…and his name is Paul Ryan.
Now, I’ve been a fan of Ryan for awhile now, and on this blog it goes back to last July when he absolutely schooled Katrina vanden Heuvel on MSNBC. He also recently received more conservative kudos from George Will with his fantastic ideas on entitlement reform.
But yesterday’s obnoxiously high profile Health Care Summit provided Ryan with the kind of opportunity that statesmen can usually only dream of and the amazingly positive reviews from political analysts that can launch a guy into a trajectory for higher office.
Intellectual. Telegenic. Midwestern. That’s a dangerously attractive combination.
Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl is up in 2012. Maybe that’s Ryan’s opportunity.
In addition to Ryan, the shockingly glowing coverage of the Republican performance at yesterday’s Summit simply cannot be ignored.
Many presumed it was a bad idea for the GOP to accept the President’s invitation. Instead, it turned into an astounding victory for advocates of market-based solutions to health care reform.
The NRSC did a solid job of collecting quotes from the media:
CNN’s WOLF BLITZER: “It looks like the Republicans certainly showed up ready to play.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
- BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. … But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
- BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
- GERGEN: “He doesn’t have a strong Democratic team behind him.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform. I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)