When asked last Sunday on Fox News Sunday whether he would consider being picked as the Republican's vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan did not reject the notion outright like he did when his name was being touted last year as a possible presidential candidate.
"I would have to consider it," he said on Fox News Sunday. "But it's not something I'm even thinking about because I think our job in Congress is pretty important."
Ryan, 42, who has served the Wisconsin Congressional 1st District since 1999, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee and has been in the forefront in drafting and advocating the Republican's long term vision of reducing government and resolving the debt crisis. He is considered one of the top budget experts in the Republican Party and one of the brightest GOP politicians in Washington.
One serious problem resulting from the GOP primary war of attrition now being fought by the remaining four presidential candidates is that the focus of the campaign has shifted the president's handling of the stagnant American economy, unemployment, and the national debt crisis to an extremely derisive social agenda involving such issues as contraception, abortion, and even religious questions surrounding his Obamacare mandates.
This stigmatic change in the political dialogue is already ruining the chances of the GOP to win important swing states where critical independent, conservative Democrats and even moderate Republicans voters are now getting turned off by this caustic, overriding emphasis on religious doctrine in GOP politics.
Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate is the GOP's best hope toward repairing this nearly insurmountable damage being done on the primary campaign trail because his presence on the ticket immediately shifts the campaign's political center of gravity back to the president's record on the economy, energy, and healthcare. He stands out, totally alone, as the only one in Washington other than the members of the Simpson-Bowles commission that has formulated fundamental proposals of economic change that need to be debated-and compromised on.
Building a winning presidential ticket at the Tampa Convention has to not center around picking a vice presidential candidate that can attract a certain minority group (Rubio) or voting bloc (Santorum or Gingrich) to vote GOP in November, but one with immediate name recognition and an established, conservative political brand that can act as a unifier of hostile segments of the party, bring the needed Congressional experience and sway to the table that will allow a new president to implement dynamic economic and health reforms (which eliminates the governors), and one that can out-debate, outsmart, and contrast vice president Joseph Biden during the campaign (which is all of them).
Ryan is also the anti-Palin of the 2012 campaign.
Although not as hot or quite the shot as the former Alaskan governor, he is immune from many of the deficits that Palin brought to the table in 2008-Ryan is well known for his intellectual capacities, a seasoned campaigner and debater smart enough to endure an obtuse Katie Couric interview and a liberal mainstream media's pro-Obama scorn, and brings a novel economic and political agenda and smarts to the campaign that would complement either Romney's or any other candidates economic platform.
Right now, Ryan said that a decision about running for vice president is "not a bridge I've even come close to crossing." If he crosses that bridge over troubled waters, it will certainly ease a lot of GOP minds that are presently uneasy about the party's prospects in November.