Introducing Romney’s choice for VP, Paul Ryan



It’s hard to know if a teenage Paul Ryan, as he washed dishes at McDonald’s or poured over the economic works of Milton Friedman, had dreams of Washington. It’s unlikely that a young boy from Janesville, Wis., should ever have the vice presidency on his list of potential occupations, but as Ryan stood before the USS Wisconsin on Aug. 11, 2012, to accept that very life, he had a distinct mission on his horizon.

The political advantages of a Romney/Ryan ticket are clear: Ryan is a savvy budget statesman, is more competent and well spoken than his counterpart Joe Biden and brings Wis., a swing state that went for Obama in 2008, to the electoral table. His more than 13 years of legislative experience as a reformer are also a valuable asset, especially when you consider the fact that the president served in the United States Senate for less than four years when he was elected.

Beyond Ryan’s political shield lies his greatest strength, however, where we learn he is a man whose life experiences comport with the American experience. It’s this discovery that makes him such a viable contender for vice president.

When following the Paul Ryan story, one finds that his rich and varied life makes him as real as you or me. Growing up in Janesville, a place he still calls home, he spent time hunting, snowmobiling and watching football. An Irish Catholic through and through, he served as an altar boy and still attends church at his hometown parish. Other favorites of his include the Wisconsin bratwurst, Led Zepplin and good beer every now and then.

It doesn’t get more real than that.

Perhaps this is why the Democratic establishment is scrambling to brand Ryan before this version of him escapes. How do you deal with a guy so American he proposed to his wife at his favorite fishing spot?

They use words, ones that shock and terrify. Words like “ideologue” and “extreme.”

California Democratic state party chairman John Burton has already compared Ryan’s recent Republican National Convention speech to the likes of notorious Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

People like Burton call Paul Ryan an extremist for what he is–a fiscal conservative, a pro lifer, a traditional man.  Barack Obama, on the other hand, is an extremist for what he is not–he is not a common man, he is not a Constitutionalist, and he is not a commander in chief with a proven record of leadership. That’s extreme–Paul Ryan offers a relieving contrast.

Ryan is calling out the president’s strategies for what they are when he describes Obama’s campaign as one of “envy and division.” But when Americans hear Ryan, they aren’t just saying, “I like the way he talks.”  They’re saying, “I like who this man is.” They look at him and see a part of themselves.

At times they see a young man, washing dishes and waiting tables, attempting to rekindle an American dream that is slipping away, and they understand who Paul Ryan is.


Joe Schartz is a freshman majoring in

Political Science and Journalism. He is the SDSU College Republican Recruiter and can be reached at [email protected]