As Congressman Paul Ryan happily shares the national spotlight with Governor Scott Walker after his resounding recall victory last week, proud Wisconsinites wonder if the the first of their favorite sons will be tapped to become Mitt Romney's running mate in August.
Ryan is a fifth generation Janesville, Wisconsin native, a seven-term member of Congress, a prominent member of the House Ways and Means committee, and chair of the powerful House budget committee. Amidst a flurry of fundraising and other recent joint appearances with Romney, is he seeking to position himself at the top of the short list? In other words, is Paul Ryan ready for prime time?
There are many reasons why Ryan would be an excellent choice and an asset to the GOP ticket in November. He is only 42, though his winning smile and boyish looks belie a real budget hawk who fearlessly attacks reckless government spending and entitlement reform. His position against government excess has earned him respect from both sides of Congress. Even Barack Obama, whose steely glare was hard to miss as Ryan grilled him at a Health Care summit in 2010, has begrudgingly acknowledged Ryan's influence behind the scenes.
In addition to having youth and experience on his side, Paul Ryan is a likable communicator and could boost Romney's chances to win in November. Because of his rock solid social and fiscal conservatism, he may help coalesce the all-important conservative Tea Party members of the GOP, some of whom have been reluctant to fully support Romney because of his moderate stances on issues.
Though Wisconsin voters might be wistful about watching Paul Ryan move on to the national stage, it may be time for him to do just that ... for the sake of the future of the GOP and our country.