Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during a campaign rally in front of the USS Wisconsin August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan, a seven term congressman, as his presidential running mate. Ryan is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and provides a strong contrast to the Obama administration on fiscal policy.
Representative Paul Ryan’s ascension as the presumptive vice presidential nominee is the first time Generation X - those born between the mid-1960s to the early 1980s - has had a shot at a seat at the big table. The public perception of Gen Xers is that they are apathetic, confused, self-loathing, and fatalistic – hardly the kind of image of the socially conservative and fiscally grounded fitness nut that Paul Ryan exhibits.
Could Paul Ryan be a new symbol for a generation that has suffered through a severe recession during its prime wage-earning years? Or does Ryan represent another aspect of the misunderstood generation that has simply been biding its time?
Tierney Sneed, Associate editor U.S. News and World Report
Jon Miller, Director of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY), located in the Institute for Social Research at University of Michigan