Even fitness guru Tony Horton couldn’t have imagined the transformation he helped generate, the political alchemy of turning House Budget Committee Chairman and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) from a self-described policy wonk into the studliest guy on a presidential ticket since JFK.
At least that’s what you’d think if you paid attention to the news media or the Internet over the past week.
I couldn’t get myself to try that particular search, but I do note that a Google search of “Paul Ryan P90X” turns up hundreds of results.
On Thursday night, CNN’s Piers “half as many viewers as Rachel Maddow” Morgan interviewed Tony Horton, the creator of the P90X workout program, trying in the most desperate way to get the personal trainer to say something bad about Paul Ryan.
After showing a photo of Paul Ryan on the campaign trail eating a very yummy looking lunch, Morgan, who doesn’t look like the heart-healthiest guy around, offered this deep insight: “Now that is one of the biggest hot dogs I’ve ever seen. Massive amount of fries around him. Looks like a lot of Cokes as well. Now that’s a bad move, isn’t it?” Horton wouldn’t bite, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:
For those of you who are interested in hearing Paul Ryan in his own words prior to his selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate, I offer you this extended interview I had with Congressman Ryan in May, 2011 when I was the host of Backbone Radio on 710 KNUS in Aurora/Denver. (I have since moved to 850 KOA.)
It’s full of (in my opinion) interesting perspective into who Paul Ryan really is, including our conversation about the importance of the morality of our nation’s economic system. How often do you hear a Congressman, talking about the intellectual history of the left, say “I’ve read Hegel. I’ve read Weber and Bismarck, and the thinkers of those times…"? How often do you hear a Congressman talk about “Natural Rights"?
In a part of the conversation which is very relevant to today’s situation, Ryan explains why he believes “Medi-scare” politics do not have to be successful for the left.
Ryan has been consistent, including through today, despite claims to the otherwise by Democrats, in his promise that Medicare reform will not impact anyone currently in or near retirement.
We went on to an interesting discussion about the morality of Medicare itself. The answer which Paul gives to my question is one which utterly belies Democrat claims that Ryan is a radical who wants to eliminate entitlements and “shred the safety net.” Indeed, I wished he had been more anti-Medicare than he was.
I closed the interview by asking him about the betting odds of his being the Republican nominee for president; little did I know he would end up being the nominee for vice-president.
No politician is perfect, but Paul Ryan is the most intelligent and principled Republican VP nominee in my lifetime. I don’t know whether his selection will be a political winner, but it can’t be all bad to turn this election into a discussion of big issues. For that in particular, Mitt Romney has my appreciation. Upon re-listening to my discussion with Paul Ryan, my confidence in him and his vision was further reinforced. And my interest in this election has moved from almost entirely being about removing Barack Obama to be as much about helping the GOP ticket get elected because I believe that they will do good things for this country.
Readers of these pages can attend Saturday’s “True The Vote Summit” in Denver for free with code COLDRS, or get in touch with me and I’ll get you added to the list.
From TrueTheVote.org: Colorado Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman will join elections expert John Buckley, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, national elections experts/authors Christian Adams and John Fund, and the True the Vote training team at our COLORADO State Summit on August 18 at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center. Their collective experiences and expertise will provide valuable insights for Colorado grassroots volunteers working to ensure free and fair elections.
Google, the omnipresent web search and advertising company, purchased Motorola Mobility (the cell phone division of that venerable electronics company), in May of this year for about $12.5 billion. (The deal was originally announced in August, 2011, but it took the next nine months to receive the various necessary regulatory and international approvals.)
In a filing with the SEC on Monday, Google announced that it would lay off 4,000 Motorola Mobility employees (of whom about a third would be in the United States, and half of those in Chicago) and “close or consolidate about one-third of its 90 facilities.”
But if one of these unfortunate engineers or other Motorola employees has a spouse who loses health coverage, gets sick, and dies, don’t expect to ever hear a word from the media or anyone else about Google having any responsibility. (And Republicans, even those running PACs, won’t swim in the gutter slime which Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, David Axelrod, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are so at home in.)
More importantly, don’t expect to hear a word from the mainstream media about the fact that creating efficiencies in business sometimes requires firing people.
After all, it’s supposed to only be the heartless, cancer-causing Bain Capital which would ever lay off a worker.
As for predicting the media reaction, all you need to know is that Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google, is a huge donor to the Democratic Party and affiliated organizations. (To be fair, he has also donated to the GOP and a few Republicans, as any good crony capitalist must, but his heart and his biggest checks are all in for Barack Obama.) Similarly, Google co-founder Sergei Brin has donated more than $75,000 to the DNC and the Obama campaign just in the past 10 months.
A search at OpenSecrets.org of Google employees who have donated to Barack Obama in this election cycle turns up 349 records totaling about half a million dollars. Donations to the Romney campaign? Eight, for a total of $5,500. A search for contributions to the DNC turns up 41 records…totaling over $393,000. Indeed, of the 20 Google employee political contributions of $10,000 or more, the only three which went to the Republican Party were matched, by those same donors, with contributions to Democratic organizations. And all 12 contributions of $30,800 by Google employees went to Democratic Party organizations.
This means that coverage of Google’s firing of 4,000 people, including well over 1,000 Americans, will get the most gentle treatment, where it is discussed at all. Exhibit A: The New York Times‘ story on the layoffs is entitled “Motorola Set for Big Cuts as Google Reinvents It.” Any bets on when later smears of layoffs at companies owned by Bain Capital will be described as “reinventing"?
H/T My friend who goes by the name “Airbus”
One of the keys to this election will be whether young, idealistic, and mostly ignorant young voters remain enthusiastic supporters of Barack Obama. Given that this group gets a lot of information from non-traditional sources, such as Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and YouTube, and given that you and I have little (which is to say zero) impact on the content of The Daily Show, I suggest that we do our parts to share YouTube and other online content which might diminish that generation’s view of The One.
I have two such videos to share today, and I hope you’ll do what you can to get them wider distribution, especially among those aged 15-30.
First, from a group called RightChange.com comes a parody of the Dos Equis beer ad featuring The Most Interesting Man in the World. This version, about our very own Barack Obama, is entitled The Most Arrogant Man in the World:
Next, and probably even more effective for those in their first several years of voting eligibility, is a take-off of a very popular music video by Gotye entitled “Somebody That I Used to Know.” This version, by a group called Just New Productions, is called “Obama That I Used to Know” and it’s actually a rather devastating explanation of buyer’s remorse among young adults who still wish that “hope and change” were real.
Paul Ryan gets it. As he said to a cheering crowd, “America is more than just a place, though. America is an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not from government.”
Can I get a “Halleljuah, Brother Paul!"?
He continued with an obvious sincerity and emotion: “That’s who we are. That’s how we built this country. That’s what made us great. That’s our founding. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. And this idea was founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, and government by consent of the governed.”
Ryan promised that he and Romney “won’t duck the tough issues; we will lead. We won’t blame others; we will take responsibility. And we won’t replace our founding principles; we will reapply them.”
It was remarkable to hear the audience respond when Paul Ryan asked rhetorically “what kind of people do we want to be?” They yelled in near-unison “free!”
Ryan continued “we can turn this thing around. But it will take leadership and the courage to tell you the truth…Together we will unite America and get this done!“
It reminds me that one possible downside of Romney’s choice of running mate is how many Republicans will wish that their roles were reversed!
When introducing his running mate a moment ago, Mitt Romney just called Paul Ryan “the next president of the United States". Perhaps he meant the next after Romney…I hope!
Romney came back and said “Every now and then I make a mistake…but I did not make a mistake with this guy! But I can tell you this: he’s gonna be the next Vice-President of the United States.” Not surprisingly, the crowd laughed and cheered.
A few things which occur to me as strong positives for Mitt Romney’s possibly choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate:
- We’ve already seen Ryan have a complete mastery of budget items, and the ability to completely demolish Obamacare. Ryan can erase the charge against Romney that he doesn’t have specifics in his plan, and erase the (ridiculous) charge that Romney will be even slightly sympathetic to Obamacare.
- Given Ryan’s working-class background and his success in a working-class, Democrat-majority district, Democrats will find it harder to paint Romney as simply a tool of the rich.
- He’s Catholic, and that could be important in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and perhaps Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin
- Perhaps most importantly, while I don’t know Mitt Romney, I do know Paul Ryan a bit and I can see how Romney would feel very comfortable with Ryan who is fairly soft-spoken even when offering an intense message, and is always friendly and polite – a description which roughly matches what I’ve seen of Romney.
The Associated Press is reporting that Mitt Romney will announce his running mate on Saturday morning in Virginia.
Some, as Jim Antle mentions, are thinking Romney might try to make a “splash” with his pick. I disagree, and think that he will pick someone with executive experience, i.e. Tim Pawlenty rather than a legistator, with the clear possible exception of Rob Portman, who while currently a senator has previously been the US Trade Representative and head of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
My first guess is Portman, second Pawlenty. I would be quite surprised with Rubio, Ryan, Christie. I suppose my third guess would be Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
At the time I’m writing this, Paul Ryan is trading over 90% to be the choice, as if political bettors think they know the answer. Perhaps the reason is a National Review report that Romney’s plane is in Ryan’s home town in Wisconsin. And perhaps it’s an NBC report with other facts (or rumors) which suggest Ryan.
Here’s why that would surprise me, and I say all of this as a huge fan of Ryan’s:
- No substantial private sector experience
- No executive experience
- Would make the election debate all about Medi(s)care and entitlements, unnecessarily scaring the senior citizen voters whom Romney absolutely must get to win
- Would take away the most effective voice for economic rationality in Congress, a voice which a President Romney would need to get a solid budget passed
- It’s not for nothing that Democrats hope that Romney picks Ryan
The other side of my argument, as well-made by the Wall Street Journal, is that selectiing Ryan would force this election to be about “big issues.”
That is certainly true, but it is also a very big gamble if Mr. Romney believes he can win the election by running on the current set of issues, primarily on jobs, rather than making the election about a bigger discussion of cutting government, one which Democrats will use to scare independent women to death about voting Republican.
To be sure, I won’t be disappointed if Romney chooses Ryan. But I think that his situation does not require such a bold move, that his personality does not gravitate toward such a bold move, and that he knows that Ryan would be an important ally in the House.
I’m selling Ryan at these very high odds, willing to lose a little if I’m wrong in order to make a lot if Ryan is not the pick. If I lose the bet, I’ll still be quite happy because it will show Mitt Romney to be more interested in principles of liberty and limited government, and to have a more aggressive personality, than I currently assume of him. Furthermore, Paul Ryan would be a stunningly good influence on a Romney administration, and being VP gives him a clear line to run for president himself down the road. If the AP is right, I’ll know the answer in less than 12 hours…
For those of you who want to give me a listen, I’ll be guest-hosting for the one-and-only Peter Boyles on Friday, August 10 from 5 AM to 9 AM Mountain Time (7 AM to 11 AM Eastern) on Denver’s 630 KHOW.
You can listen online with the link on KHOW’s web page.
Topics will include (unless breaking news changes the line-up):
5 AM Hour: How much lying can Democrats get away with? In the past week, they’ve accused Mitt Romney of not paying taxes, of wanting to raise taxes on the middle class, on wanting to take women back to the policies of the 1950s, and essentially of murder. Truly reprehensible even by the low standards of modern politics.
6 AM and 7 AM Hours: Starting off with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) live on the air, we’re going to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act, which has the support of quite a few Republican politicians – but not Senator DeMint – which aims to force the collection of sales tax on online purchases. Lots of questions to ask you about this!
8 AM: We’ll begin by interviewing Catherine Engelbrecht of TrueTheVote.org, discussing voter fraud and efforts to minimize it right here in Colorado. TrueTheVote will have a “state summit” including a tremendous panel of Ms. Engelbrecht, John Fund (formerly of the WSJ, currently of National Review, I believe), the riveting J. Christian Adams, and our own Secretary of State, Scott Gessler. More info about the event which is on Saturday, August 18th HERE.