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Paul Ryan For Vice-President

Paul RyanI am not normally one who is enthralled by the speculation over who a particular presidential candidate may choose to run as their vice-presidential candidate. I know a lot of thought and investigation goes into such a choice and it can help or hurt a candidacy. Mitt Romney’s choice for his running mate is no different for me. Although I am interested, I don’t sit around, trying to figure out who his choice will be. There are possible choices that interest me, but I haven’t given them a lot of thought. One of those choices happens to be Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

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Paul Ryan is a fairly well know member of Congress. My first introduction to him came during some of the budget and financial discussions Congress was having with the President over the Affordable Care Act. I was more than a little impressed with his complete and total command of the facts and figures of all things budgetary. Couple that with his ability to explain and persuade and I felt he was an up and coming star in the Republican Party.

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When the GOP took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections, Paul Ryan was quickly named as Chairman of the House Budget Committee. In that position, he was responsible for drawing up the Republican budget plan that drew so much wrath and unfairly negative advertising from the liberals. Because of his recognition of the fact that entitlements have to be part of any plan that makes a serious attempt to control our national debt and budget deficit, he was accused of pushing Grandma over the cliff in her wheelchair.

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In recent days, Paul Ryan has become an oft-mentioned name in the Mitt Romney Veepstakes. Personally, I like Paul Ryan, but I have always felt he would probably be a better fit to replace Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Because of his budget plan and the subsequent negative advertising, Paul Ryan is a polarizing figure. According to Rich Lowry, that may not be a bad thing.

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(Politico) If you are a Republican political consultant, you are almost professionally obliged to be shocked and appalled at the prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

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With reliable reports that Ryan’s on Romney’s short-short list, the weeping and rending of garments among the Republican political class has already begun. You mean, they lament, he’s going to pick the Republican who embodies messing around with entitlements? The chairman of the House Budget Committee, for God’s sake?

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Ryan is the guy political consultants see right before they wake up from a nightmare of a really bad focus group.

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That the hyper-cautious Romney is seriously considering him counts as one of the biggest surprises of a campaign almost entirely lacking in them. Picking Ryan would represent a Romney revolt against conventional wisdom. And appropriately so — since the conventional wisdom is wrong.

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In political terms, picking Ryan is supposedly like hanging out with the No. 2 of an Al Qaeda affiliate somewhere in the badlands of the Middle East. He’s a target. If the missiles haven’t yet taken him out, it’s only because the drone is hovering silently overhead before hurling down its bolts of death.

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Ryan tops the Democratic target list for the offense of proposing serious reform of Medicare, as part of a budget that puts federal obligations on a sustainable path. It’s been a cardinal rule of Republican politics that it’s OK to talk about balancing the budget, so long as no one talks about touching the entitlements that drive the long-term debt. Ryan broke the rule.

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I am convinced Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s Vice-President would absolutely drive the Democrats crazy. They would probably have to take some Prozac to calm themselves down. I am not completely in the camp for a Paul Ryan candidacy, given that I still wonder if he wouldn’t be a better fit for Secretary of the Treasury, but I have to admit it would be fun to watch the liberals foam at the mouth of the choice of Paul Ryan. Not to mention the thought of him debating Joe Biden. That wouldn’t even be a fair fight, as Ryan would walk all over him and still be nice about it.

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Rich Lowry goes on in the article to explain why Paul Ryan may be a good choice for Mitt Romney. If there is one thing Paul Ryan can do, it is explain the budget process and how it really works. In other words, he knows his stuff and has no problem explaining it to anyone who will listen.

The Democrats’ assault over Medicare will be ferocious — not to mention lowdown and dishonest. Hell, they’ve already all but accused Romney of killing someone, and they haven’t even gotten around to Medicare. When the barrage starts, Romney won’t be able to duck and cover or look at his shoes. He’ll have to win the argument — or at least hold his own.

This is the broader point. Romney has to carry the argument to President Barack Obama. The state of the economy alone isn’t enough to convince people that Romney has better ideas to create jobs. Neither is his résumé. Romney needs to make the case for his program, and perhaps no one is better suited to contribute to this effort than Ryan.

Ryan is an ideologue in the best sense of the term. He is motivated by ideas and knows what he believes and why. But he’s not blinkered. He is an explainer and a persuader.

The more I read Lowry’s article, the more I began to wonder if Paul Ryan wasn’t exactly the choice Mitt Romney needed to make. He makes some very strong points in that favor. I don’t want to quote the entire article, but it is well worth your time to read it, maybe two or three times. There are many points to consider. Here is Lowry’s final reason for believing Paul Ryan would be a good choice for Romney.

At the end of the day, Ryan is not such an odd match for Romney. It would be characteristic for Romney to consider his VP choice as an employment decision. And characteristic for him to hire a wonky young talent. If Ryan had been into finance instead of politics back in the 1990s, you could easily see Romney picking him up for Bain Capital.

Romney is, at bottom, a data-driven technocrat. The question has always been whether he wants to bring that skill to managing the federal government — or transforming it. If he chooses Ryan, the answer is inarguably transforming it.

The question Rich Lowry brings up is exactly the one many people have asked all along about Mitt Romney. Given his past experiences as CEO, what kind of President would he be. Choosing Paul Ryan as his Vice-President would suggest he wants to fundamentally change the way our government manages its finances. Taking many things into consideration, I wouldn’t be disappointed if Mitt Romney announced his choice for Vice-President was Paul Ryan. We could do much worse and maybe not much better.

UPDATE – 08/111/12: It looks like I was closer to the truth than I realized. Mitt Romney is set to announce Paul Ryan as his choice for Vice-President later this morning in Norfolk, VA.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Paul Ryan is just what the GOP needs more of. Razor sharp intellect, rock-solid principles, and delivers it all with a sincere smile. I think he would be an excellent choice as well, but I’d like to see him stay in congress. We need him there and he would be more effective as a congressman than as a VP.

    • I don’t even understand a lot of the intricacies of the economy and the finances of the our government, but I can actually enjoy listening to Paul Ryan explaining how it all works. He is one smart fellow and he can articulate his thoughts.

      It may very well be true that Ryan would be of more use in the House, but he needs more support in Congress. Maybe that will be one of the results of the election in November.

  • I like Paul Ryan but he doesn’t have any constituency and he doesn’t bring much to the table. Candidates have rarely selected a member of the House as running mate. Since the 40’s when the VP was given a slot on the national security council, most of the running mates have had some foreign policy credentials. They’re either from the Senate or they’ve had significant foreign policy experience. So I question whether or not Ryan is the best guy but I’d take him over someone like Condi.

    • I wouldn’t argue with your assessment either, Steven. Ryan’s focus is definitely on the budget and the economy. Some of that could be lost if he is chosen as VP.

  • I would not be upset if Romney chose Paul Ryan. He is a good man. However, I would prefer to see Ryan as Speaker of the House. John Boehner needs to be retired in my opinion.

    • Now that is something I hadn’t thought about. Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House? Not a bad idea, but I wonder if the hierarchy of the Republican Party would allow that?

  • I love Ryan and I think he would be a much better choice than either Portman of Pawlenty but I do think the Democrats would have a field day with his selection as you mentioned. I think I would prefer to see Romney pick someone else and appoint Ryan as Treasury Secretary if he wins.

    • lou222

      Last time I checked it was still up to the Presidential nominee to pick his VP and not the Democrats. At this point, I don’t give a rats butt what the Democrats say OR the media…I just want a qualified person that is not an unknown.

      • That is true, Lou. The last thing Mitt Romney needs to do is allow the Democrats to guide his choice for VP.

    • Since the time when some people brought up Paul Ryan as a possible candidate for President, I have thought he would be better suited for Treasury Secretary. It just seems that would be right up his alley.

      As for the other two names you mentioned, I don’t know a lot about Portman, but I am not enthused about Pawlenty at all. I mean no disrespect to the man, but he seems so uninspiring, I fail to see how he would bring anything positive to the ticket.

  • I like Ryan. He’s smart. Yes, Dems would go wacko but if you really want to drive them nuts you pick a woman or minority for VP. I hear Petraeus might not consider it but I like him, Ryan, Alan West or Marco Rubio.

    Mittens has to go bold but not so far as to pick a Sarah Palin. With VP choices they rarely help only hurt but Ryan might be better used in a Romney cabinet than in the VP’s office.

    Ryan would be a good candidate for president in 4-8 years depending upon whether Romney wins or not.

    • Almost every assessment of Paul Ryan includes the fact that he is smart. He really is and it would be a shame to not use that to our country’s advantage. Whether it be as Vice-President, Treasury Secretary, President, etc., I think he would do well.

      I am intrigued about who Romney will choose. So far, he is keeping his cards fairly close to his vest.

  • All I know is that Romney’s pick will tell us a whole lot about Romney.

  • I like Ryan. He’s still a big government guy, but out of all of the big government Republicans, he seems to be the smartest.

  • Looks like the pick will be made known tomorrow!

    Apparently Ryan has the edge.

    • That does seem to be the case. The fur will surely be flying now.

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