I'd like to preface this passage by saying that I do not intend to write about Paul Ryan's political beliefs or budget proposals. Instead, I'd like to write about his thinly veiled attempts to try and
seem like a laid-back guy's guy who you could find, say, opening a Stella with the bottom of a plastic cigarette lighter at your fantasy football draft. Paul Ryan has the look, and he can talk the talk, but at the end of the day he gives off too many hints that he was that kid who slipped through the cracks at Rush and somehow wound up in your fraternity.
In life, there is nothing wrong with being yourself, but nobody likes an impostor. It's okay to be a 40-year-old virgin, but when you try and compare breasts to a "bag of sand" at a poker game,
you're going to be exposed. And Paul, I think it's time we had that talk.
When Mitt Romney announced on August 11th that he would be running with Paul Ryan, I knew I would have to do some extended research on the man. I took to Wikipedia and other venerable outlets of information. Upon first glance, I thought he was a likable character. He looks like the kind of politician you'd see in a hollywood movie - the kind where you think it's implausible because the actor looks like he's 26 and there's no way that Joseph Gordon Levitt could be an elected government official. Then, you discover Paul Ryan is a Packers fan and makes his own sausage and you're thinking, "Why am I not making my own sausage? What is preventing me from sausage creation?"
But as you dig a little deeper, the weird stuff starts to come out, and you discover that he's a workout freak and does the p90x program 5 times a week. If you don't know what p90x is, I suggest you take a look at their website.
And then, once the skepticism about Ryan's personality begins to set in, the flood gates open. You'll hear comments like: "I'm from Wisconsin so I basically have cheese flowing through my veins." Ho ho, that's hi-LARious! And then you hear that he gave copies of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged to his interns as a holiday gift. "Hey gang, I know some other lame bosses have been giving out bottles of Johnny Walker, but enjoy this over-1,000 page treatise on Objectivism!" And then there's this YouTube clip of Ryan talking about his hip iPod playlist, where he mistakenly refers to the band as "Led Zepp-ling." That would be like John McCain telling a group of teenagers that he's good friends with the lead guitarist of Swedish House Mafia. Or when Mayor Bloomberg called the ex-Yankees manager "Joe Torrez" (that one's a true story).
While Paul Ryan has accomplished a lot over the years, and while no politician should be criticized for trivial things like a workout regimen, sometimes you have to trust your judgment. In this case, my judgment is screaming to me that this guy is - sorry Paul - kind of a huge tool. My intuition tells me that this is the kind of person you'd see in the corner of a cocktail party, gripping a quarter-drunk Twisted Tea, talking about the "good ol' days of college" and his intramural softball team and maybe some generic small talk like: "What do you guys think about that Tebow?"
It will be interesting to see if we find some more brutal factoids on Ryan as this race heats up in the fall. For now, he can get by with his collegiate smile and pop culture references, but we all know the truth, and I think the truth will ultimately reveal itself. To end with a lyric from Led Zepp-ling: Mr. Ryan, "your time is gonna come."