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If Paul Ryan is so great, how come nobody’s touting him for president in 2016?

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Conventional wisdom holds that the Republican ticket’s landslide electoral loss in last year’s presidential voting was mostly Mitt Romney’s fault, and I agree with that.

I don’t agree, however, with any notion that vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan wasn’t a factor in his party’s defeat.

Ask yourself this question: If Ryan had been the party’s presidential nominee, would the ticket have fared any better at the ballot box? Highly doubtful, I would think. Such a situation would have cast an even brighter spotlight on Ryan’s crackpot fiscal nostrums and his scheme to end Medicare as we know it.

Bear in mind, too, that there’s no significant push in his party to make Ryan the presidential nominee four years from now, as we see HERE:

He seems to have fallen entirely off the radar of early state Republicans. Democrats bring up his name with more zeal than do people in his own party. And his footprint at the Conservative Political Action Conference was so faint that his being an afterthought was itself an afterthought.

What the heck has happened to Paul Ryan?

Just months removed from being on the GOP ticket, he has faded from the national political conversation in a way that’s remarkable for a politician possessed with youth, fame and ambition.

This is partly by his choosing. Ryan, 43, has purposefully sought not to fan the 2016 flames and instead plunged headlong back into his work in the House. He’s been the anti-Palin: returning to his previous job with gusto and gladly immersing himself in the minutiae of governing.

(Snip)

Yet as Ryan’s power inside the Capitol has grown since his return earlier this year, his standing outside the building has diminished.

Last year’s It Boy of the graying Republican Party has been bigfooted by the GOP’s new twin heartthrobs, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

In conversations with scores of Republicans in Washington and beyond, it’s striking how little organic support or even interest there is for a Ryan presidential bid so soon after Mitt Romney elevated the Wisconsin wonk to the highest levels of national political stardom. Open-ended questions about who is drawing early attention don’t even include a pro forma mention of last year’s popular vice presidential nominee.

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