Other parts of the vice presidency – such as advocating for someone else’s ideas – may come naturally to Ryan, who previously served as a speechwriter for Jack Kemp’s think tank, Empower America, and then for his 1996 vice-presidential campaign, when he ran with Republican nominee Bob Dole. It helps, of course, that much of Romney’s policy will be drawn from Ryan’s own ideas.
In that regard, the Washington experience could be a plus.
Ryan “could utilize his relationships in the House and Senate, I would say, to really help an administration work very effectively with Congress,” said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.
Ryan has also shown an ability to pivot, not necessarily when it comes to ideology, but on the way he builds support for his ideas. Following a bruising blowback after the release of last year’s budget, Ryan was much more careful with this year’s sales pitch. He toned down the health care portion and was quick to cast it as bipartisan, thanks to the plan he developed with Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden. He took the topline tax ideas from the Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee in an effort to show collaboration. When he released “The Path to Prosperity” in late March on Capitol Hill, he did so flanked by the other Republican members of the House Budget Committee as if to show the broad support for his policies.
That trait that will be crucial for him in a vice presidential supporting role.