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The Ryan Posse

Saddled up and ready to go.

11:59 AM, Apr 22, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Pawlenty and Gingrich are leaving space on the right for someone to fully embrace the Ryan plan. Maybe that someone will be Mitch Daniels, whom Ryan has singled out in the past as capable and willing to defend the policies Ryan's been fighting for. (More recently, Ryan said he's keeping an open mind about the 2012 field.) But it's not entirely clear that Daniels will run. And if he does run, he may have a tough time winning the support of social conservatives and foreign policy hawks. Ryan is on good terms with pro-lifers and hawks

So, really, who better than Ryan to defend the Ryan plan? The logic of his candidacy has been staring us in the face for over a year. As Matthew Continetti wrote in THE WEEKLY STANDARD in February of 2010: 

Ryan’s political problem is that he’s a congressman with a presidential-level agenda. The Roadmap is a realistic way to clean up America’s fiscal mess, but there is no chance of it becoming law as long as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid run Congress and Barack Obama is president. Moreover, Bush’s failed Social Security reform and Obama’s doomed health bill show that a president has to have large congressional majorities as well as public approval to pass major changes to entitlement law.

What the Roadmap needs is support from a Republican presidential aspirant. Ryan insists it won’t be him, however. He says he has no plans to run for president in 2012. His disavowal, he goes on, is “Shermanesque.” 

That may disappoint conservatives and Republicans who have found Ryan to be an engaging television presence and a successful political entrepreneur. He’s young, charismatic, wonky, and well spoken. He’s already held his own against President Obama. His national profile is on the rise. He recently endorsed conservative favorite Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate Republican primary. He’s scheduled to speak at two fundraisers in New Hampshire later this month.

[Congressman] Devin Nunes jokes that he’s the charter member of the “Draft Ryan” club. As the budget outlook grows darker, expect membership in the club to rise. Because sometimes you don’t pick the moment. Sometimes the moment picks you.

Ryan's main (and sincere) objection to a presidential run is that he couldn't handle being away from his kids for two years while he would be on the campaign trail.

Of course, it's possible that Ryan can continue to debate Obama and wait until the fall to see if any viable candidate takes up his budget. By that time, if no one has risen to the occasion, Ryan could jump in when the entire campaign season would last just over a year. And if he wins the presidency, he would get to work from home and see his kids almost every day.

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