Is Atlas about to shrug? No, of course not, but it's still pleasant to read that a Contender (however slim his chances) has read the book and found its ideas compelling.
In a 2005 speech to a group of Rand devotees called the Atlas Society, (Paul) Ryan said that Rand was required reading for his office staff and interns. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he told the group. “The fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.”
That's music to our ancap ears even if we agree with the dreary political prophets who advise us to gird for another four years of His Ineptness and the Jacobin chorus. When a man who might some day lead the country can use the phrase individualism versus collectivism, things are not quite as bad as they might be.
But even if the anti-Obamaites find a way to win -- essentially by neutralizing the far-left northeast and the assured 78 Obama electoral votes along the Pacific coast and in Hawaii -- we're not necessarily making great libertarian/objectivist progress. Because Alan Greenspan.
As a young fellow, Alan stopped barely short of moving his clothes to Ms. Rand's closet. As an old man and the national money czar, Alan had to spend a lot of time sputtering that, yeah, objectivism was a pretty good idea, but not in the "real world."
Sic transit integrity.
The cite is from a New Yorker profile of Ryan. It's recommended reading for folks who still appreciate old-school magazine journalism.