The Corner

‘Is This It?’

I wrote today about the state of the Republican field, which looks increasingly like “the short field” I noted here. That naturally is leading to speculation about Christie and Ryan. Of the two, Ryan makes the most sense to me:

Among the crop of candidates and potential candidates, Ryan has the profile most similar to that of the Barack Obama of 2007 as he prepared to take his party by storm. Ryan, too, is an implausible candidate; no one has won the presidency from the House since 1880. He, too, is young, talented and winsome, and captures something important in the zeitgeist of his party.

As we learned from Obama, there’s much to be said for being “of the moment,” and Ryan is certainly that in the GOP (although Obama’s signature opposition to the Iraq war was much more popular with the public–alas–than Ryan’s signature Medicare reform). But it’d be a risk for Ryan, and one thing that unites all the current candidates is that none of them are risking much. Ryan could relatively effortlessly ascend to GOP heir apparent if the eventual candidate picks him as VP. 

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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