GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan not getting the Irish support in ancestral home
Irish want Obama /Biden by an incredible 96- 4 per cent says Gallup poll
Paul Ryan is not feeling the love from Ireland that President Obama is continuing to receive, despite also having Irish roots.
Reuters reports from Vice Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan’s ancestral home, the village of Graiguenamanagh in Kilkenny, Ireland, on the locals’ opinion and perception of Ryan.
"It doesn't matter what his name is, it's Obama that has made the effort," said Pat Nolan, 62, a retired physiotherapist and Graiguenamanagh native.
Nolan continued, “He doesn't have the charisma, he hasn't connected with the people." Nolan was speaking from outside of the 13th century stone church where Paul Ryan's great-great grandparents were married.
While Ryan’s genetic roots may be closer to Ireland than Obama’s are, Obama has succeeded in winning over the Irish admiration. Last year’s visit to Moneygall in Offaly, where Obama was famously photographed having a pint of Guinness with the locals, won the affections of the Irish there as well as many in the US.
Even further, Obama’s promises for immigration reform and the securing of US visas have captured the hearts of the thousands of Irish who are emigrating away from their economically struggling home.
Obama’s appeal to the Irish and Irish Americans is nothing new. Reuters writes how he learned to play the Irish card when he was an Illinois senator scrambling for votes on the streets of Chicago. He also regularly participated in the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade.
So when an amateur genealogist made the definitive yet distant Irish connection for Obama, the focus on it was a no-brainer.
Despite Ryan’s closer genetic ties to Ireland, the locals in his ancestral hometown - just 60 miles away from Obama’s - aren’t throwing their support his way too quickly.
"It would give a boost to a nice small town like this,” said 64-year-old Margaret, who is a cashier in Graiguenamanagh, “but I would forgo it. I wouldn't want to inflict him on the American people.”
Margaret, who withheld her last name as to not anger her employer, felt upset by Ryan's plans to cut welfare and Medicare health cover for the elderly in the US.
A straw poll of 20 people in the town saw 12 people supporting Obama and Biden, and none for Romney and Ryan.
On the larger scale, Ireland isn’t giving its support to the Romney-Ryan ticket. A September poll conducted by Gallup International of 1,000 Irish people saw a staggering 96 percent supporting Obama and Biden for the upcoming election were they able to have a vote in the election.
Martin Brett, former mayor of Kilkenny, said that Ryan is “too far right-wing for this part of the world.” Brett hosted Ryan's uncle when he came to trace his roots in the region a few years ago.
Brett did go on to add with a smile, however, that, "If they [Romney and Ryan] won, the invitations would be in the post.”
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