He’s thinking of running (the headline last week).
So much for baited-breath speculation — and probably prayers — in some GOP quarters that Rep. Paul Ryan would jump into the 2012 Republican nomination race and enter into a field that some GOPers feel is week and even alarming. Rule Ryan out:
After much speculation and some pressure from fellow Republicans, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin and the House Budget Committee Chairman, says he is NOT running for President.
“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”
Ryan’s controversial budget plan, which includes hefty cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare, had made him a darling of the right this year and fanned the enthusiasm of his supporters for a possible White House bid.
So with a no-go on Ryan, where will Republicans disatisfied with the current crop of Republicans turn next?
The ABC report mentions — or, rather speculates about — former New York Rudy Guiliani (how many more 911 pats on the back can the country hear him make?), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (reporters are contradictory about whether she’s really thinking of jumping in or doing a massive political tease), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (who has made it clear he is not running and making statements on things such as Muslims and climate change that are at odds with 21st century conservatives at this time), and even former New York Gov. George Pataki.
In the end, the race may shape up as it is now: between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachman with the others hoping to knock one of them out. Surprises? (Don’t hold your breath for a sudden rush to Newt Gingrich.)
I could never understand the clamor for Ryan. He is intelligent, thoughtful but an easy target for Democrats and someone who would chase away a chunk of independent voters (not a monolithic block). If he was running for President of the Conservatives and Talk Show Hosts, fine. But he seemed from the start to lack wider appeal.
So now he’s out but the speculation and analysis game (important when there is no real solid political news and to fill the space from August to when the politics REALLY begins after Labor Day) continues.
(Here and elsewhere..)
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.