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Paul Ryan’s phony claim that he ran a sub-three hour marathon has gotten a good deal of attention. Another one of his claims regarding his feats of strength and endurance seems similarly dubious. Last week in the Denver Post John Andrews, former president of the Colorado senate and a very connected guy in GOP circles, published an op-ed in which Ryan’s physical prowess is used not merely as a metaphor but as a literal evidence of the content of his character:

[Consider] the hard-charging congressman’s love for the Colorado high country (he has climbed 40 of the state’s 54 peaks over 14,000 feet) and you have the most potentially transformative VP selection since President William McKinley put Theodore Roosevelt on the ticket in 1900. (Not the genteel Roosevelt, squire of Hyde Park, but his “strenuous life” cousin who ranched in Dakota and hunted bear in Glenwood Springs.)

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the fourteeners? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone’s backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn’t the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.

Describing the summit approach for Capitol Peak near Aspen (14,130 feet), the Colorado Mountain Club guidebook says with jaunty understatement: “Scramble around a pinnacle or two, stroll along the knife edge,” and you’re there. Ryan told me last week that Capitol and nearby Pyramid Peak (14,018 feet) are his favorite climbs so far.

Can you imagine Vice President Joe Biden even wanting, let alone being able, to stroll the Capitol knife edge? Or forging to the top of a “very rough and steep” Pyramid, with its “precariously poised rocks” warned of in the same guidebook?

I can’t — and it’s not just that Biden always has one foot in his mouth. Nor is it merely differing leisure preferences: golf greens for the presidential incumbent, boulder fields for the would-be veep. Rather the contrast goes to the core of what the men on these two tickets expect of themselves and what they believe free Americans are capable of.

Unlike marathon times, ascents of 14ers aren’t officially recorded on the interwebs, so Ryan can keep claiming he’s climbed 40 of Colorado’s 54 14,000+ peaks, but I would bet a lot of money the real number is way lower. Just the logistics of getting to many of these mountains are daunting, requiring several hour drives from population centers. I know plenty of dedicated climbers who’ve spent years climbing Colorado peaks while actually living here year-round who are still a long way from climbing 40 of the 54.

That Ryan, who has never lived in Colorado and who has spent all of his adult life playing the political game in DC, would have found the time to climb a couple of dozen remote mountains seems extremely unlikely. What probably happened here is that he’s climbed a few 14ers, some more than once, and that he gave an exaggerated answer to a Wisconsin newspaper three years ago about having “made close to 40 climbs” of 14ers, which then morphed into the claim that he had climbed 40 14ers.

 

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  • Tehanu

    I especially like the part where Andrews, a “very connected guy in GOP circles,” disses golf — the preferred recreation of every rich Republican asshole in history EXCEPT (maybe) Teddy Roosevelt, who as we all know was a RINO anyway, per the current set of GOP talking points. Has the term “country-club Republican” dropped down the ol’ memory hole?

    • Davis

      You beat me to it. Shocking. But no, they still like their country clubs, it’s just another bullshit article about a bullshitter.

      • Richard

        As an avid golfer, I sort of like the fact that the conservatives are deserting the game. More available tee times for me and my friends plus I wont have to defend the game to my more leftist friends. Golfing will become a liberal badge of honor.

        • DrDick

          Golf will always remain a shameful perversity.

          • Kathleen

            Golf spelled backwards is “flog”.

          • ChristianPinko

            Hear, hear. I don’t know why golf is the sport of evildoers, but facts are facts.

          • ChristianPinko

            I’m surprised we haven’t heard that Ryan once swam across the Yangtze River.

            • herr doktor bimler

              Upstream!

              • Sam

                While being chased by Chinese with assault rifles and 3 Crocodiles and singing God Bless the USA.

        • Malaclypse

          Golfing will become a liberal badge of honor.

          Golf has been all downhill since Bandobras Took knocked Golfimbul’s head down the rabbit hole during the Battle of Greenfields.

          • Richard

            I once tried to read Lord of the Rings. Got through twenty pages before falling asleep. Never picked it up again. Never regretted that decision.

    • greylocks

      Golf just hasn’t been the same since they let the wimmen and colored folks in.

      • Ed

        Golf hasn’t been Republicans-only since Kennedy’s time at least, so presumably the game is now unmanly because Obama plays it.

        As for women, that battle isn’t exactly over, BTW:

        http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/sports/14625641-419/golf-area-club-owner-sees-no-impact-from-augusta-decision.html

        “They’re big boys and they can choose what they choose to do,” Solano said. “We like our environment. It’s a nice getaway, there’s no worries, we don’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves. And when you play golf with men it’s just kind of a different feeling…you can kind of lose yourself for a while,” Solano said. “There’s a market for that.”

        http://www.thepilot.com/news/2012/aug/26/augusta-national-its-too-little-too-late/

        The most prominent among the remaining all-male clubs is Burning Tree Golf and Country Club in Bethesda, Md. This is sort of the nation’s political boys club. The members include powerful Washington insiders of both parties — members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and lobbyists.

        • rea

          I quite sympathize with the demand for all-male golf clubs–guys are naturally inhibited around women when it comes to playing with their sticks, balls and holes . . .

    • Don’t you love this country? What a home this is, what grounds these are, the pool, the golf course. You know if a Democrat [John Andrews] were here, he’d look around and say, ‘No one should live like this.’….”

  • elk

    Moreover, he probably hasn’t truly climbed any of them. Even Longs Peak is basically just a long hike in really think air.

    • firefall

      think tank air?

      • He is the intellectual. Rarified strata, and all that.

    • And now we know:

      Brandon Buck of the Romney campaign [says that] Paul Ryan did not mean to say that he had climbed “close to 40” of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. He was careful to say that he had made “close to 40” climbs. Apparently many listeners may have missed the distinction. […] But for the record, “40 climbs” rather than “40 peaks” is the official view.

      Perhaps, then, as a more serious runner he meant that he would start a marathon in as little as “two hour[s] and fifty-something”

  • LoriK

    Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone’s backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn’t the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.

    This sort of thing brings out my inner surly teenager. I just want roll my eyes at him and say, “Whatever dude.”

    I hate it when people try to act like their particular interest is the true measure of greatness. It’s egotistical and also obviously untrue, so I lose whatever respect I might have had for the person who says it. And all that is before we even get to the fact that Ryan has almost certainly not done what Andrews is patting him on the back for. Pathetic.

    • FridayNext

      Having worked on a mountain for a couple of years and surrounded by hikers and climbers I can attest to the specifics in this case. While many of them are quality people with first class characters, many are huge douche bags who would steal food from your backpack when you weren’t looking and lie to your face about it.

      It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

    • Kurzleg

      My reaction too. I guess FDR was just lucky, not good.

    • herr doktor bimler

      Climbing and tramping are popular recreations around here (we have the Tararua Ranges practically in the backyard). I do it myself. I’m still an arsehole.

      • RhZ

        Stop boasting. We knew that already :-)

    • Hob

      In this case I don’t think it’s really about “their particular interest”; it’s just a handy way of saying “Democrats are sissies and Paul Ryan is a real man.”

  • This is just not fair. They caught Ryan lying about marathons, now they have to give him a free shot about lying about mountain climbing (and economics and personhood bills and St. Francis and whatever else he wants to lie about).

  • Logistics

    2 climbs a year for 20 years? Never happened. Not even close.

  • Tosh

    “At this rate, if he hadn’t gotten busted for the marathon thing, by election day he would have been credited with free climbing K2 in the winter, with a large-print edition of Atlas Shrugged in his backpack.”

    …while wearing flip flops!

    • Bill Murray

      or getting 11 holes in one while shooting a 38 playing his first (and last because it was too easy) round of golf ever.

      • You need at least two magazines to make 11 holes with a .38

        • redrob64

          Not when Paul Ryan does it.

        • Rayl

          or 11 thin magazines.

      • ironic irony

        Why not? Kim Jong Il did it…

  • One could also make the argument that the thinner air affected his brain and was instrumental in forming much of his political philosophy.

  • ODB

    I also call B.S. on his claim to 5% body fat. An elite body builder might reach close to that after starving himself for weeks just before a competition, but no one can maintain that. Someone at 5% body fat looks like an anatomical illustration of the muscle system and with every vein showing. That is not Ryan.

    • KadeKo

      It might have been a better lie if we just didn’t get an eyefull of all those Olympic distance runners, divers, swimmers and wrestlers.

    • catclub

      I remember reading that Michael Jordan was either 3 or 5% body fat. When the veins on your temples show, you are pretty lean.

      • rea

        or have high blood pressure

      • Halloween Jack

        I don’t think that that has much to do with body fat; there isn’t that much fat under the scalp, therefore someone who’s quite heavy can show veins.

      • Dr. Charlie

        Veins on the forehead are unlikely to be a sign of leanness or hbp, just a sign of natural vascularity.

  • SatanicPanic

    Believe excuses are for flatlanders all you want, but when you die after ignoring your altitude sickness don’t come crying to me.

  • calling all toasters

    Sure he could have climbed 40 of them. He didn’t say “to the top,” did he?

  • Tom

    The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.

    Nebraska Cornhuskers all-time record vs. Colorado Buffaloes: 49-18-2.

    Point to the flatlanders.

    • Linnaeus

      And given that NU’s no longer in the Big 8/Big 12, that record’s going to be weighted in favor of Nebraska for a good long time.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Neither is Colorado, it should be said.

        • elm

          I’m sure those two teams will meet regularly in the Rose Bowl.

          • Tucker

            Not if the Golden Gophers have anything to say about it.

            • spencer

              They don’t.

  • Professor Fate

    And this is with the bad back that keeps him from running sub three hour marathons.

    Right.

  • david mizner

    And he did all this with a 17-inch penis.

    • TT

      Awesome–reminds me of a certain joke. Ryan was no doubt the model for the third cowboy.

    • And apparently the author knows this. Really well.

    • Which he used as a belay rope.

  • KadeKo

    I’ve been XC skiing at a 9500-foot notch in Yellowstone. A Sno-cat brought our group to a mile of it and we went from there. Where’s my certificate?

    For some reason, I don’t brag about it endlessly.

    Oh, and Ryan’s manly-man pursuits as attack points against a “golfing Democrat”, while Mitt’s well-practiced hand is at the helm of a not-poor-man’s power boat? Beyond lame.

  • Cody

    Why didn’t the Republicans just nominate Chuck Norris?

    These articles would be much more fun. It would have about equal policy credentials and we could all say things like:
    “Chuck Norris once got bit by a rattle snake… after much pain and agony three days later the rattle snake died”.

    I could we can just sub in Paul Ryan for now.

    • David Hunt

      My personal favorite is “Chuck Norris has counted to infinity…twice.”

    • Tom Renbarger

      Are we sure that Ryan did not, in fact, sire Chuck Norris?

      • Cody

        I’m pretty sure Chuck Norris went back and time and sired Chuck Norris.

    • ironic irony

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Chuck Norris is the turd Bruce Lee forgot to flush down the toilet.

      See what happens when you leave floaters, people?

  • He HAS climbed mountains—mountains of bullshit of his own making!

  • To be fair, it’s really hard to write a n article that smug, smarmy, inane and silly when you’ve got a dick in your mouth.

    • Linnaeus

      Harrumph!

  • Angry Geometer

    So we’re supposed to believe that a married, gainfully employed man who has never lived in Colorado has managed to take over 30 trips to Colorado just to climb mountains?

    It’s just ludicrous. This is way more out there than claiming to run a sub 3 hour marathon. The logistics of it are insane. “Bye honey. Tell work I’ll be too busy climbing mountains in Colorado to represent Wisconsin in Congress.” YES. That is clearly a thing that has happened on over 30 occasions.

    • Cody

      AND he did it all while not being some super-elite rich person. I imagine he drove their in is ’95 Ford Ranger to save money, or something.

      Between weeks of super-hard working crunching numbers for his budgets.

      • Craigo

        Hell, he probably brought an adding machine and green eyeshades to every peak he ever climbed.

      • sparks

        For all that fabulous running, climbing, and body fat, he ought to make the Fab-u-list!

    • TT

      Yep, this did not happen. Not a chance. I don’t know much of anything about climbing mountains, but I do know that the serious pursuit of same (meaning climbing at least 40 of them) involves something that a hugely ambitious and much-in-demand congressman completely and utterly lacks: giant shitpiles of time. And that’s before you even get to money and sponsorship, travel, logistics, training, partners, etc.

      Who did he climb The 40 with? When? Such people do not exist.

      • Not to mention, for most serious climbs there is a very small window of time when the weather will even allow it. I’ve never done Mt Whitney, but I know many people who have and one of the toughest elements is getting a permit within the small window each year when there is no snow.

        • pete

          True, but it IS possible to ascend and descend Mt Whitney as a one-day hike. I’ve done it. (And BTW I have never completed a marathon, nor have I broken 90 mins for a half, though in those days I was close.) You can do Whitney the hard way, but it’s only the altitude that makes it more than a good long walk.

          • My admiration for all my friends who have climbed Whitney just took a nose-dive.

            Thanks for the info. Just drove through Lone Pine yesterday and was amazed at how lovely it is in the fall. Definitely wanna make a trip up there for some Whitney hikes in the near-future.

          • bad Jim

            I walked up to the summit of Whitney on the last day of hiking the John Muir Trail. When you start from the west side it isn’t much of a climb at all. The trail down to Whitney Portal was tedious in the extreme.

      • elk

        Let’s not confuse climbing with the walk-up that most Colorado 14ers actually are. Ryan said he “climbed” them but I’m pretty sure he means “hiked.” I doubt he’s roped up and really climbed.

        • elk

          And the window for hiking them is narrow, late July to mid September, though some, like Mount Bierstadt, are easier in the winter than in the summer.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      No less believable than, “Bye, honey, I’m going to hike the Appalachian Trail!”

      • ironic irony

        Get outta my mind. I was going to mention that!

  • RedSquareBear

    (Not the genteel Roosevelt, squire of Hyde Park, but his “strenuous life” cousin who ranched in Dakota and hunted bear in Glenwood Springs.)

    He’s trolling a polio survivor. Classy.

    • JL

      I noticed that too. Gee, I wonder why FDR might not have been engaged in all those “strenuous life” activities?

      The whole argument, as worded, is pretty bigoted against people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Biden, because he (allegedly) wouldn’t be able to climb mountains, is lesser in character? I’m married to someone who can’t walk for more than a mile or so or do most other athletic activities because of a disabling chronic condition that struck when he was still in his 20s. And he has a lot more character than Paul Ryan.

      If the argument were “Being able to do strenuous things is a sign of character” with not being able to do them not indicating anything one way or the other, it wouldn’t be a bigoted argument, just kind of a stupid one. But as articulated, it’s bigoted.

      • Craigo

        Given that neither one of them could gain so much as a yard on a professional football field, I conclude that Biden and Ryan have 1/11,236th of the upstanding character possessed by OJ Simpson.

      • RedSquareBear

        And what of poor abused Ann Romney? Why must the author make her weep so?

    • ironic irony

      This is a bingo.

  • Quercus

    And I’m sure the author of the piece is hard at work on another one where he publicly states he’s voting for Obama, because of Obama’s clear athletic superiority over Romney?

    • Cody

      If anything, we know that basketball is the true measure of a man’s abilities. After all, it’s a team sport much like the government.

      Being President is really just like being a point guard, something Obama has experience in.

      Obama/Magic Johnson 2012!

  • kg

    I’m not a mountain man. I’m a fucking mountain, man.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdQd61HgB6s

  • Trollhattan

    Let’s get it right: Ryan has climbed 70 of Colorado’s 54 14’ers.

    I’ve backpacked and scrambled above treeline longer than Ryan has been alive, and nature hasn’t claimed me yet (not for lack of trying). I guess that qualifies me to be duke of the solar system.

    As far as I can tell, Ryan’s qualified to be a contestant on “Ow, My Balls” and little more.

    • firefall

      Assuming physical objects not in evidence

      • Trollhattan

        Bravo, and a golf clap to you.

  • Brady

    Are there even 40 fourteeners in Colorado that are accessible without technical climbing gear? I was under the impression that a lot of Colorado’s highest peaks require some pretty serious mountaineering skills.

    • Paul Campos

      I’m no expert — I’ve climbed all of five 14ers — but my impression is that several 14ers do require some fairly technical climbing. Perhaps not to a degree that would be problematic for a genuinely skilled climber, at least not in good weather, but enough to cause serious issues for an amateur, even one with six-pack abs and dreamy eyes like deep pools of longing into which you can lose oneself . . . where was I?

      Oh yes. On the other end of the spectrum several 14ers require little more than a strenuous hike. I suspect our ubermensch climbed a handful of those.

      • Brady

        I figured. I’ve only ever made it up Flattop Mountain myself, but as with marathoning, this seems like one of those lies that only someone with little real knowledge of the sport would ever think other people would believe.

      • Scott Lemieux

        I’ve climbed all of five 14ers

        Campos for president!

        • herr doktor bimler

          Campos for one-eighth of president!

        • hickes01

          When I was in my 20’s, living in Colorado, I walked a 14er with a friend of mine. As we neared the summit, we totally geeked out, mashing power bars, slugging water and urging each other on. We really thought we were cool. Then, we noticed a 60-year old grandmother descending with her 8-year old nephew. When she saw us, she called out, “You can make it! You’re almost there!”. That’s right, we looked so bad, she felt the need to call out encouragement. Fuck Paul Ryan.

          • This reminds me of the time I hiked up the west face of the Sandia Mountains, outside Albuquerque. Which is basically straight up for 4000 feet. I was dying. And old people were RUNNING it. I wanted to murder all of them.

        • Bill Murray

          is he sufficiently aged for that? or does he get a not ready checkmark?

  • Joshua

    It has been an awfully long time since a bunch of manly Republican men could swoon over the manliness and vigor of their candidate. Fred Thompson left us far too soon.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I seem to remember that they had a fellow a few years back who used to love clearing brush in a manly fashion. For some reason they don’t talk about him so much anymore…

      • Trollhattan

        And mountain biking. Can’t forget that the femmebot John Kerry did sissy road biking, what with the skinny tires and all. Not to mention the elitist windsurfing.

        GWB only did the manliest of manly things.

      • Kurzleg

        Or want to have a beer with him…

    • Now I’m having Old Spice flashbacks.

  • Major Kong

    Because there is no better index of character.

    The “best index of character” just so happens to be whatever the current Republican nominee brings to the table in any particular election.

    Next time around it will be some candidate’s “Steely-eyed golf swing” or his “Calf-roping ability” or “Brush clearing”…..oh wait, we already used that one.

  • Alan Tomlinson

    I’ve climbed a bit, mostly in the Cascades. Climbing a mountain that is not glaciated isn’t particularly tough, assuming you’re fit, you know what you’re doing and nothing bad happens(e.g. rockfall, injury, etc.). Things get significantly more interesting as you start traveling on glaciers. It’s harder to tell what you’re walking on; which can be problematic when you’re not walking on anything and you, uh, punch through. Anyway, Colorado’s fourteeners are lovely, but they’re not Denali(McKinley is a bullshit name from a bullshit president) and they are sure as hell not Chomolungma(Everest is a bullshit name from a fucking colonial surveyor).

    Anyway, climbing a 14,000 foot mountain in Washington at any time of year is a significant challenge because of the weather, the glaciers and the latitude, mountain climbing in Colorado, not so much. Your sedentary grandmother shouldn’t try, and neither should her sedentary son, but the objective hazards–as opposed to the one’s that one brings along(e.g. stupidity, fatigue, drunkenness)-aren’t that outrageous unless you’ve decided to climb a vertical face.

    Keep in mind, I’m talking about mountain climbing here, not technical(i.e. vertical) rock or ice climbing. Climbing ice in Colorado, that’s rugged! Hopefully I’ve cleared up more than I’ve obscured.

    Cheers,

    Alan Tomlinson

    • Alan Tomlinson

      I should make clear that there are often a variety of routes up a particular mountain and that those routes often vary significantly in technical difficulty. You can walk up Mt. Whitney in California, or you can climb the vertical wall. One is for anyone who’s reasonably fit, one is not.

      Cheers,

      Alan Tomlinson

      • ploeg

        Sad thing is that this is in the Denver Post, so that the people who are reading this presumably have at least secondhand knowledge about how hard it is to climb fourteeners and how doing so relates to character.

      • rea

        Famously, you can drive to the top of one of the Colorado 14s, Pike’s Peak. The two supposedly mentioned by Ryan as his favorites, Capitol and Pyramid, are perhaps not very challenging as technical climbs, but are very difficult and dangerous hikes, and have been the site of a number of fatal accidents.

        I’m very skeptical, given the amount of coverage Ryan has received over the last several years, about only hearing about this now. This would have to be one of the dominent forces in Ryan’s life, if he were really climbing as much as is claimed.

        • Bob Loblaw

          You can also drive to the summit of 14er Mt Evans, via the highest paved road in the US. There are surely plenty of unscrupulous listers who would include a drive to either of these summits as an “ascent”.

    • Patrick

      As a fellow Cascadian I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder when visiting CO and hearing all the bragging about 14’ers too – climbing a 14k mountain from a valley that’s at 10k isn’t all that impressive to me.

      • rea

        It’s not about altitude, it’s about relief. Some of those eastern 4000-footers have more relief.

    • ajay

      Anyway, Colorado’s fourteeners are lovely, but they’re not Denali(McKinley is a bullshit name from a bullshit president) and they are sure as hell not Chomolungma(Everest is a bullshit name from a fucking colonial surveyor).

      Ooh, I can almost taste the self-righteousness.

  • ajay

    Ryan/Putin 2016.

    No non-tiger-wrestlers need apply.

    • firefall

      Putin would ever take 2nd place on a ticket?

      • rea

        Actually, he did, more or less. Term limited as president, he took the prime ministership under his succesor

        • Cody

          Only long enough to change the Constitution to be the first-ticket again!

          I guess he would have to somehow become VP while not an American citizen in this hypothetical, and I assume he would use that time to change the American Constitution.

          • Hogan

            Not necessary. Ryan will change it with the power of his mind and his mighty biceps.

            • Bill Murray

              don’t forget his ample quadriceps and dynamic hamstring

          • ajay

            Only long enough to change the Constitution to be the first-ticket again!

            Did he actually change it? I thought the problem was that the Russian constitution limits you to two terms in succession, so he had to lie fallow as PM for four years.

  • greylocks

    As a born-and-raised upstate NY’er I’ve known several people who have spent their entire lives trying to join this club without success, including my aunt and uncle. And we’re talking 4,000-footers, most of which are easy walk-ups.

    Just finding the time to do it is a problem for anyone with a real job who doesn’t live in the Adirondacks.

  • Matt

    Shorter Ryan campaign: “Mountain climbing is a great index of character – you can’t do it regularly unless you’ve willing to ignore all your responsibilities in favor of self-gratification and you have a pile of money, which are the two traits WE value the most highly. Any peon can scrape together a few bucks on a weekend to go golfing.”

    • ironic irony

      “…ignore all your responsibilities in favor of self-gratification and you have a pile of money…”

      This is the GOP platform (omitting the “destroy everyone else” part, so at least it makes sense.

  • That op-ed’s comments section is not going so well for the writer.

    • Cheap Wino

      Could we, in this case, differentiate between “writer” and “person who wrote this op-ed”? If we’re going to label him we’d probably go with sycophant or ball-licker before writer.

  • Pope Bandar bin Turtle

    Once, on a safari, Ryan shot an elephant in his pajamas. How it got in his pajamas, he doesn’t know!

    • Bill Murray

      Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.

  • SqueakyRat

    “Ryan’s brother Tobin says that on one of these trips, as the family hiked through the snow toward a herd of sheep in a mountain meadow near Snowmass peak, 6-year-old Paul took in the scenery and spontaneously burst out singing, “America the Beautiful.””

    A phony at the age of six.

    • Cody

      Breaking into song and dance? Does he happen to have a hate of homosexual people?

      That projection thing…

    • ajay

      Yeah? I heard that Ryan was born in the shadow of Baekdu Mountain, and when he was born a double rainbow sprang into being across the sky and a new star appeared in the heavens.

  • BobS

    Next week we’ll see Ryan photographed with the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant he shot one weekend in Africa. He should just ditch politics so he can replace the old bearded guy in the beer commercial as the most interesting man in the world.

    • redrob64

      That’s his retirement plan.

  • GT

    Paul Ryan hit 11 holes in one the first time he played golf.

    • firefall

      Not bad on a nine hole round

      • Hogan

        He plays golf with a club in each hand.

      • Casey

        Color me unimpressed. Dick Cheney once put eleven holes in one, and he wasn’t even playing golf!

        • Your name is “Casey” so you could be a man or woman. Don’t care. Marry me. Or at least let me steal this joke.

        • Trollhattan

          He was actually trying to put eleven holes in Juan, but his lawyer got in the way.

    • Bill Murray

      that’s Paul Jong-Ryan or Dear leader to you

  • PAUL RYAN DOESN’T WANNA GET ALL WONKY ON YOUR ASSES BUT HE TOTALLY CLIMBED THAT MOUNTAIN. HE BUILT THAT, BITCHES!

  • Quercus

    One of the commenters at the article pointed out that Biden was a HS football star (and baseball player), and played a couple years in college, too. So, at the same age, yeah, Biden probably could have strolled across the Capital knife edge.

    That is, had Biden wanted to do some kind of pansy-ass tree-hugging nature-boy thing, but at the time he was too busy being a man and playing tackle football.

  • herr doktor bimler

    Imagine the ribbing Ryan will have to endure at family get-togethers when it emerges that he mis-remembered, it was his brother who climbed all the peaks.

  • Shredder

    I recently heard that Ryan invented the internet.

    • Barry Freed

      And I heard that he killed himself a bear when he was only three.

        • Jeffrey Kramer

          And if Washington’s campaign advisor had suggested that George climb a few mountains to show voters his toughness of character, that advisor would have suffered the same fate as the bear.

    • Bill Murray

      Paul BunyanRyan built Mt. Hood by piling rocks to put out a campfire. He made the Grand Canyon by dragging his axe behind him. He is also the greatest steel-driving man in the US and shoots green peas from his fundamental orifice, does a double somersault and catches them on his teat

  • BC

    My son has climbed all 54 of the 14ers in Colorado, some of them twice. Of course, he lives in the Denver area and spends most weekends in the summer climbing. But there is one thing – there are several peaks that can be combined, just a saddle between them, so that you can get two mountains in one climb. Also, if Ryan wants to tell people which peaks he climbed, there is a record book that climbers sign that could be checked. If he didn’t sign any of the record books on the “40 14ers” he climbed, then it’s pretty fishy that he climbed them.

    • herr doktor bimler

      I was curious, what mountains did you regularly climb before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?

      I’ve climbed most of them again with a great appreciation for the Rockies, for Colorado —

      But what ones specifically? I’m curious.

      Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.

  • Making light of Ryan’s claim is fun, and there are some great zingers above. But there is something very troubling at play. Here’s a VP candidate making a blatantly false claim about his marathon prowess and a highly suspicious claim about mountain climbing. Politicians lie, yes, but not about such unnecessary things while under such a big microscope. Or maybe Ryan is so accustomed to a fawning media that he doubted his claims would be checked.

    • herr doktor bimler

      I suspect that Romney’s strategists have (belatedly) realised that their candidate has a more than usually estranged from the truth, while in the case of his running-mate (to coin a phrase) Truth has taken out a restraining order against him. That’s why the fax has been sent out that Obama is the post-modern, post-Truth president… a pre-emption of the anticipated attacks on Ryan.

  • arguingwithsignposts

    Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the fourteeners? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone’s backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power.

    Hell, there is no better index of one’s character than swimming across the Atlantic. Go for it Paul!

    • Breadbaker

      I think Michelle Obama had a different stance on the question of what is the best index of a person’s character. It did not require the climbing of mountains, unless it was to rescue someone. It did require that you notice other human beings and care about their situation.

      • herr doktor bimler

        Because there is no better index of character.

        I don’t know, “willingness to swallow and recycle far-fetched lies from one’s pay-masters” works for me.

  • I have heard that there are people who visit the DMZ, running around the conference table that sits in both North and South Korea and then claim that they have visited North Korea. Perhaps that’s what Ryan did.

  • hickes01

    What about his grades? He has a four-year degree from a decent mid-west university. Did he graduate with honors? He’s apparently read one book, yet, Brett Hume tells me he’s the intellectual leader of the Republican Party. But is he really smart or Fredo-smart?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYabrQrXt4A

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  • Malaclypse

    The only way this could be more awesome is if Ryan climbed with them.

    When Rush played two shows near my home in Colorado, with a day off in between, Neil and I climbed a mountain together, 14,265-ft Mount Evans, brainstorming Clockwork Angels all the way.

  • Anonymous

    ch s

    h f n did h e c

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