Former GOP vice presidential candidate and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) will take a step toward a potential 2016 presidential bid, appearing at a birthday celebration for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) late this year.
From the National Review's great Robert Costa:
According to Iowa governor Terry Branstad, Ryan will deliver the keynote speech at the governor’s birthday party in November. Last year, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida spoke at the event.
Branstad, in an interview at his capitol office, says he’s excited to welcome back Ryan to the Hawkeye State. “He’s a key player in the House and I like him a lot,” he says. “I enjoyed campaigning with him last year. He’s a good guy.”
Branstad says his birthday bash will be held at Adventureland, a theme park in Altoona, Iowa. It’s famous for its fried food, water rides, and the Tornado, a large wooden roller coaster.
Ryan’s appearance will be his first in Iowa, the home of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, since the election. Until now, he has avoided making trips that would hint at a possible run.
As Costa notes, Ryan so far has done little to inch toward a presidential run of his own, and some people think he may focus on moving up the ranks in the House, where he could be speaker one day.
The news comes a day after another potential 2016 candidate from a neighboring state, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), was announced as the speaker at an August gathering in northern Iowa.
Many other potential presidential candidates have visited or are set to visit the early states, including Rubio and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).