It’s an election year, so why is the House Budget chairman so willing to hand an explosive issue such as retooling Medicare to the Democrats?
He seems tone-deaf to the potential political risks of his upcoming budget, so much so that it’s worth asking: Is this budget plan more important to him than, say, the Republicans winning the White House?
“Yeah,” Ryan says from his office on a recent afternoon. “The moral obligation to do something about the debt crisis trumps everything.”
Following this sense of moral duty is either the most head-scratching move a Republican could make during a presidential election year, or the hallmark of a savvy rising GOP star whose eyes are fixed on the long view. — By Nancy Cook