Seth Mandel sees the enthusiasm for Paul Ryan as an attempt to compensate for the absence of Mitch Daniels:
But the point that Daniels’ supporters kept making was that he appealed to voters across partisan lines. And they were, in many cases, correct. But they cannot summon a Ryan candidacy from the wreckage of the failed campaign to draft Daniels. Ryan seems to have a bright career ahead of him. That career is unlikely to benefit, and may even suffer, from a presidential candidacy this year.
Oddly, one of the people involved in urging Paul Ryan to run is none other than Mitch Daniels. Daniels decided against a campaign earlier this year for understandable family reasons, but it’s worth remembering how much resistance the prospect of a Daniels candidacy met when it was still a possibility. He had barely flirted with a presidential bid, and he was already being denounced as a sell-out on social issues and a wimp on national security. On foreign policy, Ryan has gone out of his way to make sure that he doesn’t have Daniels’ problem by pledging allegiance to perpetual hegemony, but that just re-confirms that a Ryan candidacy would be at odds with the mood of the party and the public.