By Shawn Williams
Everyday there’s a new Republican rumored as a potential Presidential candidate and today it’s Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. This post will be short, because there is really only one reason why Rep. Paul Ryan will not seek the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Still I went with three so indulge me.
1. The Garfield Effect
The only sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives to be elected President was James A. Garfield in 1880. Only two other sitting members (Henry Clay, 1824 and John Anderson, 1980) have run in general elections. Anderson ran as an independent. (Source: Office of the Clerk – U.S. House)
Even then, Garfield was U.S. Senator Elect from Ohio. It’s hard enough for Senators to move from Congress to the White House. Before President Obama was elected in 2008, John F. Kennedy and Warren G. Harding were the only sitting U.S. Senators elected President. Had Republicans nominated a viable governor in 2008, President Obama would have been in trouble.
2. America hates losers
One of the reason so many Republican star candidates won’t run in 2012 is because Presidential losers have a hard time coming back. There are very few Richard Nixon’s in the bunch, who lose a U.S. Presidential election and come back to be elected down the road. There aren’t even that many John McCain’s who lose out on their party’s nomination (2000) only to win in later years (2008). President Obama presents a stiff enough challenge that 2016 looks like a much better year for Republicans hopefuls.
3. The Ryan Budget
If Paul Ryan were to become a candidate for President, his budget would be under even more scrutiny than it already is. He seems to be a smart guy and I’m sure he’s got thought on any number of issues. But the public would only hear about the budget, and any talk of foreign policy, energy policy or any policy besides budget policy would get lost.
With all that said, I wouldn’t expect a Ryan for President announcement any time soon.