On the Capitol: Paul Ryan, write a book then run?

2013-05-24T15:00:00Z On the Capitol: Paul Ryan, write a book then run?MARY SPICUZZA and DEE J. HALL | Wisconsin State Journal madison.com

Former VP candidate and presumed presidential contender U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, is reportedly writing a book about his life and philosophy.

The National Review Online’s Robert Costa, citing an unnamed source close to Ryan, reported this week that the as-yet untitled book will be a mix of “autobiography, political analysis and policy prescriptions,” including Ryan’s years growing up in Janesville and his 2012 campaign with Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.

Penning an autobiographical or policy book is often a precursor to a presidential run. Barack Obama’s New York Times bestseller, “The Audacity of Hope,” was conveniently released two years before the 2008 presidential election.

In a 2007 story, Times reporter Julie Bosman wrote of the book-to-president phenomenon: “For candidates, writing a book is a way to make money, build gravitas and grab media attention. (They can also use a memoir as a dumping ground for past unpleasantries, paving the way for the campaign-trail line ‘I addressed that in my book.’)”

Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said his office “has no comment on this at this time.”

Wisconsin’s other possible GOP presidential contender, Gov. Scott Walker, also has a book in the works.

Fighting Baldwin

The ghost of “Fighting Bob” La Follette was in the air Wednesday as U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who now occupies La Follette’s desk, made her first Senate floor speech.

Baldwin harkened back to the Gilded Age Republican who went on to found the Progressive Party. The Madison Democrat told colleagues Wednesday that “I admire Fighting Bob’s legacy in many ways,” including his concern about the chasm between rich and poor and his wariness of powerful corporate interests.

She vowed to fight for the middle class and disadvantaged, boost manufacturing, support education and work with Republicans to solve problems.

“I’m using this speech — my first here on the Senate floor — to say that I’m ready to work hard, and work with anyone, to make progress on these challenges and help move this great country forward,” Baldwin said.

But she promised one thing she would not emulate: La Follette’s maiden Senate speech in 1906, which Baldwin said “went on for three successive days.”

Baldwin’s first talk? A mere 11 minutes and 15 seconds.

Tough times for
Walker’s talkers

Things have not been easy as of late for a string of Gov. Walker’s spokespeople.

Walker campaign spokeswoman Nicole Tieman announced her sudden departure without explanation late last week in a brief email. She has since started serving 20 days at the Milwaukee County Correctional Facility in Franklin for her second drunken driving conviction.

Tieman’s predecessor, Ciara Matthews, didn’t have any legal trouble during her tenure in Wisconsin working for Friends of Scott Walker. But the conservative Republican and strident abortion foe took a lot of flak during Walker’s recall fight after photographs surfaced of her online in her previous job as a Hooters girl.

Before that, two of Walker’s former official spokespeople — Cullen Werwie and Fran McLaughlin — got immunity from prosecution during the sprawling John Doe investigation into his former aides and associates.

Werwie continues to work for the Walker administration, but now as agency communications liaison.

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