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Rep. Ryan pick a rarity
August 13, 2012 - Mike Donahey
Gov. Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is but the third time in the last 48 years, and only the fifth time since 1908, a sitting member of congress has been selected as a vice-presidental candidate.
The most recent was 1984, when the late Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York, was selected by fellow Democrat and presidential hopeful Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Ferraro, an attorney and a Catholic, represented a New York City district, and was the first woman ever selected as vice-presidential candidate by a major political party. That ticket lost to the Reagan-Bush tandem.
Republican Barry Goldwater selected the late Rep. William Miller, also of New York, to serve as his vice presidential candidate in 1964.
In 1932, House Speaker John Nance Gardner of Texas was selected by Franklin Roosevelt. In 1908, Rep. James S. Sherman of New York was picked by Republican William Taft.
The '64 election was a watershed for Republicans. Goldwater and Miller were standard-bearers for the conservative wing of the Republican party. The ticket lost in a landslide to Johnson-Humphrey.
However, the loss set a foundation for the emergence of Ronald Reagan, who embraced Goldwater’s philosophy and would go on to win the California gubernatorial post in 1966. Reagan later would become a popular two-term president. Ryan, other Republicans, and Tea-Party members have embraced Reagan’s limited government philosophy since.
Iowans will have a chance to measure Ryan as he was scheduled to be at the Iowa State Fair Monday.
Ryan’s other Iowa connections are limited. The Des Moines Register reported Sunday his mother-in-law was born in Clinton, but moved out-of-state in 1965.
Don’t be surprised if Ryan or Romney visit Marshalltown during the campaign.
Iowa is a considered a swing state, among others, making its six electoral votes critical.