The congressman’s role now is as little more than a dutiful No. 2, tossing out attack lines to crowds on less conspicuous stops. Instead of being a catalyst for big ideas, critics believe the campaign has been stuck in a pre-Ryan messaging rut. There hasn’t been anywhere near enough of Ryan, they say, who has skipped most major national interviews and hewed to a specific script. …

Said Yuval Levin, a conservative thinker and close friend of Ryan, who was booed while defending his Medicare plan at the AARP conference on Friday: “The appeal of Ryan was twofold: He’s one of the most effective critics of President [Barack] Obama and he’s one of the most effective policy entrepreneurs in the party…They’ve used more of the former than the latter but there’s time yet. “ …

Added Florida Rep. Allen West: “I will tell you I haven’t seen him be as visible as maybe I thought he would be. … You put people on a battlefield so you can have a span of control; whatever you’re strong in, you want them to shore you up in the other areas. You gotta figure out where you can send Paul Ryan to let him be Paul Ryan. Guy’s a smart guy.”