Who is Paul Ryan?
POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 4:47pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 9:17am
The stage is now set for the 2012 Presidential race, and Republicans in particular are overjoyed with the ticket.
Whatever doubts there still were about Mitt Romney among some in the GOP, the addition of pul Ryan to the ticket has added a new element of enthusiasm.
But who is the congressman from Wisconsin?
Wisconsin can be a fairly schizophrenic stare politically.
The same state that produced Democratic stalwarts like Russ Feingold, Les Aspin, David Obey and Gaylord Nelson also produced Republicans like Governor Scott Walker, William Proxmire, Ron Johnson, and yes, Joseph McCarthy.
Paul Ryan was the son of a lawyer in Janesville, Wisconsin. His great-grandfather had started a very successful construction company, so the family was comfortable, but not truly wealthy.
At 16, Ryan found his father in his bed, dead of a heart attack.
That in part led to his becoming a self-confessed gym rat, and fitness devotee.
He is also the first Generation X member of a national ticket, and admits his personal I-pod is loaded with a lot of Led Zepplin.
His father’s death afforded him Social Security survivor benefits which he saved to pay for college at Miami of Ohio.
While there, a professor introduced him to the so-called Austrian School of Economics of Hayek and Milton Friedman.
He also became a fan of the writings and philosophy of author Ayn Rand, despite his being a devout Catholic and Rand a devoted atheist.
He has admitted that inspired his libertarian inclinations.
Ryan interned in Washington and upon getting his economics degree in 1992, went to work on Capitol Hill.
He later was a speech writer for Bill Bennet, Congressman Jack Kemp and former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick while working at their think tank, Empower America.
First elected to Congress in 1998, he made the budgetary process his special field of expertise.
His 2008 budget proposal is either genius or dangerous, depending on your political point of view, but even his critics admitted, it was thorough and challenged sacred cows of both parties.
Ryan married his wife Janna, a tax attorney, in 2000 and has 3 children
And now, Mitt Romney has chosen the 42-year-old Chairman of the House Budget Committee as his running mate.
It’s a choice that has some Democrats worried, and Republicans overjoyed.
However that turns out, Ryan is still on the ballot for his seat in the House, so the odds are, one way or the other, Paul Ryan will be returning to Washington.
Vice President Joe Biden called Ryan Saturday to congratulate him, and many have noted that Ryan works well with people in both parties.
Most observers agree, the addition of Ryan to the race will insure a hard fought, but issues-oriented contest.
And wouldn’t that be refreshing.