My prediction: Paul Ryan will jump into the 2012 GOP nomination race right after Iowa and South Carolina, in time for Super Tuesday. That's been my intuition for awhile, but it's beginning to switch from a hunch to full-fledged radar alerts. The latest one sounded when I got a look at this preview of a foreign policy address Ryan delivered to the Alexander Hamilton Society yesterday.
My first reaction: It's unusual for Representatives to be giving speeches on foreign policy unless they're...contemplating a run for the nomination. Right?
He'd be a fool to do it in this go-round, but if the people are calling ... could he refuse? After all, yesterday he faced down the President in the White House and the Republicans gave him a standing ovation. He's their leader.
On Thursday evening, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan said yet again that he is not considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination. But when asked by Fox News' Neil Cavuto whether he would change course from past rejections of a presidential bid, Ryan hesitated before saying, "Look, I think I want to see how this field develops."
"I think there are going to be other people getting into the race," he continued. "You know I was hoping Mitch Daniels would get into the race. He obviously didn’t do that. But there's such a long way to go. Obviously I believe Republicans need to retake the White House."
Jonathan Chait has more, too:
Yesterday, Ryan delivered a speech outlining his foreign policy vision, an important step for a candidate lacking foreign policy experience, and especially crucial to secure the support of Kristol, who cares deeply about foreign policy and approaches all other questions instrumentally. Ryan leaked his speech in advance to -- da dum -- the Weekly Standard. Ryan's leak carefully name-checked the Standard and stroked Kristol's ideological erogenous zones:
Karoli's crystal ball says: Paul Ryan will run and he'll enter the race this year. Of course, primaries are a bit easier to win than general elections. Ryan is a harbinger of doom -- if you don't believe, have a look at the advance copies of his speech. He'll run on the tea party/Scott Walker/Rick Scott/Rick Snyder platform and I'm betting he'll win the nomination, locking it up by the time Super Tuesday hits.
He is the Golden Boy, the Great White Republican hope, and he will run and he will lose, at least if I have any say in the matter.