Forbes blog by Eric Johnson examines Ryan's background and tries to anwer the question: What does it tell us about what he knows and what he might do?

I’ve often watched Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, talking away on these fiscal ideas on TV while standing in front of Congress and wondered: “who is this guy, really?”


It seems sometimes like these politicians are dropped by the stork at 40 years of ago into the Congress or Senate. But they’ve all had a life that’s shaped them...


In the bio, Ryan says he dreamed of going on to grad school at the University of Chicago (which would have fit his intellectual views) but “I just kept getting really interesting jobs.


I’m not sure I buy that.


After college, his first job was working in the mailroom in Washington DC for Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten, then later moving up to other admin roles. Ryan was only in the job for a few months when Kasten lost an election. His later jobs included:


- Waiting tables at a restaurant called Tortilla Coast


- Fitness trainer at Washington Sport and Health Club


- Oscar Mayer salesman in Minnesota selling turkey bacon and “Lunchables” to supermarkets


- Speech writing


- Analyst at Empower America started by supply-sider Jack Kemp


I think I would have opted for going to Chicago over the Oscar Mayer or fitness trainer jobs.

(Pinhead graphic by Rock Netroots) More at The Paul Ryan Watch.

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