The Ryan Response


A press release from the House Budget Committee announced that its chairman, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) will give the GOP response to the President’s State of the Union address this coming Tuesday, January 25th.

GOP leaders noted that “Chairman Ryan is a leading voice for fiscal discipline and common-sense solutions to cut spending and create jobs.  Known for his thoughtful and detailed critiques of big-government policies, Ryan has helped put to rest the Democrats’ argument that more government spending and higher taxes is the answer to most of our nation’s ills.  His commitment to free enterprise and limited government make him the right choice to outline a vision for how a smaller, less costly government will help create the right conditions for the creation of good, private sector jobs.”

Accepting the job, Ryan noted that “Delivering an address to the nation is a unique opportunity, and I am grateful to my party’s leaders for entrusting me with this responsibility.”  It’s also a very challenging opportunity.  The State of the Union is both a Presidential duty, and display of power.  It’s tricky to give a dissenting response without sounding like a grouch.

Ryan was my first pick for the response (I’ve got witnesses!) because he’s good at both compelling big-picture narratives and individual details.  His “Roadmap For America’s Future” is a comprehensive thesis for guiding the nation on a path of liberty and prosperity.  A popular YouTube video shows him taking on ObamaCare like a sushi chef going after a giant squid, shredding a 2000-page bill in just six minutes.  That’s almost six pages per second.

One of the lingering lessons from the midterm elections is that people are paying attention.  Paul Ryan is an excellent choice to address such an attentive audience.  State of the Union addresses are like the Super  Bowl for political junkies.  I was already planning to have beer and hot wings while I watch this one, but now I might just need to break out my cowbell too.