The Washington Post

‘Hey Girl, it’s Paul Ryan’ explained

(Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg News)

“Hey Girl, it’s Paul Ryan” is the latest Tumblr site to poke fun at a political figure. This time it’s the House Budget Committee chairman and his — how should we say this — “boy next door”/“cute nerd” demeanor. (For the unaware, Tumblr is a blogging platform that allows users to seamlessly display photos, videos and text in an easy-to-use format. Also for the unaware: “Cute nerd” is a look that does well in Washington.)

The Ryan-themed site, which draws inspiration from another Tumblr site poking fun at actor Ryan Gossling, features news photos of the Wisconsin Republican juxtaposed with fiscally-inspired pick up lines, including “Stop, girl! Those Laffer curves are driving me wild” and “Girl, you must be an Obama entitlement program ... because you are definitely raising my interest rate.”

You get the idea.

Emily Zanotti, a self-described “freelance political communications consultant and comedian from Chicago” who also blogs for, said she and her friends got the idea for the site after wondering what Ryan — who enjoys “Noodling,” or catching catfish with bare hands — might look like shirtless as he chased after catfish in a river.

“Really, we just put it together as an inside joke,” she said in an e-mail. “I’ve worked with lots of politicos (I’m a libertarian and work primarily with conservatives), and Paul Ryan is a bit of an ‘economic heartthrob’ among us, if you will. We liked the way that Paul Ryan and the meme fit together, and thought it might just appeal to people who work on the Hill or at least in the political industry. We didn’t anticipate that it would become as huge as it did.”

Indeed, the site quickly took off after first surfacing widely Tuesday. And as The Fix first noted, it signals once again that Tumblr, much like other social media tools, is catching on in the political world.

No word on what Ryan’s office thinks of the site, but the free publicity might help Republicans shore up support among at least some women.

Like the site? Which image is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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