economy the top issue in the Nov. 6 elections, Romney’s short list of his possible picks features two of Congress’s most wonkish guys.

One, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, served as President George W. Bush’s budget director, and is now viewed as a top contender.

The other, Paul Ryan, is chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

Numbers crunchers have long been seen as political stiffs.

They could bore a crowd, not build one.

They could inform a generation, not inspire one.

Times have changed.

“Being wonkish is no longer a liability. It’s politically sexy,” said Greg Valliere of Potomac Research Group, a private firm that tracks Washington for investors.

from Political Theater:

Perry’s latest ad hypes his ‘momentum’

A month ago, after a series of poor debate performances that culminated in his infamous "oops" gaffe, Rick Perry was on the defensive. “If we’re electing a ‘debater-in-chief,’ don’t elect me,” he told Megyn Kelly on America Live on Nov. 10.

Today, by contrast, in his second new ad of the day, Perry -- who trails Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich in Iowa -- is celebrating last Saturday's ABC News/Yahoo debate in Des Moines.

In the nearly two-minute-long video, titled 'Momentum,' Perry weaves together favorable reviews from observers including Chris Cillizza, Larry Sabato, RedState.org, and Tim Albrecht with miscellaneous Iowa-esque imagery and clips of Perry speaking at the debate.