Neither is he solid politically: He gives Romney neither the geographic heft of a Rob Portman nor the demographic value of a Marco Rubio.

But Ryan is solid in the sense of being, well, solid. He reports that he keeps his body fat at a lean 6 percent to 8 percent. He has pioneered the punishing p90x workout on the Hill, leading a group of lawmakers in early-morning crunches. 

His colleagues report that the routine has left Ryan with ripped abs.He measures 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds — five inches taller but 10 pounds lighter than this envious correspondent, whose own six-pack abs are protectively sheathed in an inch of fat. Unlike President Obama, I'm guessing Ryan doesn't sneak cigarettes.

It can only do us good as a nation to have as a role model such a fine physical specimen in high office. Hopefully, Ryan will inspire more Americans to get healthy. That's important, because if Ryan succeeds in ending Medicare, they won't be able to afford getting sick.