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Paul Ryan? Seriously?

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Cross-posted from The Nation

Of course Paul Ryan wants to be Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate.

The hyper-ambitious political careerist -- who has spent his entire adult life as a Congressional aide, think-tank hanger-on and House member -- is looking for a road up. And he is sly enough to recognize that, like Dick Cheney with George Bush, he could be more than just a vice president in the administration of so bumbling a character as Romney.

Ryan figured Romney out months ago.

The two men bonded during the Wisconsin presidential primary campaign in late March and early April. They got on so well that Ryan was playing April Fool's Day jokes on the Republican front-runner -- giving Romney a rousing introduction before the candidate came from behind a curtain to find the room where he had expected to be greeted by a crowd of supporters was empty.

Romney loves the prep-school fraternity that he has with Ryan, and every indication is that the former governor would be delighted to add the House Budget Committee chairman to his ticket.

The conversations have occurred. The vetting has been completed. It could happen. And, indeed, as the time for choosing nears, the Ryan buzz has been amplified -- mainly by the Wisconsin congressman's friends at The Weekly Standard, which has editorialized enthusiastically on behalf of his selection, and other conservative media outlets. But, now, even ABC's "Veep Beat" headlines "Paul Ryan's Rising Momentum."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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