Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin and the new House Budget Committee chairman, will be delivering the GOP response to tonight's State of the Union address.
So who is Ryan? Surge Desk fills you in.
1. He's a "rising star"
Delivering the rebuttal to the State of the Union is an honor usually granted to someone the nonpresidential party thinks is a potential star. But Paul said in 2009 that he isn't looking to necessarily become a rock-star politician: "I'm not looking to become some famous conservative movement leader. ... That's not my thing. I want to be a policy leader."
2. He's a "wonk"
The New York Times, upon learning that Ryan would deliver the response tonight, called him "a numbers wonk." Ryan majored in economics and political science at Miami University of Ohio and has made fiscal responsibility one of his pet issues, leading Politics Daily to name him a "budget cop."
3. One of his major efforts failed
As part of his push for fiscal responsibility, Ryan released in January 2010 a new version of the "Roadmap for America's Future," which he had first worked on in 2008. The roadmap was a plan to slash the federal deficit by cutting government spending. It would have ended Medicare and cut Medicaid. But his Republican colleagues didn't warm up to the idea.
4. He's a high achiever
Ryan was elected to Congress for the first time in 1998, when he was just 28 years old.
5. He waited tables at a Capitol Hill Mexican restaurant
In the '90s, Ryan worked for a Mexican joint on Washington's Capitol Hill.
Watch Ryan discuss taxes and spending on MSNBC.
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