Late Returns: Paul Ryan 2012?

04/26/2011 07:12 pm ET | Updated Jun 26, 2011

So, voters keep saying that they are unhappy with their choices thus far, with respect to how the 2012 field is shaping up. If you're a GOP insider, you could patiently wait for Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty to officially enter the race and start debating people. Or, you could call in the ringer! And could that ringer be Paul Ryan? Over at Reuters, James Pethokoukis says, "There's desire at the highest ranks of the Republican Party, according to my reporting and sources, to see House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan seek the 2012 presidential nomination."

He gives many reasons why this would work: Ryan is "current," he has the right conservative cred, and the right geographical profile. But the most compelling reason he provides is the first:

Since Democrats are determined to hang Ryan's bold "Path to Prosperity" budget plan around the neck of every Republican running for office in 2012, why not have its author and best salesman advocate for it directly vs. President Obama?

It makes a certain amount of sense: after Ryan released his budget plan, the White House decided that it had found its "foil" in the legislative debates to come. So why not make it a fair fight? (Of course, the downside is that voters do not actually like Ryan's plan for Medicare, and it's not selling well at town halls.)

Anyway, Paul Ryan is the new Fred Thompson, mayhap! Go read the whole thing.

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When it comes to Donald Trump's polling numbers, it's either feast or famine. A few weeks ago, he was dining out on surprising showings in the field of hopefuls. But today, he's going hungry: "Sixty-four percent of all Americas said they would definitely not vote for Trump in 2012, while only only 7 percent said they definitely would." [Politico]

Who does Mitch Daniels like in 2012? Is it, say, "Mitch Daniels?" Ha, who knows, it's a great mystery! All anyone can say is that his preference is for "someone who is serious about addressing the debt and spending problems facing the country." For a long while, politicians have talked a good game about "debt and spending," but only crypto-zoologists have ever posited that some creature that is "serious" about these issues exist. So: VOTE DEFICIT YETI IN 2012! [Ben Smith]

Howard Kurtz laments the fact that so many trees had to die and get dyed with ink so that Newsweek could publish a story on Haley Barbour days after it was no longer necessary to do so. [Twitter]

Enjoy Columbia Journalism Review's Steve Daly's hilarious collection of "Decision 2012 Mad Libs." [CJR]