The Post’s Amy Goldstein made the trip to Wisconsin to explore Janesville, the role it plays in Ryan’s life and how his politics play with residents. From her dispatch:
As Janesville’s most famous native son, Ryan is widely admired as a good guy, a smart man, a caring father, and a member of a sprawling and prominent family. But many in town dislike his politics.
He is a rigorous fiscal and social conservative in an old union town. The mismatch has taken on a sharper edge at times, especially since thousands of the jobs that gave the town its blue-collar hue faded away with the closing seven years ago of a 4.8 million-square-foot General Motors assembly plant that had been turning out Chevrolets since 1923.
Ryan has always been aware of that political misalignment, and he has walked a fine line, being a committed conservative thinker, while avoiding any role as an ideological movement leader. He has sought to build his conservative chops on tax and entitlement reforms, budgetary acumen and, more recently, a right-leaning take on easing poverty.
Agree with his politics or not, people in his home town understand this about Ryan, leading some to guess that he will decide not to seek the speaker’s role.