The Corner

Should Paul Ryan Run?

I think it got a little more difficult for him the last couple of weeks. The S&P downgrade and general economic turmoil have made it clearer that competence will be part of the Republican case against Obama and it’s easier for a candidate with executive experience to make it. Also, Perry’s entry complicates things for him. If it were shaping up as a Bachmann v. Romney race, there would be a clear opening for Ryan. Now, it’s harder to see his running room. Still, I think he would a great addition to the field. He’d obviously be substantive, and he truly does have, in that over-used phrase, a first-class temperament. Has anyone ever seen him flustered or angry?

Things would have to break just right for him, but it’s a volatile year and it’s not unimaginable that the race could look much different than anyone is predicting right now. Could Romney begin to get squeezed out if both Perry and Ryan are eating into his establishment support? Could Bachmann fade? Who knows? I know this sounds very unappealing at the moment, but Ryan could occupy the Pawlenty space in the field, or what seemed as though it would be the Pawlenty space — the potential consensus candidate from the Upper Midwest. If Ryan ever wants to run for president, he should definitely do it now. He’d handle himself well, and there’s no qualification for running for president in Republican politics quite like having run for president before. He’d have a leg up in 2016 if Republicans don’t win in 2012. And one of Obama’s lessons is to run even when it’s “too soon” . . . because you just never know.

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

Most Popular

Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More

The Kaepernick Saga Drags On . . . off the Field

Colin Kaepernick’s workout for NFL teams in Atlanta this weekend did not run smoothly. The league announced an invitation to scouts from every team to watch Kaepernick work out and demonstrate that he was still ready to play. (As noted last week, the workout is oddly timed; the NFL season is just a bit past its ... Read More

Israel’s New Way of War

Commuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police ... Read More
White House

Decide Trump’s Fate at the Ballot Box

If Donald Trump’s presidency is going to end before 2025, it should end at the ballot box. A lot of what has been revealed by Trump’s desire to see Ukraine investigate Joe and Hunter Biden -- or at least publicly announce an investigation -- merely confirms character traits, instincts, and habits that have ... Read More