Election 2012

Romney Seen as Transition From Reagan to Ryan

The candidate himself is perceived as a placeholder

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One of them, Ronald Reagan, was born in 1911; the other, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, in 1970. Neither Romney, born in 1947, or the once politically ascendant Baby Boomers he represents are central to the conversation about what direction the party takes in the years ahead, even as the former Massachusetts governor receives the GOP nomination here this week. Romney seems more a placeholder than he does heralding any sort of new political movement.

The next generation of Republican leaders, most of them born in the 1970s, see themselves as the heirs to an upbeat, Reagan-style conservatism and believe Ryan's free-market orthodoxy is the platform upon which they'll return to national majority status.