Pundits tend to obsess over people who will never accept the #2 spot on the ticket. For instance, during the 2008 election, every other article was about how Barack Obama was “definitely going to select Hillary Rodham Clinton as his VP,” but deep down, you had to know that wasn’t going to happen — not after all they’d been through. This election cycle, people are still pining for Clinton. For the GOP ticket, the obvious favorite is Marco Rubio… but again, I really don’t see that happening. Every once in a while I come across a name that hasn’t been widely circulated in the Veepstakes yet, but ends up being so perfect I have to wonder why no one is squawking about it. One of these people is Paul Ryan.

paul ryan vp


If you’re looking for someone who appeals to middle class voters, Paul Ryan could talk nostalgically about how his hardworking great-grandfather started the Ryan Incorporated Central construction business. Or perhaps he’ll stump about his years of driving the Wienermobile for Oscar Meyer to put himself through college. Some of his other odd jobs during college included opening mail for Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten as a lowly intern, waiting tables at the Tortilla Coast restaurant, and fitness training at the Washington Sport and Health Club, to name a few. He’s a pretty “real” guy, wouldn’t you say?


Once he had his BA in Economics, his mother urged him to give up his dreams of being a ski bum and accept a position as a staff economist for Bob Kasten, which he did. Once Kasten was pushed out by Russ Feingold, Ryan went on to write speeches and contribute to conservative think-tank Empower America. He wrote speeches for Jack Kemp during the 1996 election cycle and worked as legislative director for US Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. He was elected to the US House of Representatives (WI) in 1999, where he still works today. He was one of three founding members of the Republican “Young Guns Program” (along with Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy) in 2008, which was wildly successful in recruiting and generating enthusiasm for up-and-coming Republican leaders. In 2010, The Daily Telegraph ranked him the “9th Most Influential US Conservative,” and he won 68 percent of the vote that year in his re-election bid. He outlined his vision for America in a detailed paper entitled, “Roadmap For America’s Future,” which discussed topics like healthcare, job creation and debt reduction — all hot topics for this election. On Capitol Hill, he is very much known as a man who thinks bold and comes up with realistic solutions to America’s greatest problems. Just last year, he was named Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget.

Continue reading to learn about Paul Ryan’s popularity & what Mitt Romney has to say about him…


This year, editors of Human Events magazine lauded Paul Ryan as “Conservative of the Year”. Honestly, he would probably be the most exciting fresh young face Romney could use to enhance his conservative appeal.

romney vp

Romney himself had this to say of Ryan (who has been serving in the Wisconsin House of Reps since 1999):

“Paul Ryan has three qualities that make him central to the definition of conservatism in America today. He’s not afraid to speak the truth. He has the gift of marrying conservative principles to practical solutions. He has the leadership abilities that turn thought into action. His success in gaining bipartisan support for his latest Medicare reform proposals exemplifies exactly what I am talking about.  With the country facing a slow-motion entitlement crisis that will eventually bankrupt us, we are extraordinarily fortunate that someone with his combination of courage, probity, and wisdom has come to the fore.”

Does this not sound like everything that Mitt Romney would need to get things done in Washington?

He’s also received positive accolades from well-known superstars like Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich and John Huntsman to key figures like Mark Levin (Conservative Radio Host), Reince Priebus (Chairman of the Republican National Committee) and Al Cardenas (Chairman of the American Conservative Union). If you were to use Facebook as any gauge of popularity, then you might note that Romney has over 1 million fans, but Paul Ryan has over 87,000.


Paul Ryan recently told local news station FOX6 that he didn’t want to run for president this cycle because he has three young children, but he would consider a spot on the ticket as vice president because the campaign is much shorter and less demanding. He reportedly told the news station:

“I’m not going to focus on that only because it’s someone else’s decision, so what’s the point of answering that question? I’m focused on doing my job right and that’s so far away and it’s out of my control, so I just don’t spend my time worrying about it. I spend my time worrying about my job, which is balancing the budget, getting this debt under control and creating the conditions that will get jobs created in this country.”

I think it sounds like he is up to the task… don’t you?

Also at This Week…

A History Lesson: How We Choose VPs

VP Speculation Takes Center-stage!

1944 Political Cartoon

When Do We Pick The GOP VP Nominee?


  • Ryan doesn’t have much appeal to moderates and independents, though, since it’s easy to point out how his plans for Medicare and Social Security are meant more to slowly destroy them rather than preserve them as he claims.

  • cranky critter

    Jim, if you change “moderates and independents” to “liberals and progressives” your statement becomes entirely accurate.

    If you polled moderates and independents, I bet you’d find a fair share who LIKE the idea of capping the gov’t liability on these programs. Or are at least open to that approach. It’s liberals and progressives who react with unanimous horror to Ryan’s plan, not the middle.

    Still, I think a choice of Ryan for VP could be viewed as an attempt to shore up the right flank. If I was Romney, I’d pick whoever was a popular moderate from Ohio. No idea who that might be. But I expect this election will come down to 5 or 6 states. And when it gets down to the wire, I don’t expect FL to still be in play, it will have swung red.

  • The problem with Ryan’s approach is that there is no attempt to achieve efficiency or control costs to save money in those programs. He just wants us to believe in the magic of the markets. I don’t buy it. Lots of people don’t buy into that kind of blind faith in markets when it comes to health care or retirement programs. In addition Ryan’s budget plans toe the GOP line on taxes, which most independents and moderates disagree with.

  • cranky critter

    I have no dog in the hunt defending the details of Paul’s plan. My point is simply that many moderates and independents DO prefer his approach to the democratic party’s approach of expanding entitlements.

    You are certainly correct that M+I don’t have “blind faith” in markets. That’s not the relevant question. The question is whether or not a market-based approach might bring improvements. And many M+I think such an approach has merit.

    You’re definitely entitled to your own opinion about which combination of approaches makes the most sense. I am simply saying that, as someone who talks all the time with moderates and independents, you appear to me to be incorrect about their views on Ryan’s approach.

    Becuause by our nature, M+I don’t feel any need to disavow any person’s plan on the basis of ideology, personality, or objections to one unpleasant aspect. Instead, they’re prone to looking at the whole thing, and saying, I like a, b, and c, and don’t care for d and e.