Run, Ryan, run!

Ryan can unite the GOP’s tea-party and establishment wings. Despite her merits, Bachmann represents a fringe subset of the Tea Party as one of only nine House Republicans who opposed raising the debt ceiling even in connection with “Cut, Cap, and Balance.” Conversely, Romney represents the complacent part of the establishment that doesn’t give the impression that the repeal of Obamacare is really all that important. Meanwhile, Ryan represents the majority of Republicans — whether tea-party sympathizers or not — who sensibly reject both of these poles…

True, Ryan is young (he’ll be 42 by Election Day, as was Kennedy in 1960), but that’s an asset — and he has certainly been in Congress long enough to have proven himself. In fact, renowned Hillsdale history professor Paul Rahe writes that Ryan “has attained a stature that no Congressman in my lifetime has achieved,” adding, “When I cast my mind back in the past in search of comparable figures, I can come up with only two — James Madison in the First Federal Congress, and Henry Clay, when he was Speaker of the House.” That’s not only extraordinary company; it’s an indication that Ryan has outgrown his office. Subsequent years in Congress would yield only mounting frustration.