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August 16, 2011

Whoa....Paul Ryan Reconsidering Running For President?

This might get very, very interesting.

Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryans concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign and perhaps a presidency on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.

Hes coming around, says a Republican source close to Ryan, who has been urging the 41-year-old to run.

With Paul, its 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, hes open to it.

My number 1 requirement for a presidential candidate is executive experience but Ryan is a guy I'd waive it for. He's a budget expert, he knows how to build them and where the bodies are buried. It's not ideal but if like I do you think the budget and entitlement reforms are the key to a lot of what's going to happen in the next few years, we could do a lot worse than Ryan.

There are obviously significant challenges facing a Ryan run.

His entitlement reform is a lightning rod that Democrats would love to run against and by run against I mean, lie about. Of course any Republican is going to have to answer questions about it and you could make the case it's best to have the man who understands it better than anyone defending it.

It's kind of late in the game to build and organization and raise money. Rick Perry could do it because of his Texas ties. Could a congressman from Wisconsin, even as one as popular with the base as Ryan do it? Maybe given new technologies but it'll be a struggle.

And then there's history. A sitting member of the House hasn't been elected President in a long, long time. It's a big leap from running in a relatively safe congressional district to running a national campaign or even just a multi-state primary effort.

On the upside, Ryan has a lot going for him. One of the big things Perry brings to the race that no other candidate has to date is an ability to mix anger about Obama and the present state of the nation with a sense of optimism about the future of the country. Ryan would bring that as well.

Then there's this from Obama's health care summit.

Ryan v. Perry would be a tough choice but for once we'd have a tough primary choice. I'd love that.

I see people in the comments talking Ryan up as a VP candidate. It's not going to happen.

First, it's almost a lock that any eventual GOP nominee will run to Rubio and wisely so.

Second, you pick Ryan and you are tied to his plan. It's likely any candidate for President is going to have their own approach to dealing with entitlements, why would they tie themselves to Ryan's plan so directly? Even if they eventually come around to his plan, they are going to want as much wiggle room during the Mediscare fight (aka the general election campaign) as possible. Picking Ryan as the VP candidate eliminates that.

Finally, if he's not going to be President, Ryan is far more valuable in the House.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:39 AM

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