Romney has campaigned for president for six years and his most ardent supporters can’t define him any better than he can himself. None can predict what kind of America we are going to have under the founder of Bain Capital or how he plans to translate his exceptional financial success into better opportunities for Americans and for budding democracies worldwide. So we are left with an unusual enthusiasm gap for the presidential candidate in a political party which knows what it doesn’t want in national leadership, but can’t seem to agree on what real leadership is. The exception is that they like a 42-year-old congressman because they like his voting record on their issues and because Paul Ryan sounds like he believes what he says.
It may be more accurate to say that Paul Ryan expresses himself, and conducts himself, in a manner that today’s Republicans wish to see in their candidate for president. He demonstrates a grasp of the issues the country faces and, as a budget expert, can express them in ways that impress those who have concluded that only a $16 trillion national debt stands in the way of a new, stronger, full-employment American economy. Ryan’s beliefs about the proper role of government, like those of all the Republican candidates for president, are extreme. “It’s individualism vs. collectivism,” he says of the choices for the future. This is the antithesis of “no child left behind” Republicans. Like Governor George Romney of Michigan and Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts who wanted every citizen to have access to health care.