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


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.


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.



  1. Neftali

    Its really just a matter of Paul Ryan finding his niche in life, not that Republican’s don’t think he’s great.

    Look at the Democrats. Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Harry Ried. Each is well liked by the party. No way any of them is being being touted for president in 2016. For that matter, I don’t recall Joe Lieberman or John Edwards being mentioned with Presidential aspirations after their respective defeats. Well…perhaps Edwards, and we know how well that turned out.

  2. Neftali: Ryan is damaged goods and a drag on Republican fortunes. He will never again be on a national GOP ticket.

    He’s a Randian, anti-government extremist, and history will remember him as merely a footnote.

  3. Paul Ryan is way too young to believe that his political career is a story whose last chapter has been written.

    But if you are so convinced you have finished him off, why don’t you stop talking about him?

  4. doc: Don’t be so politically naive. We libs want to keep Ryan in the public eye as a cautionary symbol of what he represents. He’s a pariah, which is exactly why most of the grown-ups in his party don’t consider him presidential timber.

    Consider this:


  5. A cautionary symbol of the desire to balance the budget and limit government intrusion into our lives?

    Got it.

  6. doc: Better go easy on the Kool-Aid. That stuff makes you sputter meaningless slogans and ridiculous rhetoric. And don’t forget that you belong to party that is dedicated to “intrusion into our lives.”

  7. Good examples there Nef. I agree whoelheartedly. As far as their national political potential, Ryan is very much the equivalent of Lieberman and Edwards.

  8. Dedicated to intrusion into our lives?

  9. The Janesville pot scrubber will have trouble retaining his own seat so doubt he’ll receive any new support for higher office.

  10. shawnnews

    The Republicans (or should I just start saying the Republic Party) have elements that are pro-death penalty and pro-sex, marriage and reproduction regulation. Some elements of the party would legislate their own versions of Christianity. Giving the government the power of life and death over citizens, regulating their sex lives and personal lives and having a religion enforced by the government are the ultimate government intrusions.

  11. Brian Opsahl

    He was re-elected, but Mr. Obama beat him in his own district in Wisconsin. After all the plant closings that happened under Ryans watchful eye if he hadn’t been running for VP he probably would have lost.

    I seen the list of good paying jobs that left his Congreesional District starting with the biggest one GM at Janesville. He should be asshamed of himself.

  12. Shawn,

    The government already has control over life and death of its citizens. You’ve heard of the ACA right?

    Also, please let me know which religion is the government enforcing. I want to make sure I am getting to church so I don’t break the law.

  13. Brian,

    Hilarious that you blame Paul Ryan for GM closing in Janesville. I didn’t remember him collecting a check from GM management.

    If Paul Ryan should be ashamed, I wonder how the union bosses and lefties who have destroyed Detroit should feel?

  14. Don’t be too quick to blame everything on the unions for Detroit’s demise. “Automation”, foreign competition and an increase in oil prices took down a large swath of auto workers. Add this to management’s profits over quality, safety and innovation and the boom in Detroit goes bust.

  15. The auto industry changed.

    The big 3 American auto companies did not change fast enough to accomodate that change.

    Part of their inability to change had to do with union contracts and inflexibility. The same is true of GM in Janesville. None of it had anything to do with Paul Ryan though.

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