NEW YORK — On his way to becoming a congressman from his hometown of Janesville, Wis., Paul Ryan worked in a small business — a construction company with roots that reach back to the firm that his great-grandfather started in 1884.
Although the future GOP vice presidential candidate worked at Ryan Inc. Central doing marketing for just a short time — from 1997-98 — that experience may help the Romney-Ryan ticket. The obstacles that small businesses face hiring more workers are among the biggest issues in this presidential election. The perception that Ryan understands their problems could bring in votes — even though he was chosen largely because of his conservative stance on federal spending.
“I always appreciate folks who have spent time in the real world,” says Nick Balletta, CEO of TalkPoint, a New York firm that runs online broadcasts for businesses. “In the real world, there’s payroll that needs to be made, bills that need to be paid and customers that need to be satisfied.”
The GOP might convince business owners that despite the brevity of Ryan’s time at the company that “it was a valid experience and he would be more likely to understand their situation,” says Trey Grayson, director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. He also may appeal to independent voters including small business
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