"Paul Ryan shirtless" was the second most popular Google search about the new Republican VP candidate, as reported in the Washington Post. That is downright embarrassing. "Paul Ryan budget" or "Paul Ryan family," maybe even "Paul Ryan congressman," but "shirtless?"
We have a fantastic new opportunity to discuss critically important issues, and people are Googling "shirtless." I would like to think that that means they already know everything about the economic issues we face and have watched Ryan's fantastic and informative remarks on the president's health care bill at the Blair House meeting in 2010.
I admit that I got very excited about Romney's selection of a running mate – but not because I was envisioning his abs. Someone who is tough on budget and entitlements doesn't strike me as the posing-for-photos type, but more of the fatherly, "you have to save some of that allowance for a rainy day" kind of guy.
I hope this doesn't put me in the tacky category of "shirtless" thinking, but I rather imagine Ryan as "Money Guy," a superhero in a tight-fitting money-green suit with a cape of blazing "in-the-red" red, a "$" sign prominently affixed to both the cape and his very nice and appropriately covered chest. I suppose that the superhero suit might be form-fitting (like Batman, Superman or other heroes), but I hadn't really thought about it from the "shirtless" perspective.
Can't you just see his cute little thought bubbles? "Be gone, you nasty deficit!" "End this errant entitlement!" Oh yes, Wisconsin's mild-mannered congressman has thrown off his business suit and starched shirt alright. He's Money Guy.
No, ladies, Ryan is not the shirtless type. By now, someone has surely used Photoshop to create the picture you are looking for. But really, a shirtless photo provides only a moment of fun. Ryan has so much more to offer.
Think of Ryan's superhero implications. With a balanced budget, our children might see Medicare and Social Security in their retirement years, the economy will be righted, and corporate America might again feel confident enough to hire staff, opening up jobs to the under-reported unemployed. We'll never be quite the same. And perhaps because Money Guy will continue to remind us, we will be thriftier with our dollars and more thoughtful in the ways we do spend them.
I was pleased at the thought of the media finally acknowledging and pursuing issues of importance: budget, economy, entitlements, and cutting costs. Romney can say the word "dog" without it creating a media frenzy. I must admit that at some point before he announced his selection of Ryan, I was beginning to wonder if next we would have media reports about Romney digestive habits, how many of his children's diapers he changed, or other inane, inappropriate, and insulting intrusions that have no bearing on his qualifications.
At last, we have something to talk about that matters, that real people care about, that can be debated and should be important to every single American. We can stop speculating about Romney's choice, embrace it, and begin to see how the duo will approach this critical point in the electoral process and move smoothly into and through the convention.
Money Guy is where my thoughts are right now, not in the toilet over "shirtless." Wise up America. It is time to get serious and think about the financial health of our country. And if you have to think about his chest, think about it with his superhero suit on, please!