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When Paul Ryan Debated a Female Colleague: Not Exactly 'Mr. Nice Guy' | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

When Paul Ryan Debated a Female Colleague: Not Exactly 'Mr. Nice Guy'

Just hours from the big Veep debate, it’s time to consider a few myths about Paul Ryan.

First, there’s the “boy next door” claim—about a “boy” who has long hailed from one of the richest and most powerful families in hometown Janesville, WI.

Then, as I noted two months ago in a previous post, nearly everyone in the mainstream media happily and lazily refers to Ryan as “very smart” despite mixed evidence in that regard in his educational and professional (career politician) achievements.

Similarly, they almost always call him a truly “nice guy,” “genial” and invariably willing to take part in very respectful debate. He supposedly never gets riled. So watch this three-minute debate, from just two years ago, with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz from CNN over the Ryan plan and Medicare/Social Security.

Check out Mr. Nice Guy’s eye-rolling—like a high school junior—and two references to Wasserman-Schultz as not engaging in “adult conversation,” the constant smirk, and more. Also ask if he would have done that with a male colleague.

Don’t expect to see that behavior tonight vs. Joe Biden. But the below is revealing enough. (For Wasserman-Schultz’s view of tonight’s debate, go here. Excerpt: “The big question is going to be whether Paul Ryan continues the lies that Mitt Romney clearly engaged in from last week.”)  More on the real Ryan, here.

Note:  I'll be live-tweeting the debate @GregMitch and blogging here.


 

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