Why Paul Ryan is no Sarah Palinby Luiza Ch. Savage
Palin came up through grassroots politics, a small-town city council member and mayor before becoming Alaska’s governor. Her out-of-the-blue selection sent the press into a feeding frenzy of trying to figure out who she was: her influences, her ideas, her record. Who was this woman and what did she stand for, really? When Katie Couric famously asked her what newspapers she reads, Palin took it as a condescending gotcha question, not the softball it was probably meant to be.
Congressman Paul Ryan could not be more different from Palin. While he styles himself as a homespun Wisconsinite, he’s more a creature of Washington, DC and the product of a conservative movement that has been engaged in ideological purification of the Republican Party. Romney’s pick was less about the man himself, and more as an embrace of a specific collection of ideas, influences and personal networks he represents. Ryan is the product of Capitol Hill staff meetings and conservative Washington think tanks. He is the result of an evolution within the Republican Party that began well beyond the financial crisis and the Tea Party rallies.
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