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Congressman Paul Ryan after being introduced by Mitt Romney as vice presidential choice, 11 August 2012
Unfortunately, he hasn't gone away.
Mr. Wonky McNumbers Wonk, the guy who couldn't figure out how to analyze the polling to see that he and Mitt Romney were losing, "remains a fiscal force." At least, that's what the New York Times says.
Speaker John A. Boehner has tapped Mr. Ryan, who has returned to his post as the House Budget Committee chairman after an unsuccessful run for vice president, to help strike a deal to avoid big tax increases and spending cuts by the end of the year, and to bring along fellow Republicans.

“He helps us toward creating a product,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, “and he helps sell the product.” [...]

With his new muscle and increased respect from his colleagues, Mr. Ryan could conceivably scuttle any deal if he loudly opposes a solution that the speaker and the top Republican leaders embrace. But his conservative base might rebel against him if he were to endorse any deal seen as awarding too much to Mr. Obama and the Democrats, particularly on tax rates. Some Republicans think the pitfalls are dangerous enough that Mr. Ryan might consider leaving Congress altogether to work on his policy agenda without the inherent headaches of the Hill.

“He has to think about what he wants his role to be,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma. “Is he going to run in 2016, or run for something else in Wisconsin, or play a bigger role in the House? He’s going to play an outsize role here because of the national profile he now has, but on the other hand, this conference is quite happy to act independently.”

If you need to know how desperate Republicans are for a "product," this is all you need to know. They would hitch their wagon to the guy whose budget plan was so toxic, he basically wasn't allowed to talk about it on the campaign. He's also the guy who lost.

Oh, and if you need more information to determine that House Speaker John Boehner's position on "increased revenue" is pretty much bullshit, Ryan is supporting it, with a hyper-partisan, "no-way-in-hell-will-I-compromise" twist, with this statement from his spokesperson:

“Speaker Boehner has outlined a bipartisan way forward to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ and get our economy growing with common-sense entitlement reform coupled with pro-growth tax reform. We can find common ground on responsible spending restraint and greater revenue through economic growth, but we have yet to see either a serious plan or leadership from President Obama.”
Ah, leadership, Republican-style. Of course, Ryan is what classifies as a brainiac for Republicans, so he might as well be their new leader.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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