Meet Paul Ryan.
He's a 42-year-old handsome Roman-Catholic with three children and a successful career as a US Congressman. He's keen on keeping fit, having had his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all suffer heart attacks in their fifties.
He was once his high school's prom king. And as the chairperson of the House Budget Committee, he's played the prominent role in shaping the Republican Party's alternative federal budgets.
Paul Ryan, Congressman for the 1st district of Wisconsin, could soon be the Vice President of the United States.
Mitt Romney's choice of running mate has been somewhat of a
laboured exercise. In the lull between the Republican primaries and
the GOP convention later this month, he's mulled over numerous
candidates whilst steadily campaigning and fundraising for
the Republican push.
Standard Vice-Presidential speculation suggested he might do well to pick a candidate who resonated with one of the various groups and minorities that he himself struggled to connect with. Polls showed Romney well behind Barack Obama in support amongst women, and struggling for support in the large Latin American community. Perhaps he'd choose a Latino? Perhaps he'd choose a female? Perhaps he'd even consider choosing a homosexual conservative as his choice for Vice-Presidential nominee?
After all, the last time a Republican Presidential nominee chose
a VP candidate radically different from himself, in an effort to
garner support in previously isolated minorities, things really
didn't go so well. Sarah Palin might've popular with Tea Party
diehards and hockey mums, but she failed on the most obvious and
important test. A Vice-Presidential candidate must have the kudos
and qualifications and preparedness to potentially take over as the
USA's commander in Chief.
"The test to get on that small list has to be, 'Is this person capable of being president of the United States?'" said former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, during an interview in July.
"I don't think she passed that test."
Paul Ryan represents a safer bet. He's young, but his experience in economic policy reinforces the key element of Mitt Romney's campaign. With unemployment at 8.3%, and only a miserly level of economic recovery following Barack Obama's initial stimulus, Romney and Ryan argue they have the stronger credentials and plan to guide the USA economy back to strength.
Ryan does bring some elements to the campaign which Romney
himself doesn't. For one, he's a more charismatic communicator -
more so than Romney, anyway. And his far-right politics will
appease tea-party supporters and ultra-conservatives concerned with
Romney's more moderate positioning. The choice, though, still
hands a certain amount of campaigning ammunition to the left. Paul
Ryan's plan to reduce debt would cost students, cost the elderly
and the poor, and Barack Obama's team will no-doubt endeavor to
remind those most affected.
?"I would like you to join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan!?" Said Mitt Romney, in a classic (if not standard) Romney foot-in-mouth faux pa. ?
He corrected his introduction.
We're now less than three months before the USA decides.
Read more Jack Tame opinion here .