Right Turn isn’t alone in musing about a Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket. Paul Gigot weighs in, but wonders if he should stay in the House:
His budget proposal has already changed the national debate, and he’ll remain Budget chairman for another two years if the GOP keeps the House. In 2015, thanks to committee term limits, he’d be the favorite to replace Dave Camp as Ways and Means chairman. Especially with Mr. Romney in the White House, Mr. Ryan’s presence in the House would be crucial to driving the right policy choices on Medicare, taxes and so much more. He’d arguably be more consequential than he would be as vice president.
I would argue the opposite is true.With a president in the White House who has an actual agenda (as opposed to just reelection scheme) and a willingness to tackle debt, entitlements and tax reform, it becomes critical what comes out of the White House and goes to Congress. Where would conservatives rather have Ryan — sitting in Congress or helping the president and Office of Management and Budget director come up with the blueprint for the new administration? Nervous conservatives should prefer to have him there to shape what comes to Congress, rather than rely on Congress trying to tinker with what the White House has sent them.
That is not to say Ryan’s knowledge of Congress won’t be helpful. To the contrary, the Romney White House would have the best possible adviser regarding the executive-legislative branch relationship.
As Gigot acknowledges, “Mr. Ryan knows more about the economy, health care and taxes than would nearly all presidential cabinet officers.” Republicans aren’t going to get more than one chance to get this right. If they recapture the White House they’ll have a window of opportunity to formulate explain, negotiate, sell and pass a conservative reform agenda. For that you want the best and the brightest person there keeping the White House moving in the right direction.
Certainly, the Romney White House will need all the spine stiffening, innovation, public advocacy and boldness it can muster. And really, is there anyone who measures up to Ryan in these areas? It’s well and good to get a governor or a charismatic senator to balance the ticket or pump up the base, but if Romney really wants to govern, I’d argue he couldn’t do better than Ryan.