Frankly, I’m a little surprised that there hasn’t been more buzz about an Associated Press STORY of the other day in which certain allies of Paul Ryan, speaking on the proverbial Q.T., speculate about his political future:
Publicly, Ryan and his closest allies maintain that momentum is behind the Romney-Ryan ticket. They aren’t entertaining any talk about anything different from Ryan settling into the vice president’s residence in January. Ryan already has met once with Mike Leavitt, the former health and human services secretary who is building a government-in-waiting for Romney, Ryan advisers said.
But Ryan’s biggest boosters realize he probably can write his own ticket, win or lose on Nov. 6.
These Ryan allies spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private proposals they were preparing for him. They insist Ryan is not worried about anything beyond the election and is not planning anything except being a governing partner to Romney.
They say that if he fails, Ryan’s instincts will be to return to the House — he is running for re-election to his House seat at the same time he’s Romney’s running mate — and resume his role as Budget Committee chairman.
Some senior Republicans caution it might not be that easy.
If Romney loses, Ryan will be seen as a leading White House contender in 2016. He will be a national party figure even without being a top member of the House leadership. That could breed resentment among current Republican leaders and perhaps splinter coalitions within the already fractured GOP alliances at the top of the House.
A return also would make Ryan a leading target for Democrats. For the next few years, Democrats would lay traps in legislation, forcing him to take sides on measures that could come back to haunt him during a presidential bid.
That is why some of Ryan’s biggest boosters are considering whether it wouldn’t be better for Ryan to resign from the House. He could write a book — “saving America” is a theme often bandied about — or teach at a university.