And then there's Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
If presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney wins and is already pragmatic about governing next year, he very well could choose Ryan as his number two.
Republicans believe they have a good shot at scoring control of the Senate. The conventional wisdom holds that the GOP will probably maintain control of the House of Representatives. However, nothing is certain with an electorate this volatile.
Still, Romney may stare into a crystal ball to see what it might take to shepherd initiatives to passage in Congress next year. And Paul Ryan may be able to help on that front.
In March and April, 2013, a President Romney would have to grapple with keeping the government open for business. Congressional leaders and President Obama have tentatively signed off on a six-month package to fund the government from this September 30 (the end of the federal fiscal year) through next spring. Some, like House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-VA) advocated a shorter stopgap bill, expiring around December 21. But if Romney is elected, one of his first big challenges may be finding a way to keep the lights on in Washington. In addition, a prospective Romney Administration may also have to wrestle with a possible hike in the debt ceiling (the legal threshold of government borrowing) and maybe even figuring out a way to shut off a slew of arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester. This is to say nothing of a GOP-led effort to fundamentally reform the nation's tax system for the first time since 1986.
In fact, rather than peering into a crystal ball, Romney may want to stare into the past to best understand the legislative conundrums which could await him. That's because the biggest barriers to a President Romney might not come from Congressional Democrats but from Republicans.
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