"Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president," says Stephen Hayes in The Weekly Standard. Citing unidentified sources and his analysis of Ryan's public comments, Hayes says that the GOP House budget guru is considering the effects a campaign would have on his family, but is nearing a decision. Ryan said he wasn't running as recently as Aug. 7, and his spokesman says "Ryan has not changed his mind," but is he about to — and should he?
Ryan won't run: A Ryan candidacy would shake up the "already volatile" GOP race, but "most plugged-in GOP observers regard a bid by the Wisconsin Republican as very unlikely," says Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post. Though his controversial Medicare-to-voucher plan made him a star within the Republican party, it's toxic nationally. More daunting, his lack of both a fundraising record and an experienced political team means "Ryan would struggle to translate his conservative celebrity into votes."
"Paul Ryan for President? Probably not."
But he clearly wants in the race: Ignore his denials, says Jonathan Chait in The New Republic. By the "bizarre standards of presidential hint lingo, Ryan has spent months jumping up and down, waving his arms and screaming that he wants to run for president." The only thing keeping him back is the go-ahead from the GOP establishment, which would have to "rally behind him with the near-unanimity" he'd need to beat Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
"The state of the GOP race"
Why not roll the dice? "Perry's entry complicates things," as does Ryan's lack of executive experience, says Rich Lowry in National Review. But "if Ryan ever wants to run for president, he should definitely do it now," whether he wins or not. He would bring welcome substance and unflappable composure to the field, and in this volatile year, anything could happen. If everyone else fades, Ryan could end up the "consensus candidate from the Upper Midwest."
"Should Paul Ryan run?"