I sort of like Paul Ryan...at least much of his fiscal outlook on governance. He's young and energetic...and predictably spouts the requisite lines of limited government.
Of course he voted for the Patriot Act, TARP and the auto bailouts....and against medical marijuana...so he's not likely to sway my vote towards the GOP.
All in all, he was probably the best of the probable picks, but he's going to outshine his empty suit of a running mate. That will not likely bode well for Romney. VP picks are like sweeps week for the end leg of the campaign. Lots of attention, speculation and excitement amongst the media and pundit-sphere.
But in reality, a VP pick doesn't add a whole lot of weight to the ticket on Election Day. One point I found interesting was that not long ago Romney emphatically included an alleged exchange between himself and a business owner, where the citizen stated: "I'd like to have a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I'd like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States."
But Romney proceeds to choose as a running mate and potential successor and POTUS, a candidate who's business experience comes nowhere near that standard.
What’s more, Romney makes much on of not being a career politician or ever serving in Washington (ignoring, of course, that he could have been in the Senate for nearly two decades had he defeated Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1994).
Yet Ryan, 42, has spent the bulk of his career in the capital. The House Budget Committee chairman has been in Congress since he was 28 and before that did stints as a congressional staffer and at the late Jack Kemp’s think tank, Empower America.And the very small but influential constituency that’s now promoting Ryan hails from the same orbit of GOP thinkers and politicians as Ryan.
Ryan’s time working in the business world is limited to the brief period he spent at his family’s construction business in Janesville, Wis. That was only a matter of months, though. According to published reports, he returned to Wisconsin after the 1992 loss of his then-boss, Sen. Bob Kasten, but was back in Washington the next year working for Empower America. He returned to the family firm once more as a management consultant in 1997 but spent just a few months there before launching his winning congressional bid the next year.
He included that exchange [as he includes in some degree in every campaign stop] to imply that his business experience is what sets him apart from Obama, and thus makes him a more viable candidate to grow the economy.
If the tired lines about the 'inside the beltway' and 'Washington insider' is to be taken seriously, he might have then chosen someone who was able to be held to that standard. There should be no surprise of course, when a politician specifies one standard for their opponent and another for themselves. It's all part of the game.
From Skeptical Eye
, a snippet of Paul Ryan's voting history:
Paul Ryan on Bailouts and Government Stimuli
-Voted YES on TARP (2008)
-Voted YES on Economic Stimulus HR 5140 (2008)
-Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
-Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)
Paul Ryan on Entitlement Programs
-Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003)
-Voted YES on providing $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers. (Jun 2006)
-Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks. (Oct 2008)
-Voted YES on Head Start Act (2007)
Paul Ryan on Education
Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
Paul Ryan on Civil Liberties
-Voted YES on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists. (Feb 2005)
-Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
-Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)
Paul Ryan on War and Intervention Abroad
-Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
-Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
-Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)
-Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007).