Wake up, GOP: It's time to put the varsity on the field in 2012

Too many Republicans fail to grasp the urgency of the moment. In addition to Ryan and Christie, Mike Pence, a telegenic, presidential-looking conservative, who would also appeal to both Tea Partiers and more establishment types, should reverse his decision and opt back into the race. Any Republican who thinks he or she might be the best, most electable, candidate should run.

Some say that Ryan, in his 40s like the victorious Kennedy, Clinton, and Obama, is “too young”– and Christie “too fat.” But watch Ryan here. Watch Christie here. Tell me you wouldn’t thrill to seeing either of them onstage against Obama.

Yes, Ryan may be “only” a House member, but he is also the chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, and where is the action right now? Lincoln, too, had “only” been a congressman. Christie may “only” be a first-term governor, but Obama was a first-term, back-bench senator. The fact is, Ryan and Christie are the best there is on Capitol Hill and in the statehouses. They are the men Obama doesn’t want to face.