I thought Obama did pretty well when he picked Biden to be veep. Biden is so full of shit and so confident his shit is believable that the thought of his ascendence to the presidency is enough to inspire concern for Obama's well being. Cheney was smart when he picked himself to be Bush the Lesser's veep. Although in that situation, the concern worked the other way around. Clinton and Gore were always neck and neck, in my book, but both had the potential to be worse than the other. So there was belt and suspenders, reciprocal insurance. And Papa Doc Bush, no slouch himself in the role, had the modern pacesetter for the breed in Dan Quayle.
In the rush of oohs and ahs over Romney's selection of Ryan, the insurance angle is getting limited play, but Ryan has it, bless his heart. He's perfect for the job. Team Romney is to be congratulated. It can't have been easy to find someone so repulsive that prayers for Mitt's safety are understandable. Ryan manages with room to spare. He'll fire up the base, both Democratic and Republican, and if it's the GOP's consensus intent to throw the election, he's got the chops to help make it happen.
For all that he gives Romney, the major beneficiary is nevertheless Obama. Ryan's policy posturing fame comes from his "courage" to take on Social Security and Medicare. The Ryan-Wyden plan is vicious and crazy. Obama can draw on Catfood Commission proposals and look "reasonable" in comparison. The liberal poindexters and ichabods will eat it up, however much it chokes them. They're already primed to fall back on Supreme Court appointment arguments, the last refuge of increasingly less useful idiots.