There has been a lot of talk in recent months around conservative and GOP circles about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as a prospective Republican candidate to oppose President Obama in the 2012 election.
With Sen. Herb Kohl's announcement Friday that he is retiring, however, now there is even more buzz about Ryan going after a Senate seat.
But Jennifer Rubin, who has in recent months established herself as a must-read blogger at The Washington Post, presents a solid case for the proposition that a White House run makes the most sense for Ryan:
"In truth, a presidential run makes a lot more sense for Ryan than does a Senate race. Ryan is already the de facto leader of the Republican Party on the most critical issues of the day," Rubin writes.
"If he’s concerned about spending time with his family, what better way and better time (when they are little and not distressed teenagers thrown into the national spotlight) to bond with them than a family adventure seeing America followed by a job where dad could work from home?"
I'm not sure that Ryan is the defacto GOP national leader (though the prospect of that becoming a reality is far from an unpleasant one in this corner), and Rubin's contention that Ryan has already secured House approval of his 2012 budget proposal and thus ought to feel free to make the big run strikes me as short-changing what he could accomplish for the country by staying put at least through 2014.
And here's something else to ponder: Ryan's Road to Prosperity budget approach does NOT balance the federal budget in 10 years. That fact is going to become more prominent next week when the Peterson Foundation unveils budget proposals from six major Washington players, including The Heritage Foundation, AEI and Center for American Progress.
The Heritage plan, details of which were made public last Tuesday, does balance the budget, without tax hikes, and presumably others among the forthcoming proposals will do the same or similar, so Ryan's approach might not look so shiny by, say, mid-summer. His suitability for a White House run would certainly suffer as a result.
Even so, Rubin's analysis is compelling and well worth reading, which you can do here.