With the news of Paul Ryan not running for President, Republicans have to wonder who we have to run for us. Well, since Mitch Daniels' family won't let him come out to play, we're only left with a few good candidates. First though, we have to ask what will be the theme or driving force for this next Presidential election? Will social issues be the main attraction, or will it be about entitlement reform and the budget? I think it will be the latter.
So who is running that can contend with the opponents on the budget? The "tea parties" have excellent candidates. Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain will probably do quite well, considering they are tea party rock stars. Then on the libertarian side there is Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Even so, these candidates don't seem to as Jonah Goldberg puts it, "...right now no one appears equipped to defend the GOP House budget, written by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, which will likely define both the presidential and congressional elections in 2012." 1 I agree. Goldberg goes on to say:
"The Democrat-run Senate hasn't passed a budget in more than 750 days, and Democratic leader Harry Reid says it would be "foolish" to try. That's because the Democrats don't want to muddy their attacks on Ryan's idea of "premium support," whereby the poor get more generous vouchers than the middle class or the wealthy to pay for Medicare coverage. By the way, the "radical" concept of premium support is not so radical. It has deep bipartisan roots, with endorsements from such Democrats as former Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana and former Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri.
The president's counterproposal, splashed out in a rambling partisan attack in April, essentially reintroduces the whole "death panels" debate, albeit at a macroeconomic level, by empowering 15 presidentially appointed members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board to take the blame for throwing grandma off a cliff.
Regardless, by rights, the 2012 presidential contest should be a choice between those two approaches, plus the parties' wildly divergent views on spending and taxes. But no wonk on a white horse seems to be riding to the rescue." 2
Paul Ryan is the man for the job. Mitt Romney? He's not because he has the "Romneycare" albatross. Newt Gingrich, already going into the race with baggage, now has even more baggage after insulting Ryan's budget plan. Should Paul Ryan come to our rescue? Yes, he should. As Goldberg mentions in his article, it is a lot to ask of Ryan. He has a wife, kids, and he would have to get his campaign organized and funded quickly. There is still time. Further, I think he would do excellent in his debates with President Obama.
What do you think?
1. Goldberg, Jonah. "Run, Paul Ryan, Run." Townhall.com 5/25/2011
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