My new column for WPRI is up over at their website. It discusses the pros and cons of a potential presidental run by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Here’s a snippet:
Ryan came by his success the right way: by knowing a lot of stuff. He doesn’t appear to be the type to weasel his way into House leadership by cutting back room deals. He has forced his way into meaningful positions simply because he is a pencil-necked tour de force.
As such, he thinks that if only voters saw what he did, they would turn their thinking around. And if the polls on Congress’ stimulus package and health care reform bills are any indicator, citizens are doing just that.
When it was clear the Republican brand was ailing, Ryan didn’t abandon his principles – he doubled down on a “Roadmap for America’s Future” plan that reformed many of the federal government’s entitlement programs. For years, even staunch conservatives have avoided issues like Social Security and Medicare as if they were garage sale underwear. Yet Ryan figured we were grown up enough to handle the bad news, and had the foresight to propose real solutions. Thus, when things started to shift the Republicans’ way, he has come out the back end smelling like a rose – with intellectual gravitas earned by sticking to his guns during the worst of times for his party.