Must-See Video: Rep. Paul Ryan on Healthcare

Check out the next generation of Republican leadership, Rep. Paul Ryan (R - WI), on MSNBC. (Hat tip: Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard)

I've been extremely impressed with Ryan for a while now.  Young, articulate, whip smart, good ideas, conservative - 2012 may be too soon, but if he's not a major player in the future I'll be very surprised and disappointed.  He's one of what I call "My Guys" - rising stars I think may be of presidential caliber.  I'd like to see more of these folks assuming leadership rolls in the party, on bigger stages, and in some cases, moving up to more prominent offices.  Here's my short list (in no particular order), I'd love to hear some of yours:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN)

Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA)

Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ)

Rep. Eric Cantor (VA)

Fmr. Rep. Rob Portman (OH)

Gen. David Petraeus*

These guys have a few things in common (aside from being men, which is not an exclusion of women - I honestly can't think of any prominent women that fit this criteria): conservative, smart, serious, well spoken, extremely competent, accomplished. 

*the general's conservative credentials are, of course, unknown at the moment.  I'd need to be convinced he's not the second coming of Powell.

Perhaps I'll get around to posting more on this later, but more than anything, I believe the Republican party needs to rebrand itself as the party of competence.  At every level, "smart" Democrats have made a mess of things by being blatently incompetent.  Republican ideas, when tried, work.  By elevating candidates with proven track records of success, we can present a strong counterargument.  Obama was inexperienced, but that didn't seem to hurt him.  In 2012, the case against him will no longer be experience, it will be his failed record.  To exploit that, we'll need a candidate with some credentials - like an Ivy league graduate, two-term governor who kept his state's budget in balance during the economic downturn (Daniels).  This, for me, is the strongest case against Palin.  Not that I buy her being dumb, but that the public perception of her is the opposite of competence and it's unlikely to turn on a dime.  What do you think?

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I'm for whomever is the most over the time right wing conservative extremist is at this point.  As seen in the lovely link from fox news below, our tax money is funding porn with gorilla's out in Pelosi's stomping ground.  At this point I'm ready to scrap California all together, I can't really remember the last constructive thing they have contributed to the U.S.  Other than gays, drugs, scientology, and Michael Moore.  Now I'm completely aware that there are some attractive women located in Cali, but honestly I'm willing to strike that up as a loss.  There all probably liberal anyway.  What ever happened to the San Andreas Fault?  Wasn't that supposed to wipe out California by now?  Must be because of global warming and/or George Bush.

On the real topic of this post.  I completely agree Palin is done, even though she is smart her reputation with no educated voters wouldn't get her past a primary.  Deep down I guess you can call me old fashion, but I'm not ready for a women as president, and I don't know if I ever will be.  Jindal I don't think will relate well to conservatives, maybe the young ones, but the old ones no way.  I like Patraeus, especially since he's probably has killed many people (hopefully even bare handed)...always a plus when your the ruler of the free world.  However, my sleeper for 2012 is good ole Newt.  I think he is primed and ready to go and finally more so than ever he's ticked off.  Although Mitt is also going to be in the mix.  You can't underestimate the American public, they are always comfortable with someone they've seen before.  I'm not that familiar with Ryan or Cantor so I will do some research on those guys, but other than HW there hasn't been too many Reps with much success in the White House. 

At the end of the day.  I just want someone that isn't a communist, and that can function with out a teleprompter.  I think Hussein has a teleprompter in the bathroom near the toilet that just repeats the letters AAAAHHHH!.....grunt.  over and over and over again. 





To clarify... these aren't guys I necessary expect to be factors in the 2012 race.  You are right that a Representative making the jump from the House to the White House would be remarkable - I actually don't think anyone has ever made that direct leap.  These guys need to build a national profile.  But that said, if one of them threw their hat in the ring against Mitt or whomever, I'd vote for them. 

I'd say right now the 2012 primary will be a Romney, Palin, Pawlenty showdown, with Huckabee and Newt as surprise non-candidates.  Huckabee hasn't acted like a candidate since last year (the talk show, etc) and Newt is a grassroots favorite and well respected idea man, but when it comes down to it, party insiders don't think he can win.  If I had to bet right now, I'd say Romney wins because the sentiment will be that it's a domestic/economic policy election.  Of course, last time we thought it'd be a foreign policy election - whoops! 

The next open cycle will be much more interesting, with some of my guys in the mix.  I'm a West Wing fan, so my test of the ideal candidate (aside from solid issue positions) is schmaltzy - who has "it"?  Who do I believe in because they are "the real deal"?  Who would I want to work for?  Honor, Integrity, Grace under fire, Class, Intelligence, etc.  These are hard to see from afar, so I may be wrong about these guys.  But I can hope.