The Madeleine Brand Show for August 13, 2012

How Paul Ryan came to power in Wisconsin

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan Introduces His FY2013 Budget

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Over the weekend Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, much to the delight of the conservative base of the Republican Party as well as Democrats, who paint him as a radical extremist.

Madeleine talked to Craig Gilbert - a political reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - about what we can expect from Ryan and how he came to power in his own state.

Here's what you have to know about his relationship with Wisconsin:

- He's been an effective politician who has handily won reelection in a district that has traditionally been tough for Republicans to win in.

- He's good with people, but all that may not be enough to deliver Wisconsin to Romney.

And here are some additional facts about Ryan's life:

- At 42 years old, Ryan has worked in Washington since graduating from college.

- He was a congressional aide, and a speechwriter for Jack Kemp's vice-presidential campaign in 1996 and he moonlighted as a fitness instructor.

- When he was just 28, he was elected to Congress, representing a Wisconsin district that includes his hometown, Janesville, where he's won re-election by strong margins ever since.

- As chairman of the House budget committee, Ryan put forth a vision of essentially privatizing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.


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