Originally posted at ProPublica
Aug. 12: This post has been corrected.
Want help going beyond the horse race? We’re gathering the best stories out there on Congressman Paul Ryan, his positions, and his background. Have other stories to share? Add them in comments.
Fussbudget, The New Yorker, August 2012 This sweeping profile is a great introduction to Paul Ryan and his politics. Starting in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, it lays out the evolution of Ryan’s economic beliefs, and his rise through the G.O.P – from his early affinity to Ayn Rand to failed attempts at privatizing Social Security, to his Path to Prosperity budget plan, which would make radical changes in Medicaid and other social programs. The article also looks at the ways that federal-funded projects have helped Ryan’s hometown–and notes that Ryan’s plan “would drastically reduce the parts of the budget” that are funding exactly these kinds of projects.
Ryan shines as GOP seeks vision, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 2009 A broad look at Ryan from his home-state paper at a time when Ryan’s national profile was on the rise. Ryan discusses, among other things, how having gay friends led him to break with his party on a gay rights bill in Congress and his “real passion” — bowhunting.
The Legendary Paul Ryan, New York Magazine, April 2012 A look at how the Republican party rallied around Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” putting the newcomer’s fiscal agenda at the center of the 2012 presidential campaign well before voters had even chosen Romney as their Republican nominee.
On the paradox of Paul Ryan, The American Conservative, April 2012 What does Mitt Romney gain from Paul Ryan? Romney may be betting on a boost from conservatives who view Ryan as a hero for his aggressive stance on entitlements and federal spending, but as W. James Antle III points out, that may not be enough to win over grassroots conservatives. Antle writes that despite his anti-entitlements campaign, Ryan’s voting record “more closely resembles that of the Republicans who have lost to Tea Party primary challengers than that of a ruthless government-cutter.”
Man with a Plan, Weekly Standard, July 2012 The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes wrote a favorable profile of Ryan in July in the midst of veep buzz. The piece traces his entire career with a particular focus on how, in recent years, Ryan became “the intellectual leader of the Republican party.”
How Important is Altas Shrugged author Ayn Rand to Paul’s political philosophy? The Atlas Society, April 2012 In a 2005 speech to the Atlas Society, Paul said, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand…you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism.” According to the excerpts and audio of his speech posted on the society’s website, he also said that Rand was “required reading” for his interns and staff. But recently, Ryan has said while he had read Rand’s novels when he was young, his supposed obsession with her was “an urban legend.” “I reject her philosophy,” Ryan told Robert Costa at National Review in April. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview.”