I can think of a lot of reasons Rep. Paul Ryan shouldn’t run for president (including the fact that he’s doing good work where he is), but here are my top five arguments against it:
1. He’s young. Ryan is 41, but looks 31. Would the nation turn its lonely eyes to a boyish-looking leader (considering our problems). I’m skeptical.
2. His actual voting record is questionable and would become a primary campaign issue.
3. His budget plan (as bold as it is) would be easily demagogued. If you think the Democrats have used “Mediscare” against Republican candidates in the past …
4. He’s a lowly House member, and we don’t elect lowly House members president.
5. Speaking of which, while Ryan would clearly be an expert on fiscal issues, what if foreign policy experience suddenly became important? What if Russia invades Georgia? This is not to say Ryan has no foreign policy credentials, but he lacks executive experience, and fiscal issues are clearly his bailiwick. Is he punished (in terms of perception) for being a specialist? I think so.
My guess is that, despite Bill Kristol’s urging, Ryan isn’t seriously considering running. But if he does run, he will have to find a way to answer these five concerns.