Ryan Not Running
Despite calls for him to toss his hat in the ring, he’s decided not to:
Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan has decided for a final time that he will not run for president in 2012, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned. Ryan, who began seriously considering a bid in late May after Indiana governor Mitch Daniels took himself out of the race, had consulted with top Republicans, including Karl Rove and Frank Luntz, as he contemplated his political future. And though many of those he talked with told him he would be a viable candidate in such a fluid race, even as a late entry, Ryan ultimately decided to continue his focus on debt and entitlement reform as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”
Quin Hillyer analyzes what this means for the race:
It does occur to me that of the candidates who are in the race, the one whose record and platform both match most closely with Ryan’s is former Sen. Rick Santorum. Far be it from me to issue any endorsement, especially considering that candidate selection involves political considerations in addition to mere analysis of records and platforms, but my prediction — as an analyst — is that Santorum will at least attempt to make a big move to attract activists who had been waiting on the sidelines to see what Ryan would do. Santorum remains a long shot, but he’s steadily creeping up in terms of public consciousness and support.
Of course, both Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann also would claim the mantle of Ryan-esque conservative reformers (although, frankly, Bachmann doesn’t fit because Ryan is an institutionalist and legislator whereas she is consciously and outsider and back-bencher), and the immediate benefit may flow to Perry as the most Ryan-like front-runner (the bandwagon effect is alive and well). But in terms of persona, geography, personal backgrounds, style, and mastery of the substance of national issues, Santorum and Ryan are indeed a close fit.
Sounds like a pretty good analysis to me.