The Other Guy

Rep. Paul Ryan may be the Repub­li­can Vice Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, but how much does this young, po­ten­tial VP re­ally know about for­eign pol­icy?

Southasia - - International -

As US Repub­li­can Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Mitt Rom­ney, made a slip of the tongue and ac­ci­den­tally in­tro­duced his pick for run­ning mate, Paul Ryan as the “next of the United States” one is left won­der­ing, what if that were re­ally to be true?

A fis­cal con­ser­va­tive, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wis­con­sin is in­deed Rom­ney’s pick for “Vice Pres­i­dent” and is in many ways a bold move on Rom­ney’s part. Mitt Rom­ney opted to adopt a more mod­er­ate stance throughout his pres­i­den­tial trail af­ter be­ing cho­sen as the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee, at­tract­ing a slew of criticism from the more con­ser­va­tive Republicans and of course the very vo­cal, Tea Party, both of whom have wished to see a more bold, crit­i­cal and rev­o­lu­tion­ary Rom­ney. Though serv­ing as an ini­tial luke­warm can­di­date, Rom­ney sharp­ened his criticism and made some big moves as the pres­i­den­tial race heated up. As crit­i­cisms against the Obama camp fly high, Ryan will serve as Rom­ney’s card in qui­et­ing down any doubts that may arise within the Repub­li­can Party re­gard­ing Rom­ney’s in­ter­est in toe­ing the party line. The young and out­spo­ken 42 year old will cer­tainly ap­peal to the more

By Arsla Jawaid con­ser­va­tive Republicans as well as many younger vot­ers.

Rom­ney’s de­ci­sion to choose Ryan as his run­ning mate is no small step, given the rep­u­ta­tion Ryan has carved for him­self in Wash­ing­ton, DC. A Miami Univer­sity grad­u­ate, where he stud­ied eco­nom­ics and po­lit­i­cal sci­ence, at the young age of 28, Ryan was elected to Congress to rep­re­sent Wis­con­sin’s 1st dis­trict. Fo­cus­ing on the bud­get, he be­came in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with fis­cal con­ser­va­tives and cul­ti­vated a rep­u­ta­tion as a ‘num­ber cruncher.’ Metic­u­lous, crit­i­cal and per­sis­tent, Ryan has faced heated criticism from the Demo­cratic Party re­peat­edly, yet has un­wa­ver­ingly stood his ground de­fend­ing his poli­cies and in re­turn, gain­ing the re­spect of even those who op­pose him.

Ryan’s se­verely crit­i­cized bud­get pro­posal that calls for con­tro­ver­sial changes in Medi­care and other safety net projects to get the fis­cal house in or­der, is what ul­ti­mately brought him from ob­scu­rity straight into the hot seat. Serv­ing as chair­man of the House Bud­get Com­mit­tee since 2011, Ryan can re­cite the mi­nut­est de­tails of the U.S bud­get at the drop of a hat and is ever ready to launch a ver­bal at- tack against Pres­i­dent Obama, his health­care bill and any other of his do­mes­tic or for­eign pol­icy de­ci­sions. It is per­haps this fe­roc­ity and com­plete loy­alty to bring the other side down that has earned Ryan im­mense re­spect and sup­port from the Repub­li­can Party.

But this cam­paign should not be about what Barack Obama and the Demo­cratic Party can­not do. The cam­paign trail should in­stead be fo­cused on what Rom­ney-Ryan 2012 can give to the United States? As one-half of the equa­tion, Ryan un­for­tu­nately may prove to be Rom­ney’s fatal drug.

While the 42-year-old Wis­con­sin con­gress­man may con­ve­niently quote the wrong points on do­mes­tic is­sues fac­ing the US, one won­ders if he can af­ford to make that mis­take dur­ing a for­eign pol­icy de­bate. Iron­i­cally, both Ryan and Rom­ney have very lim­ited for­eign pol­icy ex­po­sure or ex­pe­ri­ence, much like Sarah Palin who nonethe­less had John McCain to res­cue her.

With only a month to go be­fore Elec­tion Day and with both can­di­dates run­ning neck and neck, the Obama camp has pulled out all stops with for­mer Pres­i­dent Clin­ton and first lady Michelle Obama

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