Who’s he? well…
Per his website:
Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.
Here is an excerpt of a 4-page piece he has written for Newsweek, appearing on thedailybeast.com:
I first met Paul Ryan in April 2010. I had been invited to a dinner in Washington where the U.S. fiscal crisis was going to be the topic of discussion. So crucial did this subject seem to me that I expected the dinner to happen in one of the city’s biggest hotel ballrooms. It was actually held in the host’s home. Three congressmen showed up—a sign of how successful the president’s fiscal version of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (about the debt) had been. Ryan blew me away. I have wanted to see him in the White House ever since.
It remains to be seen if the American public is ready to embrace the radical overhaul of the nation’s finances that Ryan proposes. The public mood is deeply ambivalent. The president’s approval rating is down to 49 percent. The Gallup Economic Confidence Index is at minus 28 (down from minus 13 in May). But Obama is still narrowly ahead of Romney in the polls as far as the popular vote is concerned (50.8 to 48.2) and comfortably ahead in the Electoral College. The pollsters say that Paul Ryan’s nomination is not a game changer; indeed, he is a high-risk choice for Romney because so many people feel nervous about the reforms Ryan proposes.
But one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan—as opposed to a narrative—for this country.
Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience—both in the business world and in executive office—that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.) And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces.
The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline.
Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security.
I’ve said it before: it’s a choice between les États Unis and the Republic of the Battle Hymn.
I was a good loser four years ago. But this year, fired up by the rise of Ryan, I want badly to win.
So do us commoners, Niall.
I like what I’m seeing out of Ryan, so far. He’s definitely got Obama nervous, as yahoo.com reports:
Romney’s choice of Ryan as his running mate has put a spotlight on the Wisconsin congressman’s best-known achievement – a budget plan that would slash Medicare’s projected costs by converting it to a program that provides limited subsidies to buy coverage.
But on the campaign trail, Ryan has moved away from his plan to emphasize less contentious proposals by Romney.
Talk of shrinking the health program for the elderly could lose votes in the November 6 election in the hotly contested state of Florida, home to the highest concentration of retirees in the country.
“Their plan would put Medicare on track to be ended as we know it,” President Barack Obama said to a crowd of about 2,300 at a campaign event on Saturday in Windham, New Hampshire.
“You’d think they’d avoid talking about Medicare given the fact that both of them have proposed to voucherize the Medicare system. I guess they figure the best defense is to try to go on offense,” Obama said.
Polls show Romney and Obama running neck-and-neck in Florida, where the cliffhanger 2000 presidential election was decided.
Republicans accuse Obama of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the healthcare overhaul law that the Democratic president signed in 2010.
But Ryan’s plan also would cut that money from Medicare, even as he proposes repealing the broader healthcare law. Romney says he would keep those funds for Medicare.
Ryan talked on Saturday about his grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease and moved in with him and his mother when he was in high school.
“Medicare was there for our family, for my grandma when we needed it then. And Medicare is there for my mom, when she needs it now. And we have to keep that guarantee,” he said.
“But in order to make sure that we can guarantee that promise for my mom’s generation, for those baby boomers who are retiring every day, we must reform it for my generation.”
Medicare benefits nearly 50 million elderly and disabled Americans, but its financing will be squeezed by the growing numbers of retirees.
Concerns about the program’s future have become the top healthcare issue in the 2012 election, surpassing worries about Obama’s controversial healthcare law, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found earlier this week.
Joseph Bulla, 62, a Romney supporter at The Villages, said he liked Ryan’s voucher plan for Medicare. “It will give us a chance to choose what we want instead of being dictated to,” he said.
With Obama’s VP Joe Biden, sent home to Delaware to keep him from destroying Obama’s re-election bid by spewing forth more gaffes over the weekend, the nation is wondering what ol’ Scooter is going to do.
He says that he’s going to keep crazy Uncle Joe. But then again, Michael Corleone reassured Fredo, too.
If he doesn’t dump him, the Vice-presidential Debate will be the biggest massacre America has witnessed, since Custer said,
Hey! would you look at all of those Indians!