Paul Ryan likes to tout his Irish American roots--just look at all that green on his home page. But even though his great-great grandparents were married in Graiguenamanagh, (pronunciation, anyone?) Ryan's budget-hacking, P90X crunching charms seem to have escaped the citizenry of that village and Ireland in general. Reports Reuters:
Ryan's pitch to slash public spending does not go down so well in a country reeling from years of austerity imposed after crippling bank debt forced the government to take a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010.
Despite the Ryan connection, few locals are hoping for a Republican victory across the ocean. "It would give a boost to a nice small town like this, but I would forgo it. I wouldn't want to inflict him on the American people," said Margaret, a 64-year-old cashier, upset by Ryan's plans to cut welfare and Medicare health cover for the elderly. She withheld her family name to avoid angering her employer.
Sorry Congressman, Ireland is O'bama territory:
A straw poll of 20 people on a recent afternoon found 12 Obama supporters and none for Ryan and running mate Mitt Romney.
Ninety-six percent of people in Ireland who have decided would back Obama and Irish Catholic running mate Joe Biden if they had a vote, according to a September poll of 1,000 people by Gallup International.
As for the Irish on this side of the pond:
The lobby group Irish American Democrats says it is targeting Cuyahoga County in Ohio, a bellwether Irish area in a state where the election could be decided. Ryan will find it far harder than Biden to take advantage of his Irish heritage, said Stella O'Leary, who heads the group. "I find there is a kind of mild embarrassment on the half of Irish Americans who are Republicans," she said. "They would all have originally have been Democrats, so the question is when did they change. Was it when they got a few dollars?"