Paul Ryan Disappoints Everybody By Announcing He Is *Not* Running For President

The dream is dead. It’s not often that Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and progressive-leaning Democrats mourn the same thing, but both are likely choking back a sob at the news that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) definitely is not running for President.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that the controversial GOP heart-throb had put an end to months of speculation by deciding he would resist the growing calls to run:

“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,” Ryan said in a statement.

This must be a blow to the Standard, which had relentlessly talked up a possible run by the brain behind the controversial House budget bill widely known as the Ryan Plan.

Progressive Democrats must be gutted for quite different reasons. Part of the base-empowering game plan for 2012 rests on running against the Medicare-slashing Ryan Plan, so the chance to run against its author for real would have been irresistible. Indeed, cheeky Wisconsin Democrats had launched their own “Draft Ryan” website in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, over at the Standard, they’re putting on a brave face. This is their first response:

“In the end, Paul Ryan is a conviction politician. Although he’s known for being cerebral, he makes most of his decisions by listening to his gut. The same instincts that told him to push forward with entitlement reform in the House Republican budget last spring, are telling him to take a pass on the presidential race.”

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