Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I Think Paul Ryan Would Be the Perfect Candidate for President

There seems to be a lot of buzz (admittedly, much of it generated by Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard, the magazine that would like to see Paul Ryan's face on Wheaties boxes) about Paul Ryan possibly entering the race soon.  According to the latest, GOP powerhouses Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, John Boehner, Jim Jordan and Bill Bennett are all trying to convince him to run.  Hopefully he agrees.  So why do I like Paul Ryan so much?  Here are the main reasons:

  1. He is the candidate best able to eloquently present both what Republicans believe in, and most importantly, why.  The last candidate to do this well was Reagan, who did it well through anecdotes and funny stories.  I think Paul Ryan can do it through reason.
  2. The mainstream media likes to paint Republicans as either crazy (Bachmann and McCain) or stupid (Rick Perry and George W.).  Ryan is very clearly neither. 
  3. To turn out the vote, it really helps to have a candidate you can be proud of.  Of the current candidates, is there anyone you can honestly say won't embarrass you and make you have to make excuses to people who are either on the fence or on the other side?  During last Thursday's debate, I actually found the most reasonable Republican on stage to be Rick Santorum (he did another good job sounding very reasonable last night on Hannity)and the most intelligent to be Newt Gingrich.  That's a problem given that neither candidate is considered to be a serious contender for the GOP nomination or Presidency. I do realize that all politicians have gaffes given their grueling schedules, but the media is most likely to excuse Democratic gaffes (like Obama saying there are 57 states) than Republican ones.
  4. Ryan will wipe the floor with Obama in the debates.  Obama is clearly weakest when he doesn't have his trusty teleprompter telling him what to say.  He will very likely misstate facts and even downright lie during the debates which will give an opening for Ryan to pounce, as I believe Ryan is very on top of the facts.  McCain was never able to take advantage of this because he just has never been the wonk that Ryan is.
  5. Ryan has actually offered up an entitlement reform plan, something Obama has not yet done and probably will never really do (at least nothing above talking points).  Also note that Ryan's budget plan got 40 more votes in the Democratically controlled Senate than Obama's, which got exactly zero.
  6. Ryan can unite the party.  He is clearly someone that both the Tea Party and the establishment can live with.  Party unity will be very important when turning out the vote next year. 
  7. He will help get the midwestern vote to the GOP side.  The midwest is the biggest battleground on a regional basis left.  The northeast and pacific states are mainly Democratic, the south and mountain states are mainly Republican.  Having a candidate at the top of the ticket from the region may help get a few votes here, a few votes there.  They could certainly add up and get a couple key states to switch, making it easier to get to 270 electoral votes
  8. Paul Ryan is an Irish catholic, a group that has historically voted for the Democrats.  Just as an African-American surge helped Obama win some key states, an Irish Catholic surge for Ryan can do the same for him (with the added benefit of actually stealing votes from Obama).  I know his religious affiliation is no guarantee of anything as John Kerry was a Catholic and still managed to lose the Catholic vote, but given Paul Ryan's everyman status I can see how he might do better.  Who knows, maybe he can swing New Jersey or New York?  Neither state is exactly happy with Obama right now.
  9. Paul Ryan could be the JFK of the Republicans, with his relatively youth of 41, exciting young people.  Obama had a decided advantage within this demographic in 2008 because he was in his 40's while John McCain was 72.  Shaving a few percentage points from Obama's under 25 lead could do wonders for the GOP.
  10. I know, with absolute certainty, that having Paul Ryan as President for two terms will have made what we've had to endure under Obama worth it.  I know I can't say that about any of the other candidates.  He's the one candidate I'd actually be voting FOR, as opposed to just voting for whomever the Republicans put up against Obama.

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