Yesterday's announcement that Paul Ryan will not seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination was disappointing. While I can understand Ryan's reasons for not entering the race, I think that Americans need someone with ability to clearly articulate the challenges we face and the tough choices that must be made. And an Obama-Ryan race would have forced the media to spend at least some time talking about these issues rather than focusing on the horse race dynamics of the campaigns and digging up dirt on the GOP candidate. Okay, that might have been wishful thinking.
An editorial in today's WSJ on the Ryan boomlet that just burst explains another reason behind the calls for Ryan to run:
A House Member not running for President would usually be among the bottom stories of the day, except the Ryan boomlet reflects the larger discontent with the current Republican field. Among the current crop of candidates, none has managed to articulate free-market principles and policies with Mr. Ryan's fluency or conviction. Neither do they seem to be attempting to appeal to the independent voters who decide elections with an optimistic pro-growth vision.
We suspect many GOP constituents are watching the current primary carnival while looking down midway for someone different. That candidate might combine Mr. Ryan's reform ambitions and the seriousness of his message with executive competence and a record of achievement at the state level. Hope and change aren't the exclusive province of Democrats.
With no Ryan in the race and the Republican field now seemingly narrowing to the big three (Romney, Bachmann, and Perry) and everybody else, there isn't an obvious choice for those of us looking for those elusive qualities that Ryan possesses. At this point, I'd say that I'd have to lean toward Perry while still holding reservations about whether he truly is the best candidate for the job of unseating President Obama. I'm still looking over the horizon as well, but the time for a new barker to appear on stage is drawing close to an end.