sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

August 17, 2011

A Whole New Outfit

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 5:33 pm

I’m not sure how savvy the mainstream media is at picking our next President.  They have to realize that the way things are going now, our next President will be a Republican, so it’s basically up to the Republican primary voters of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to pick our next commander in chief.  I suppose the MSM would prefer a RINO to Perry.  If NBC keeps infuriating conservatives editing Rick Perry’s tapes, they run a risk of driving the more conservative demographic to the primaries. (Via Instapundit.)  And when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Obama about Perry, the TV host allowed the President to attack the Texan directly.  Perry comes back hitting BO twice as hard:

..Thus endearing Perry to conservatives.  Not doing a very good job, are we?

The Republican Presidential field might get a tad bit more complicated, for me at least, just as Perry emerges as an early frontrunner, because Paul Ryan might jump in.  Here is Steven Hayward:

Paul Ryan is the most consequential House Republican since Jack Kemp in the late 1970s, and for the same reason.  Okay, I can hear the objections already—what about Newt?  […]  Kemp and Ryan are hedgehogs (“knowing one big thing”), while Newt is a fox (“knowing many things,” though arguably too many things).

Ryan wants to have an adult conversation with America about the looming insolvency of the welfare state, and he has a serious plan to fix it.  Like Kemp, lots of careerists in the GOP will head for the tall grass when the going gets tough, which I predict will begin on Tuesday afternoon, after Ryan lays out his budget proposal in more detail at a speech at my office, the American Enterprise Institute.  (I’m going to be on a plane at the time and will have to miss it, but you can watch the webcast.)  Ryan gave a preview of his plan yesterday on Fox News Sunday.

Ryan knows he will face rank demagoguery from Democrats over his plan.  He is not afraid of this, and in a face-to-face right he runs circles around every single one of them.  I suspect Ryan is one of the few Republicans Obama genuinely fears; after all, Ryan schooled Obama in Obama’s faux-“health care summit” early last year.  (Obama does not look pleased in the video.)  David Brooks reports, by the way, that Obama never picks up the phone to try to talk with Ryan.

Ryan is not simply fearless about the issues, he also gets the larger picture, and can talk about the larger picture in a way that Kemp often fell short.  Ask Kemp about any other question than taxes, and you’d often hear a rambling answer that tied inner city education problems to the gold standard.  That’s why his presidential prospects withered.  Ryan, on the other hand, has immense facility to talk about the broader principles of the republic; he’s not just a number-crunching bean counter.

Here is Fred Barnes:

Ryan has followed that advice rigorously. His motto is, “Inquire, inquire, inquire, read, read, read.” He has made himself an expert on the budget, taxes, and health care. Ryan knows more about the federal budget than anyone else on Capitol Hill and talks about it more fluently. Because of this, he was a shoo-in for chairman of the House Budget Committee last week, elevated over colleagues with more seniority. He will draft the House version of the 2012 budget, a document the Democrat-controlled Senate and the White House will have to take as seriously as the budget proposal of the executive branch, which the Obama administration is set to release early next month.

There’s an old Washington adage that Ryan personifies almost perfectly: Knowledge is power. He’s become enormously influential because he knows so much more than his colleagues on a few issues. And they happen to be the most critical issues in 2011—spending, the deficit, the national debt, taxes, Obama’s health care plan, the size and reach of government.

I watched quite a few Ryan interviews on Gretta Van Susteren.  He practically radiates wonkishness, which I find incredibly admirable.  I suppose it’s politics of personal identification.  Not that I know as much as he does, but I wish I did.  Incidentally, I never ever for a second believed that Obama was an intellectual.  I was skeptical about the authorship of his books even before people started speculating about it.  I seriously doubt our POTUS reads much, and his reading material seems a bit shallow.

People close to Ryan say he is not an opportunist:

“With Paul, it’s more about obligation than opportunity,” says another Wisconsin Republican. “He is determined to have the 2012 election be about the big things. If that means he has to run, he’s open to it.”

Just the kind of guy who throws your grandma off a cliff…

While most of us know Ryan for his tough stand on the budget, his voting record indicates that he is an across the board conservative.  I find it exciting that the WI Congressmen doesn’t simply believe in American exceptionalism, he thinks that America is the most pro-human idea ever.  And he co-sponsored acknowledgment of Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s.  In other words, the kind of guy who throws grandma off a cliff.

Ryan’s hair makes him look like an extra in a Jazz Age film, how cool is that?

An iconic 1920s haircut.

Paul Ryan.

2012 Might not be Paul Ryan’s year.  He’s neither a Senator nor a Governor, although he’s been in the House for quite some time, since 1999.  Amazingly, his decade-long tenure didn’t turn him into a RINO, it turned him into a wonk.  Ryan is very young, only 41, and, given how he sees the big picture, his name will be popping up again and again.  A few years from now we might regret not taking up his Roadmap to America’s Future.

Anyhow, Ryan’s entry into the Presidential race, if it happens, will certainly complicate the outfit.  Because Ryan can hold his own, I’m going to post a picture of Calvin Coolidge’s wife in a red dress.

Grace Coolidge. Classy.



  1. hey there…but Perry has some shady Izlamic connections….sigh……………..

    Comment by Angel — August 17, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    • I don’t know what to make out of it, to be honest. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does make him seem a bit unscrupulous.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — August 17, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

  2. Perry has been a politician for years, and a successful governor.. He will have a very long paper trail. And I would imagine since Texas has a huge oil industry, he will definitely have Saudi connections. BUT he thinks global warming is stupid! And he comes from a poverty stricken background, has worked his way up… and he does not pretend to be ‘intellectual’ which is, in my opinion, a very good thing. Obama is a fake intellectual.

    As to wonkery: in my opinion Ryan should stay in Congress along with Issa, and continue the jobs they are doing so well! The world definitely needs these guys’ knowledge and talents.

    The last thing: the USA’s future does not depend upon a president. It depends upon the right people getting to the local meetings, and the state meetings, and taking all that back from the crazies.

    Comment by heathermc — August 21, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    • I seriously doubt Ryan will secure the nomination this time around, but since he’s so young, he probably has ten election cycles to run. He’ll have to illustrate an ability to win state-wide first, which, I hope he will.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — August 21, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

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