A bit of background on Paul Ryan

Any conversation about Paul Ryan, whom we’ll be talking about in the 9 a.m. hour on the Daily Circuit, will likely refer to Ryan Lizza’s profile of the congressman in the New Yorker last week. The piece couldn’t have been more timely. It’s interesting to note, though, that Lizza did not write it expecting that Ryan would be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick. Unfortunate quote:

As in 2009, Republicans are divided between those who think they can win by pointing out Obama’s failures and those who want to run on a Ryan-like set of ideas. Romney seems to want to be in the first camp, but during the primaries he championed the ideas in Ryan’s budget. Ryan is frequently talked about as a future leader of the House Republicans and even as a long shot to be Romney’s running mate. He surely would take either job, but he seems better suited to continuing what he’s been doing since 2008: remaking the Republican Party in his image. You can’t “run on vague platitudes and generalities,” he told me earlier this month. He was speaking about Bush in 2004 and Obama four years ago. But he clearly believes that the same holds true for Romney in November.

Also in the New Yorker, an even more recent blog post details the congressman’s often-stated but lately diluted affinity for the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the author and objectivist philosopher. (Apparently Rand’s atheism is a problem for too many Republican voters who otherwise might appreciate her economic views.) The blogger Jane Mayer writes:

Although she died thirty years ago, Rand’s influence appears on the rise on the right. As my colleague Ryan Lizza noted in his terrific biographical Profile of Ryan, Rand’s works were an early and important influence on him, shaping his thinking as far back as high school. Later, as a Congressman, Ryan not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003.

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  • joe

    Ryan thinking is sophmoric. He what seems to be easy answers for complex problems. His reactionary thinking has been tried. We as a nation moved away from these thoughts decades ago for the reason these concepts did not work. I for one am not in the mood to deevolve. I remember reading

    Rand when I was seventeen and thinking how simplistic it was. I got about 2\3 of the way through Atlas Shrugged and chalked it up to a waste of time. One of maybe three books I have not finished in a lifetime of reading. I would say Paul Ryan has not seen much of life.

  • DAvid Ordos

    The Monday discussion on Ryan was interesting though rather dry. The planned follow-ups were also good although with one glaring exception: Medicaid. Ryan’s plan would eliminate 14 million people from health coverage — those who canleast afford it. E, J. Dionne had a great column on the subject Sunday. Since he also appears on NPR he would make a great guest to discuss the issue with counterpoint from a Ryan fan. How about it? DAve Ordos