Paul Ryan learned his lesson the hard way: Don’t lie to marathoners.
The Republican vice presidential candidate recently boasted in an interview that he once ran a sub-three-hour marathon, an extremely good time. But marathoners, with their tight-knit, obsessive communities, sniffed something rotten and asked for proof. Soon, it was discovered that Ryan was off by an hour.
A casual lie? Maybe. But perhaps since the race was in 1990 and it was the only marathon Ryan ever ran, Ryan simply forgot. Twenty-two years is long enough for some details to get muddled.
But the marathon is not the only athletic feat Ryan is claiming.
Former Colorado Sen. John Andrews, Richard Nixon’s one-time speechwriter and the founder of the Independence Institute, endorsed the Romney- Ryan ticket in the Aug. 26 Denver Post, and then revealed that Ryan claims to have climbed 40 of our state’s 14ers. Pyramid Peak and Capitol Peak, two of the most difficult in the state, are some of his “favorites.”
And because of this, we should vote for Romney, Andrews says.
“Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the 14ers? Because there is no better index of character,” bloviates Andrews. “It tells of someone’s backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power.”
For more wisdom like that last kernel, check the outhouse at the base of Pyramid.
As proud Coloradans, we should exercise the same sort of healthy skepticism displayed by the marathon community. For an experienced hiker, Pyramid and Capitol are boast-worthy. For a flatlander like Ryan, those two peaks should be crowning accomplishments. Surely, there must be details and stories. What year did he climb them in? What part of summer did he ascend? Who did he go with? Can we see some pictures?
Until we get some proof, we’ll assume that his claim of climbing 40 14ers is just as accurate as his three-hour marathon.
REGENTS ARE PEOPLE TOO
A question we often hear around these parts is, “What the hell is a regent?”
Well, picture Dean Vernon Wormer in Animal House. Now picture the board that oversees him. A regent is like a member of that board, a college trustee. But in the University of Colorado’s case, the members of the Board of Regents are not appointed by a governor, as is common in other states, they are elected Democrats and Republicans. Which makes for some pretty interesting politics, especially when there is public backlash against the school for, say, hypothetically speaking, something one of its faculty members writes.
Now brace yourselves: You’re going to get to elect some regents this fall!
Don’t feel too intimidated. We once voted for a regent candidate in the 1990s because his last name was Beer.
But if you want to see a real regent in action, and you missed the best of the bunch when Regent Joe Neguse helped introduce POTUS at CU-Boulder last Sunday, check out http://youtu.be/7nczLtoSk2w. It’s a video made by Democrat Stephen Ludwig, a sitting regent who is running for re-election. His statewide race against Republican Brian Davidson is the only one we in Boulder County can vote in, since the rest are in other congressional districts.
Don’t worry, not all regents are this corny. And luckily, the number of old, white Republican men on the board is gradually dwindling. If the Dems hold their current seats and Jessica Garrow of Carbondale can defeat Glenn Gallegos of Grand Junction for the 3rd District seat currently held by Republican Tillie Bishop, it would create a 5-4 Democratic majority on the board for the first time since 1980. Now that’s a change that’s long overdue.