Paul Ryan: The Perfect Foil To Barack Obama

Opinion

  on August 14 2012 1:51 PM

Mitt Romney couldn't have made a better selection for his vice presidential nominee than Paul Ryan, or a better foil to highlight President Barack Obama's shortcomings.  

Let's take a look at what Obama and Ryan have produced and talk about the differences.

Earlier this year, Obama submitted two budgets to Congress that were unanimously rejected -- 410-0 and 0-97 respectively -- making him the first president in U.S. history to not have a single representative from either party vote in favor. 

In stark contrast, Ryan produced and passed two budgets through the House containing real, meaningful change that would have put us on the path to fiscal sustainability. This alone hits at the real difference between the two: Obama is concerned with politics, Ryan is concerned with policy. 

Widely known for being a policy wonk, Ryan is the man who conceives new, innovative ideas and then makes them happen.  Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Ryan's former boss, perhaps said it best: "People don't appreciate just how much of a policy guy Ryan is and how little of a politician he is." 

Obama is just the opposite; he is the prototypical politician, a man whose actions are driven solely by politics.  He took more money from Wall Street in 2008 than any presidential candidate in the last 20 years but, once elected, proceeded to run a public smear campaign deriding the Wall Street fat cat.  Political convenience could not be more aptly showcased.

Obama's politically motivated actions extend beyond fundraising.  In three years and eight months, he has added $5.343 trillion to our debt.  That's more than Bush added in all eight years of his presidency. 

Even so, Obama has not promulgated one policy to put us on track to a balanced budget.  Instead, he promises more entitlements to the American people and calls for more stimulus.  His decisions are so clearly driven by electoral politics.  He tells the American people what they want to hear with little care for what they need to hear.

Good governing is about making the tough decisions, decisions that are needed, but often unpopular -- making the tough choice is never any fun. Ryan has made these decisions and incurred intense criticism for them. 

His plan to rein in Medicare spending was met with an ad depicting him pushing Granny off a cliff.  His budgets are called draconian, ludicrous, and cruel -- all of which are untrue and easy shots when you have no budget of your own to propose.

The contrasts between Ryan and Obama are even displayed on a personal level.  Obama tries to depict himself as "Mr. Real," an average, everyday, hardworking American.  But Ryan is the authentic Mr. Real. At the age of 16, Ryan discovered his father deceased in his bed, having died from a heart attack.  He proceeded to save up money and paid his own way through the Miami University of Ohio.

In almost every way, Obama and Ryan are polar opposites.  The former is a man driven by electoral politics and political convenience.  The latter is a man driven by real change and policies that are in the best interest of the American people.  Taken together, Obama can proclaim "change" all he wants, but Ryan is the man who actually makes change happen.

Kayleigh McEnany is a writer and political activist who graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and studied at Oxford University. She is the founder of www.RealReaganConservative.com. She writes every Tuesday for the International Business Times.

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