In conversation with the conservative leaning National Review this week, Tobin Ryan, older brother of GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul, has outlined what makes his brother a good pick.
'I’ve done a lot of reflecting in the past few days about what makes Paul tick,' Tobin reportedly said. 'In 1998, my brother was elected to the House. In little more than a decade, Paul went from a fast-food kitchen (at McDonald's) to Congress, with stints as a think-tank speechwriter and star congressional staffer in between.'
In the 1980s, even during dark times in the aftermath of their father's premature death from a heart attack, Paul rarely wallowed, Tobin revealed. Instead he played soccer and was elected prom king and class president.
Taking his lead from older brothers Tobin and Stan, who both majored in economics at Notre Dame, Paul majored in the same subject at Miami University in Ohio. According to the National Review, as a student, Ryan devoured the works of Ayn Rand in particular.
'The sense of purpose was always there, and frankly, it’s something I always found amazing,' Tobin says. 'Here he was, our little brother without a care in the world, and then in this short period, he develops this worldview and skill set.'
After graduating from Miami in 1992, Ryan went to work for Congressman Jack Kemp. Visiting Paul in the mid-1990s, Tobin visited his brother at Kemp’s office. 'Kemp put his hand on Paul’s shoulder and said, 'Your brother is going to make a difference in this world,' Tobin said. 'That encouragement meant a lot.'
'Working with Kemp…made him look seriously at public service,' Tobin revealed.
Paul went on to work for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, but it was Kemp, Tobin says, who was and remains Ryan’s hero.
'His political rise has been through policy, and that approach has made all the difference. When there was an open seat for the Senate, for example, he didn’t even pause to consider it because he knows that being budget chairman gives you more of an influence over the direction of public policy.'
Ryan's mother Betty did much to encourage her youngest son, Tobin claimed.
'The four of us kids, as well as my mom, we always knew we were going to create something good out of this,' referring to the tragic passing of their father in August 1986. 'Rather than keeping our feet in the mud, which was tempting, we stuck together.'
'Our dad would say that in his calm voice all of the time, ‘Be part of the solution or the problem.’ Paul really took that to heart after Dad died. And I think, when you look at his views, if anything shapes his ideology, it’s that. He wants to throw himself into the solution.'
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore