Paul Ryan – who?

20 Mar

Paul-Ryan-super-hero-sizedLast year, Republican Representative Paul Ryan was a hero to many and all over the news.

He had a plan to save America.

Today, his star has almost disappeared and a majority of voters don’t care for him.

According to a poll just released, his approval rating has dumped since the November election.

In the poll, 54 percent say they don’t like him.

That’s a stunning change from last year when 50 percent of voters liked the guy.

So, what happened?

We can trace it back to the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket and its convincing loss.

That started the GOP on soul-searching mission and to begin a major rebranding effort.

But as the party gets ready to move forward, Ryan is stuck in place.

He still supports the policies he pushed in the 2012 election – lower tax rates across the board and cuts to programs aimed at the poor.

Voters hated that in 2012 and those ideas are more unpopular now.

Even the Republican National Committee agrees, saying the GOP has to change its ways because voters think the party’s positions “scary” and “out of touch.”

Add to that the fact that conservatives can be a fickle bunch, wanting fresh faces and ideas.

At last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference Ryan delivered the keynote address, but other’s like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio got far more attention.

One columnist says, “Ryan risks falling into the Jack Kemp trap: Doomed to be ‘a thought leader’ in the House like the man he once worked for, who was also a losing GOP vice presidential nominee”.

Our take is Ryan doesn’t a compelling vision for the party’s future.

At the CPAC, he was not selling a GOP vision for future elections.

He was selling the GOP vision for the fiscal fights underway right now: Curb spending, cut the deficit, and scale back the scope of government.

In essence he gave up any 2016 political positioning to Rubio and Rand Paul who gave back-to-back speeches outlining their different visions for the country.

Then, Ryan could be facing by a revolt from those who say his numbers are a shell game.

His new budget proposal, although generally considered extremely conservative, has been criticized by fellow Republicans for counting billions in tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal and doesn’t address government spending.

Ryan is still a visible and influential figure in the GOP.

But as the party begins to change and look for a new champion, Ryan could find him self in a new role – an ideas guy with no buzz.

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