It is obvious that Romney came out of the primary contest a winner so wounded he was a loser. The Obama campaign defined him very early as he stumbled bloodied and bruised from that scrum and stole his Romney's "business experience" narrative by exposing the shit stink of his business dealings and secretive tax dodging. And the Ryan pick was a clear desperation pick to change the story and seal the deal with the GOP crazytown base still skeptical after the primary, a pick which takes away the solid winner gambit of a referendum election in bad economic times and makes the election instead a highly risky loser gambit of a choice election between crony capitalism in libertopian drag (which is highly unpopular) and a social compact that supplements enterprise with social security (which is highly popular).
If there is an upside, it goes to Karl Rove, who had almost certainly given up 2012 as a lost cause when he saw the clown show primary take shape and decided to make a second bid at transforming the GOP through Crossroads and a pivot to Latinos and compassionate conservatism in the aftermath of the demographic evaporation of the Southern Strategy and anti-gay vitriol as a sufficient working class diversion to enable plutocratic prevalence. Now when Romney loses (and it pays to remember that everybody in the GOP hates Romney and won't exactly be shedding tears on his behalf when he delivers his stiff concession speech) Rovian players will attribute the loss to the Teahadis and make a bid for a re-alignment on their terms.
Of course, it remains to be seen if their case will prevail and whether, in prevailing, they are in any kind of position to build a GOP brand that isn't still driven by the desperate remnant of white-racist patriarchal pricks and greedheads in a rapidly secularizing diversifying nation coming to grips with the failure of neoliberal ideology and a catastrophic harvest of greenhouse storms. Still, there is no doubt that Ryan is less likely to represent a re-set button that will answer Romney's ambitions than a re-set button that answer Rove's.