Current job: Representative from Wisconsin
Fawning liberal quote: “I like him. I appreciate his interest in ideas and his willingness to debate his position at a high level. The country would be better off if we had more members of Congress like him.” —The New Republic’s Jon Chait
The basis of appeal: Ryan, a staunch fiscal conservative and the ranking member on the House budget committee, put together a comprehensive health-care-reform plan that slashes the long-term deficit by trillions by privatizing Medicare, implementing a voucher system for health care for the elderly, and capping spending. He also pulled together a comprehensive budget plan that radically reduces entitlements and lowers tax revenue. So why do Dems like him? Ryan, a wonk, actually puts together measurable and comprehensive plans, defining how deficit hawks would control the Hill, and he earnestly reaches out to everyone, from President Obama to progressive bloggers, to discuss them.