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Posted at 10:37 PM ET, 01/25/2011

A State of the Union response or a 2012 match-up?

By Jennifer Rubin

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) had the unenviable task of responding to the State of the Union. You can't compete with the president in pomp and setting, and it is absurd to try to match him line by line and program by program. Ryan smartly didn't try. Instead, he crisply set out a vision and the rationale for his vision.

As the camera moved in, the initial image of a very young man in a very big room turned into a relaxed, almost intimate conversation.

His comments were sharp, but his demeanor was friendly. He went after Obama's approach to the central issues of spending and the economy:

The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25 percent for domestic government agencies -- an 84 percent increase when you include the failed stimulus.

All of this new government spending was sold as "investment." Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.

Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health-care entitlement.

He emphasized the central contradiction at the heart of the president's speech: Obama said he's for fiscal discipline, but he want to keep spending:

Whether sold as "stimulus" or repackaged as "investment," their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much, taxes too much and spends too much in order to do too much.

And during the last two years, that is exactly what we have gotten -- along with record deficits and debt -- to the point where the president is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit.

We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first.

But Ryan did what Obama did not: He explained why his approach is superior his opponents'. First, was the statement of principles: "So I'd like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders, in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and in the words of the American Constitution. They have to do with the importance of limited government and with the blessing of self-government."

Next came the explanation for how that philosophy results in prosperity, while the liberals' approach does not:

Our nation is approaching a tipping point.

We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency. Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked -- and it won't work now.

He added a caution about doing precisely what Obama did -- kicking the can down the road:

Just take a look at what's happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn't act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody.

Their day of reckoning has arrived. Ours is around the corner. That is why we must act now.

And in case the voters missed it, he reminded us that we should be skeptical of an approach based on the combination of big government and big business:

We believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper. Under this approach, the spirit of initiative -- not political clout -- determines who succeeds.

Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise -- but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.

He went directly after ObamaCare:

What we already know about the president's health-care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees. . . .

Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage.

Health-care spending is driving the explosive growth of our debt. And the president's law is accelerating our country toward bankruptcy.

And he pointed out an internal and glaring inconsistency in the president's rhetoric:

Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama administration for waivers from the mandates. Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The president mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree -- and we think his health-care law would be a great place to start.

No, he didn't mention foreign policy; he's not the commander in chief. No, he didn't offer a specific budget or entitlement-reform plan, but, then, he already set out his ideas in the Roadmap for America and in the Ryan-Rivlin entitlement reform proposal.

What he did do was put a youthful, engaging face on the Republican Party and tap into the concerns of the center-right country that government and our debt have become too enormous and now threaten our economic progress. It also wasn't long-winded, flat or boring.

He also demonstrated why Tea Partyers and establishment Republicans might, if given the chance, choose him as the standard bearer in 2012. Judging by tonight, he is fully capable of besting Obama.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 25, 2011; 10:37 PM ET
Categories:  House GOP  
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Ryan fear-mongered about the debt quite a bit, but he made no mention of cutting defense spending or raising taxes on the wealthy. He does not sound serious about cutting the debt.

Obama, on the other hand, mentioned all sorts of spending cuts, including military, and he also mentioned raising taxes on the wealthiest. He is serious!

Posted by: kurthunt | January 25, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

How shocking. Jennifer disliked Obama's speech, but loved Ryan's to the point where this column is almost a gushing love letter.

Posted by: mustangs79 | January 25, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse


I love Ryan too, but let's see how he can handle the media onslaught if he indeed takes up the challenge of running in 2012.

Judging by how the GOP Establishment and some on the conservative side have stood up for Sarah Palin, I don't have much hope that they will rise up and defend a young, promising conservative like Ryan, much less Rubio from being obliterated by the media.

The media/liberals/Establishment GOP will only tolerate moderate, old white guys, because that fits the bill of what the GOP should be. Any other that doesn't fit that description is marked for political death. Unfortunately many on our side facilitate and assist in this process.

Posted by: stevendufresne | January 25, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Listening to Ryan was like listening to a petty middle school principal intent on enforcing his decisions.

Posted by: cassandra9 | January 25, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Good speech. The Republicans have the stronger argument over spending. Obama's ridiculous "investments" -- high speed rail for 80% of Americans? -- are going nowhere, but the battle over spending cuts will be brutal. Obama has already disowned his deficit commission and will try to portray the Republicans as heartless. Let's see how Ryan does as chairman of the Budget Committee before we talk about him as a presidential candidate.

Posted by: eoniii | January 25, 2011 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, on the other hand, mentioned all sorts of spending cuts, including military, and he also mentioned raising taxes on the wealthiest. He is serious!"

Yet, we just added $3 trillion to the debt and we're on pace for $6 trillion more by the end of the decade.

He's serious all right and the country is going to be seriously screwed.

Posted by: allegory | January 25, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Paul ryan's 'nose was growing as he spoke.
Typical of all the Republican rhetoric, criticize with no concrete proposal.
And they get away with it!
Perhaps, they won't get away for long.

Posted by: Leonmalmed | January 25, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

kurthunt - Ryan "fearmongered" about the deficit? I would suggest $14 trillion requires no fear mongering, it stands on its own!

Posted by: belmontbob | January 25, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

See a tag cloud of Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address:

And see how it compares to the 2010 State of the Union Address

Posted by: robparisblog | January 25, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech - HOpe and vision
Ryan's speech - Fear and calamity

Posted by: kumicho | January 25, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what is more predictable and boring, Ryan's response or Rubin's coverage of it. Shocker! She didn't like Obama's speech and she liked Ryan's. I had to read this to find that out? Open minded she isn't.

Posted by: TheMan66 | January 25, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

That is $14 Trillion (with a Tr) in debt that is ON the books and many more Trillions in unfunded future liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

We are at the day of reckoning not the day of fearmongering.

Posted by: onehanded | January 25, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA = significant decline in access to quality health care for most Americans, high unemployment, destruction of the income and assets of senior and GENERAL DECLINE AND DEFEAT.

RYAN ROADMAPR = opportunity, innovation, high quality health care and prosperity for all - (true, public sector union employees and trial lawyers will have to, you know, work for their $$ and stuff and Obama's corporate cronies will have to prosper by competing rather than through taxpayer handouts but I'm sure they'll make it)

Posted by: cavalier4 | January 25, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan's speech tonight was the first I have heard him at length. It was serious and considered. He spoke to the need for smaller government and a greater emphasis on personal responsibility to give our children a life unburdened by the debts our generation is accruing at breakneck speed.
For those who say that he did not offer specific spending cuts, chances are really, really good you will not have to wait long. There will be cuts everywhere and no program will be overlooked, even defense. Was he "fear-mongering" to state the truth about our debt and it's effect on future generations if we do not confront it now? No.

Posted by: PamK | January 25, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Ryan was a crock. I was hoping for something better. But really, it was fear and misinformation. In a word, it was sad.

Obama's speech was pretty modest, not up to his Tuscon speech. So if Ryan ever had a chance to take the spotlight and set an agenda, it was tonight. But his sad speech wasn't even close.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 25, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Reading the comments is like reading a message board of middle-school students griping about a tough teacher.

Before you take on the details, the fundamentals of the problem need to be established ... and Mr. Ryan did just that. Just because the lesson doesn't tickle your redistributionist ears doesn't mean it's wrong.

Especially about the need for limited government ... you Re-, er, Progressives just don't get that, REGARDLESS OF INTENT, the government is structurally incapable of effectively/efficiently doing a LOT of what you ask it to do; in particular, trying to solve problems that are highly individual-specific FOR the individuals by dictating their choices and allocating their resources FOR them, instead of establishing a framework where these individuals can solve these problems as they see them -- in nearly all cases, far better than any set of DC "experts".

Ryan gets this ... and that is part of the reason conservatives often don't present a "plan" as many of y'all would like them to do ... because it is NOT THE JOB OF GOVERNMENT TO MAKE, LET ALONE EXECUTE, SUCH A PLAN in most cases.

That's OUR job ... in contrast to the job of government; the establishment and maintenance of the "commons" where we can work OUR plans -- millions of them, alone or with others -- to pursue happiness, free of interference from the heavy hand of those who "know better" and who would use the force of law to impose their "knowledge" upon us all.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: ritchie_the_riveter | January 25, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Ryan describes "The Matrix":

"...This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency...."


And to Kurt up above: Obama seemed about as serious as a limp rag. What a poser. There were perhaps two "serious" thoughts in the entire, almost interminable, flaccid stream of consciousness speech. Their were 14 trillion serious thoughts in Ryan's speech.

Posted by: jafco | January 26, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

It is sadly amusing that the party which largely brought us the deficit through tax cuts and ill considered military adventures is now telling us to be very very afraid of the Deficit. We should give the foxes yet another shot at the hen house?

Posted by: dcasali | January 26, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

This speech by Obama was just as meaningless and just as flaccid as any other he's given.

While I cannot claim to be big booster of Republicans et al, the fact remains that anyone who STILL thinks Obama is doing a fine job is rallying his guy to continue on the same path until everything as we know it simply stops.

Very transparent phenomena...

Posted by: EAU2011 | January 26, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

**Listening to Ryan was like listening to a petty middle school principal intent on enforcing his decisions.**

We have less to fear from a fictitious petty middle school principal than we do a real flaming Alinsky acolyte in the White House.

People that complain like this are never honest about their true intentions for the nation--utter political ransacking and hyper liberal domination. Just admit it.

Posted by: EAU2011 | January 26, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama's specifics were only really one lose example and military.

I don't think that speaking about a debt that is as monstrous as ours is is fear mongering, any more than warning of a blizzard is fear mongering. Sure, you're more afraid, but it doesn't make the blizzard any less real. It's not hypothetical, it's not avoidable, we WILL have to pay the piper and it best be soon.

As for increasing the taxes on the rich, the country doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Raising the tax rate doesn't automatically bring in more revenue, ultimately, it brings in less. Government makes decisions based on politics rather than revenue, thus it's investments are generally of a poorer grade in terms of ROI. Money that goes into the government, and thus leaves private hands, tends to cause market distortions that cause sub optimal spending decisions. In general, lowering future GDP.

Basically, the less the government takes in, the more the GDP tends to grow, the more money available in the whole system, and thus, the more taxes that can be brought in at lower tax rates. The way it is now, you end up with a situation that is both like Ethanol in gasoline (the government as part of our economic system is basically reducing gas mileage for no good reason), and exactly ethanol. A program that, in terms of energy is close to neutral vs the inputs and outputs, not saving anything, but makes us feel a bit better while raising agriculture prices, and ultimate, benefit... well, pretty much only corn farmers.

Ryan basically offers the only rational direction going forward, unless you actually WANT a country that is actually broke. We already spend too much to tax our way out of, so the ONLY road forward is deep spending cuts across the whole of government, getting rid of useless programs until we have a government we can afford. Once that is attained, revenue will grow organically, naturally, and if it must, and it is what we as a people agree to, the government may grow as well.

What we are doing now is not sustainable. We're strip mining our kids future and the only way forward is to be responsible for once. Or rather Obama's light bringer, when the oceans begin to fall movement won't be how this time was remembered, but rather as the time when the government spent so much, so quickly that it simply couldn't borrow any more and rather than oceans, the social net began to fall.

Posted by: Dmears182 | January 26, 2011 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan is the real deal. He isn't afraid of treating the voters like adults, and dishes out the real problems facing our country. Obama, on the other hand...

Posted by: coffeetime | January 26, 2011 12:58 AM | Report abuse

The SOTU is finished and will be forgotten by all within 48 hours. (4-8)?

Posted by: aardunza | January 26, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Congressman Ryan's speech reminded me of a late night commercial for some magic elixir. Far be it for him to say what makes up this magic elixir and what it will do, if one holds his/her nose and gobbles it down. Ms Rubin must have had a double dose and feeling out of sorts to write such a loopy article. Step right up and buy this magic way to wealth. Invest your Social Security with those Wall St folk whose only desire is your best interest without a care about their added riches. Buy the Ryan health package. Be sure to trust the insurance company all of whom have only your best interest at heart.

Ronald Reagan said trust but verify. Or you will be one of the fools born every minute and you will take your family with you.

Posted by: Willis3 | January 26, 2011 1:46 AM | Report abuse

1980 National Debt: 990 billion dollars
1992 National Debt: 5.5 trillion dollars
2000 National Debt: 6.1 trillion dollars
2008 National Debt: 12 trillion dollars

Republicans have ZERO credibility when it comes fiscal responsability. They're an embarrassment to real conservatives.

Posted by: miamilaker32 | January 26, 2011 3:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm a fan of Paul Ryan, I disagree with him alot on specifics, but generally he's thoughtful and the few times I've meet him he's a good guy. However, his speech was horrible. It was only saved by the fact that Michelle Bachmann's was just a train wreck so it looked better compared to that mess.

Posted by: mperiod | January 26, 2011 4:25 AM | Report abuse

The facts ARE clear. Paul Ryan dwells in a fact free zone and has no clue what he's talking about. Someone care to do some fact checking? Come on folks in the MSM, how about doing your job. The vast bulk of our deficit is due to the reckless policies of the Bush era, and now Republicans want to double down on what got us into so much trouble to begin with, AND refuse to take responsibility for their policy failures. Instead, they throw this know-nothing ideologue out there who fear mongers and plays footloose with the facts. Obama is offering common sense solutions to get us out of the huge mess left by the failed Bush era policies, and so far it's been working, especially considering the fiscal mess this country was in when he took office.

Posted by: ggwalt | January 26, 2011 6:37 AM | Report abuse

The bulk of the debt was created in GOP administrations. Reagan and GW Bush both added more to the debt than all the presidents before them combined. Clinton is the only recent president to try to deal with the debt. The huge bailouts of massive banks, corporatiions and rich CEOs came mostly under a panicked GW Bush.

And now the GOP wants to use the debt to hit Obama over the head and further decimate the middle class. I trust President Obama's leader on the debt muchy more than I trust the GOP's.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 26, 2011 6:45 AM | Report abuse

One thing is clear, the GOP roadmap will lead us back to a darker age, where we would continue our downward spiral into a do nothing ignorant large country with a bloated military, crumbling infrastructure, failing schools, no safety nets, and where only the wealthiest 2% will prosper. No thank you. Ryan wants to replace Medicare with vouchers and privatize social security (as do other Republicans). He wants to give more tax breaks to rich folks and make draconian cuts that hurt the least among us. What kind of sense does that make? When Republicans are placed in power, they totally screw things up. Then the Dems have to come along and clean up their messes. Let's not let that happen again anytime soon.

Posted by: ggwalt | January 26, 2011 6:58 AM | Report abuse

DIdn't get past the first two sentences without lying. Not past the first one without using misleading statistic to distort what he was saying.

About what was expected.

Posted by: John1263 | January 26, 2011 7:15 AM | Report abuse

"if given the chance, choose him as the standard bearer in 2012. Judging by tonight, he is fully capable of besting Obama."

Not unless someone buys him some Visine first.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 26, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Rubin is an editorial rube. Cheer-leading is not political commentary.

Posted by: Justwords | January 26, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"What he did do was put a youthful, engaging face on the Republican Party and tap into the concerns of the center-right country that government and our debt have become too enormous and now threaten our economic progress. It also wasn't long-winded, flat or boring."

What a load. Ryan is just another piece of crap liar from the GOP. NEEEXT!

"He also demonstrated why Tea Partyers and establishment Republicans might, if given the chance, choose him as the standard bearer in 2012. Judging by tonight, he is fully capable of besting Obama."

The teabaggers are nothing but stealth GOPers who stole Ron Paul's organization because they had to tap the rage somehow and the tea party protesters were the ticket.

Stop your god damned lying you filthy swine.

Posted by: aartmann112004 | January 26, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Anyone criticizing Obama for never having been in business, meeting a payroll, etc, etc should take a moment (and that's all it will take) to read Ryan's very thin resume. Bachelor degree in Political science, marketing for Ryan family business, legislative aid, speech writer, congressman. Not very persuasive or impressive credentials for the Chair of the Budget committee. Never mind that 2012 (or any other year) presidential hopeful malarkey.

Posted by: wrfarm1 | January 26, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the notion of shrinking government. We didn't send an infantry squad to fight World War II. We sent every able-bodied soldier available to confront the threat and protect the US. Why, then, should we expect a smaller, weaker government to protect us from rapacious and powerful financial institutions? We have already seen the disaster that unregulated markets and dealers have produced. We are already seeing the meteorological disasters made worse by unrestrained burning of oil and coal. Why does anyone think that our great-grandchildren will have a habitable planet if we emasculate our efforts to respond to climate change? We should ask ourselves this: what is REALLY behind the notion of small government? What are they not telling us?

Posted by: abc3 | January 26, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer is positively dripping over Paul Ryan.

Posted by: rwjackson | January 26, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

As often as Ryan despairs over the high burden taxpayers face, it often goes unsaid that Ryan's own tax plan is an idiot exact a: It slashes government revenues while simultaneously raising taxes on 90 percent of taxpayers.

Posted by: tqmek1 | January 26, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... Analysis by all these analysts who have no more clue than the rest of us. In fact they have less. Their job depends on them writing something, anything and so they do, no matter what it is. Our job is to keep our heads above water in this society without effective leadership from either side. The analyst in this case needs to do her job, but we need to continue to live. Her analysis contributes nothing towards our need, its just the usual partisan hack job.

Posted by: robertmerry | January 26, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Rep. Ryan started out ok, but descended into fear. I doubt he has a chance at the presidential nomination - his voice sounds wrong.

The GOP will never regain the trust as being fiscally responsible until they stop defending the irresponsible Bush43 tax cuts - ALL of them.

Posted by: K2K2 | January 26, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Ryan's demeanor did not match his speech at all. He was all smiley, sing-songy w/ heavy nasal breathing while he was supposed to be discussing our dire circumstances. And his eyes were so terribly bloodshot he looked stoned. Then you've got the GOP 2.0 response to the SOTU (aka Michelle Bachmann) looking off to the wrong camera. This is not hard, guys, get it together!

Posted by: JWAL1 | January 26, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"I'll give you as Shermanesque a quote as I can. I am not going to run for president [in 2012]. I'm just not going to do it. My head's not that big, and my kids are too small."
--Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Yet Ms. Rubin continually fantasizes he'll run.

Whether one likes Rep. Ryan or not, you have to wonder why Ms. Rubin keeps feeding us her line rather than take him at his word.

As for his Roadmap for America, the CBO has already stated that his plan will greatly add to the deficit through about 2040 and the budget wouldn't be balanced for at least 50 years. There's nothing fresh or engaging in those facts.

Why he continues to be Ms. Rubin's darling, given he's said he isn't running and his deficit-reduction plan doesn't pass CBO muster, is beyond me.

Posted by: MsJS | January 26, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

This article is pointless. Who cares what drivel Mr. Ryan says or what cuts Obama is proposing. The great lie in America is that the Democrats and Republicans are opposing ideologies, that one must choose between one or the other.

The truth is both parties are actually driven by the same interests. Obama has continued G.W. Bush's war machine and propaganda. He continued the tax cuts of his predecessor, vowing that this cannot continue into the future, but in all likelihood will as long as he is president. Republican or Democrat. Things don't change. There is no difference. The system itself is what is broken. Both Obama and Ryan are just symptoms of a larger problem.

Posted by: vk5u | January 26, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan is an exceptionally bright and competent legislator. He definitely would make an excellent candidate for President. In any debate, he would make Obama look like the "empty suit" he always has been.

Posted by: crypticguise | January 26, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It would have been nice if Ryan first explained his Psalmist prayer as having origins in Judaism.

I turned him off because I thought it was yet again an example of Republicans cramming their vision of Christianity down our throats.

"Prayer" and "moment of silence" would have been more than enough!

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | January 26, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I notices that niether Ryan or Jennifer mentioned that Ryan's prescrition for America would include a 76% (yes, 76%) reduction in Medicare benefits.
If you tea-bagger republicans are so proud of your positions, why not shout them from the rooftops?
Ah, but dumping poor and old people on the street to benefit corporations would show tea-bagger republicans for the heartless, greedy, awful people that they are....

Posted by: jeffc6578 | January 26, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Just didn't feel it for Ryan.
Too young. Too jughead. Too halting.
Not as bad as Jindal, not as good as any of a half dozen R contenders.

And, you can't generate a groundswell of dedicated followers by trying to panic the audience.

Plus, at least on CNN he was followed by M. Bachman and she pulled the whole Republican "response" into the rabbit hole.

Posted by: roboturkey | January 26, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

There's really only one pertinent question for liberals: What are you going to do when the money runs out?

Because that's your money, too. And once it's gone, it's gone.

Here's the irony of ironies. Liberals talk redistribution, and are wary of free markets, and yet they have a faith-based belief that they can spend til the cows come home without ever exhausting the coffers.

And it never occurs to them that they will be just as impacted as everyone else when America becomes a beggar nation.

Posted by: tom75 | January 26, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@ roboturkey.

"Trying to panic the audience?" Boy, are you reaching! Ryan was like a CPA telling his client that he is going to have to sell that vacation house in the Bahamas and sell the Bentley or he is going to go belly up.

As for looks, I can go that way, too Obama has always struck me as a skinny, black guy with bat ears and a too small head.

Posted by: RobbyS | January 26, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Jennifer? Ryan has NO chance of besting Obama in 2012. That is to say, zero chance, 10 - (9+1) chance, NIL chance, not any chance, zilch chance and never in a hundred trillion years chance. And, that's without taking into account the fact that the great majority of his GOP colleagues think the fine details of his economic plan not only border on the fantastical and absurd, but live right in the middle of that country. Come on, Jen! Be objective for once in your life! Your party is composed of nutcases! (See: Michele Bachman; Sarah Palin)

Posted by: chert | January 26, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Google Ronald Reagan "actor" pictures from his younger days. The resemblance is striking, but Ryan is no Reagan, no matter how much Rubin wishes him to be the bright new face of the Republican party.

Posted by: AverageJane | January 26, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Ryan reminds me of a guy trying to sell burial insurance.

Posted by: Southernwriter | January 26, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

To seriously respond to this SOTU address, the responder would have had to refute the theme and the plan to Invest in America. That would have been unacceptable. So, instead, they each pressed the "Play" button and ran the same tape we have heard over and over again for two plus years, each in their own style, but it was the same tape.

I vote for Investing In America. I vote for the Man With A Plan. Plan A was Emergent Care, ICU, saving the nation's economy. Plan B is Rehab, investing in education, innovation, research, creativity, industriousness, renewal, to bring us to maximum potential and viability in the new norm.

They will rewind their tapes to have them ready for the next time.

Posted by: nana4 | January 26, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan - the republican who wants to take
away social security from seniors die not give the Republican response

Michele Bachman did.

The only way forward for Ameirika and all of us who love freedom and cherish the Ideals of our forfathers hating slavery in 1776 when they signed the constitution -

is to vote Palin President in 2012

Posted by: moneyfools | January 26, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan - the republican who wants to take
away social security from seniors die not give the Republican response

Michele Bachman did.

The only way forward for Ameirika and all of us who love freedom and cherish the Ideals of our forfathers hating slavery in 1776 when they signed the constitution -

is to vote Palin President in 2012

Posted by: moneyfools | January 26, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I know this a highly personal question, Ms. Rubin, but were you masturbating while watching Ryan's dog and pony show last night?

Anybody who actually buys into the theory that the recently enacted health care reform legislation is the main cause of the current increases in insurance premiums is obviously thinking with some body part other than the brain.

Posted by: st50taw | January 26, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Southernwriter | January 26, 2011 3:17 PM

"Ryan reminds me of a guy trying to sell burial insurance."

Yeah I fell asleep listening to him too.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 27, 2011 12:40 AM | Report abuse

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