A Softer, Gentler Paul Ryan
Can he remake the Republican Party's message, and his own?
Can Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Congress' most visible budget hawk, widen his message to appeal to poor voters, the same that would likely lose benefits under his proposed overhauls of Medicare and other federal entitlements?
According to Politico, Ryan was chafing to widen the Romney campaign's message in such a way soon after joining the ticket in August, only to have his appeals fall on deaf ears.
Campaign sources tell us that within days of being named Romney's running mate, Ryan began agitating to reach out to people living in disadvantaged, at-risk communities, arguing internally that Republicans are badly served when they seem to be talking only to rich white people and advancing an agenda that benefits primarily the well-off. He contended that the real victims of the war on poverty -- the poor -- don't trust Republicans and might be less suspicious if they got the sense that the party cared about them or was sympathetic to their needs.
Conservatives at a Jack Kemp Foundation event tonight in Washington D.C. may prove to be more eager listeners, after Romney's biting defeat. Ryan, speaking before 2016 hopeful Marco Rubio, is expected to close out his copy of PowerPoint (well, maybe) and map out a broader message of economic and social mobility, a tack similar to what Rubio has devised.
The Cuban senator from Florida may be more serious about a Presidential run, and sooner, than Ryan, but he lacks some of the clout the Wisconsin congressman has amassed in 2012.
(photo from paulryan.house.gov)