Stephen Hayes, who kicked off the current round of Ryan-for-president speculation, reports that he won't run. The oh-but-I-have-so-much-to-give statement:
I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party's nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.
The Ryan boomlet never made sense. You take a politician who, currently, is in the busy and low-risk position of writing (and arguing for) budget proposals that advance the GOP's arguments. You take him from the land of think tanks and friendly interviews, and throw him into Iowa and New Hampshire, where he gets drilled to death about his TARP vote, the fact that Medicare cuts are included in the 2012 budget, the not-good-enough-for-the-Tea Party progress toward a balanced budget, etc and etc. And you leave a less-idolized, less-media-savvy person in charge of the Budget Committee. Great idea! The Ryan hype was always the cult of the presidency/presidential elections blown up to Scientology-sized proportions.
Meanwhile, Kristol adapts.
How about Rubio-Ryan?
Look, if we're going to do this, why not another fantasy draft of Chris Christie? Take him out of New Jersey before he can be defeated by Cory Booker in 2013.