If your home is anything like ours, discussions of late have centered on the Olympic Games and whom Governor Romney would choose as his VP running mate and the timing of the announcement. Well, speculation is over; almost. This piece is published prior to the official event of the announcement.
Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice for many different reasons. Those of us that have researched and written to promote Governor Romney for years know him to be a strong, proven conservative leader. Is there any doubt now about his conservative vision for this ticket? No! We know Governor Romney as a man of great courage; Congressman Paul Ryan too is known for bold, assertive leadership. (See YouTube below for a glimpse of how Rep. Ryan is likely to handle any debate with Mr. Biden)
For the next two weeks leading into the Republican National Convention, we will be bombarded with details of Paul Ryan’s politics, leadership, background, families, etc. What do we know of this great American?
Character / Reputation
Ryan is a fighter who will never back away from a good scrap involving truth and he will fiercely defend against any of the many Obama elitist soothsayers and hacks like Burton. He is a passionate conservative – brilliant, articulate, energetic, and hard working. Many conservatives believe Ryan typifies the future of the Republican Party.
Families / Interests
One television news report from last night stated Ryan has 67 cousins living in and around Janesville, WI (his birthplace and current hometown). He is 42 years old, born January 29, 1970 to Paul, Sr. (lawyer) and Elizabeth Ryan. He is the youngest of four children; siblings include his sister Janet and brothers Tobin and Stan. Ryan’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all died of heart attacks between the ages of 55 and 59 (his father died when Paul, Jr. was 16). He is of Irish and German ancestry.
Paul Ryan married Janna Little, a tax attorney, almost 12 years ago. They have three children, Liza, Charlie, and Sam. They are Roman Catholic.
Ryan is a fan of the Green Bay Packers, a fitness enthusiast, and a hunter who enjoys hunting with bow and arrows. If he is like my Cheesehead friend, Steve Miller, Ryan considers Wisconsin “God’s Country.”
Education / Political Career
Paul Ryan attended Joseph A. Craig High School and earned a BA at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio in economics and political science (he originally wanted to be an economist). He was first elected as a United States Congressman in 1998 at age 28 and is currently serving in the House in his seventh term. He is chairman of the Committee on the Budget and a member of the Committee on Ways & Means and the Subcommittee on Health.
Representative Ryan is an active and committed mentor to up and coming Republican leaders; he has been instrumental in guiding several individuals in their successful campaigns to elected office at the federal level. He is one of three founders of the Young Guns Program. Prior to his election to the House, he served as a speechwriter to several elected and appointed federal officials.
Paul Ryan’s Twitter handle is @RepPaulRyan and he follows only one Twitter handle: @NationalDebt (at the time this post was published, his last tweet was August 5th). Check out the Paul Ryan YouTube Channel.
On April 29, 2012, The New York Times reported,
WASHINGTON — Representative Paul D. Ryan strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds.
At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats.
He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.
That is not bad for a man who was once just another minion on Capitol Hill, working for a research group, then for a member of Congress, and moonlighting as a waiter at the Hill hangout Tortilla Coast and as a personal trainer at a gym. Co-workers at the conservative policy group Empower America admonished him for hanging his workout clothes out to dry at work rather than laundering them.
“It’s amazing to all of us because Paul was just an ordinary guy,” said A. Mark Neuman, an old friend.
Late yesterday, Stephen Hayes and Bill Kristol wrote in The Weekly Standard,
Romney and Ryan bonded as they barnstormed Wisconsin in the days leading up to the state’s decisive April 3 primary. Over the course of their travels together, Ryan went from a small role as the guy who introduced Romney at their first event,to someone who shared the stage with him, taking some of the questions and bantering easily with Romney. The expanded role, Ryan told TWS in May, was Romney’s idea. “He knows how I talk and what I say. And I’m pretty clear about that stuff. I think he’s comfortable with that.”
Thursday, August 9th, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal published its main opinion column titled, “Why Not Paul Ryan?” – A strong endorsement of Representative Ryan:
Beneath it all you can hear the murmurs of the ultimate Washington insult—that Mr. Ryan is too dangerous because he thinks politics is about things that matter. That dude really believes in something, and we certainly can’t have that.
The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.
Personalities aside, the larger strategic point is that Mr. Romney’s best chance for victory is to make this a big election over big issues. Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things—Mitt’s taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election.
To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country. Americans tell pollsters they are anxious and unhappy precisely because they instinctively know the country is troubled in ways it hasn’t been since the 1970s. They know the economy is growing too slowly to raise middle-class incomes, while the government is growing too fast to be affordable.
Above all, Americans are hungry for leadership. They want leaders willing to take on the hard issues, preferably without the rancor and polarization that have defined Mr. Obama’s Presidency. But they will reward leaders who succeed despite the rancor, as Wisconsin voters showed by their huge turnout in support of Governor Scott Walker this year.
Whatever doubts Americans may have about Mr. Romney’s empathy or background, more of them will turn out for him if they see a leader with a vision and plan worthy of the current difficult moment. This is the kind of candidate and message that voters need to see in the Republican convention this month and into the fall, and it is the message that Mr. Romney’s choice of a running mate should reinforce.
Watch how Rep. Paul Ryan completely dismantles ObamaCare in front of national leaders including President Obama and Vice President Biden; he leaves them virtually speechless:
THANKS to Jayde Wyatt for contributions to this post.
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