There is a large consortium of republican standard bearers developing a year and a half before the 2012 presidential election as evidence continues to mount that the current president is progressively running out of time to adjust the economic landscape that will be present come next November. As an upstart candidate who managed to come from nowhere to defeat an incumbent president now several decades ago so aptly put it, “it’s the economy, stupid!” The massive stimulus spending has proved to be an economic bust, inflation driven by basics for the economy like food and oil is gaining momentum, the debt process is progressively de-valuing the currency, and the mythical ability of a government to “create” jobs has once again been disproved. Who wouldn’t want a shot at the title belt running against that record? Charles Krauthammerwith his usual verve sizes up the potential combatants and assesses their individual chances of being in the title match. Its almost a Shakespearean group of protagonists. There’s the Mormon businessman running on conservative competence who when given a state to run put in place his own version of Obamacare, to the death of that state’s finances. How about the former House Speaker, who puts out more ideas about everything like a lawn sprinkler, but has not proven to those who have worked with him that he can show the personal discipline necessary to cleave out the bad ideas. Okay, maybe the populist from the great expanse of Alaska, who shoots bears and takes on the establishment with equal verve, or maybe her twin sister from Minnesota with equal populist sentiments and tough mother appeal? Best yet, how about the gas bag from New York City, who would like to run on an agenda of birtherism, lessons gleaned from the Apprentice TV show, beating up on the Chinese, and techniques learned from going bankrupt multiple times without ever being called on it – oh yeah, that one would be a good one. And those others – the good guy former governor from Minnesota who no one is paying attention to, the Mississippi governor who struggles to escape his cultural past, the former governor of Arkansas, who liked tax increases, cap and trade, and …oh forget it.
All right, I admit it. I am not that impressed with the options. Is there no one of the necessary substance and intellectual heft to take on the coming demagoguery that is sure to flow from our current prince? Is there no one trudging through the still snowy fields of the Midwest working on the craft of communicating to the people, devising and adjust the message of necessary sacrifice, reform, and adult responsibility? Is there no one who can synthesize the byzantine inner workings of government, discern its draining effect on the economic impulses of a nation, and articulate a clear concise strategy to achieve a soft landing and energetic and sustained economic future for America? Nobody? Really?
Wait a minute, that person sounds just like…Paul Ryan. Christian Schneider of National Review Onlinedetails what Mr. Ryan is up to in small town hall meetings in Wisconsin this spring and the public reaction to his message. It is no wonder that the floundering Washington prince has determined that, in a series of speeches across the country to detail the lack of detail in his deficit reduction plan, pointedly isolates Mr. Ryan as enemy numero uno to the status quo of negligence and demagoguery he wishes to protect for one more term. Mr. Ryan may not fully admit to himself what he is up to, but everybody else including the President himself is viewing it as Mr. Ryan’s spring training, in which he is warming up his vaunted talent and trying out his many pitches. It seems he can no longer go to a meeting without someone asking Ryan “The Question”, and his pat answer that he is happy doing what he is doing now, may not fly when, after the game really begins and the outcome is at stake, the crowd looks out at who is pitching the message and asks for the Closer.
Mr. Ryan has the necessary skill set to close out the contest, its just a matter of time before circumstances dictate that he ask for the ball.