DON’T BE LYIN’, RYAN

AP reports that that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan fudged the numbers concerning a marathon in which he participated in 1990.

Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt last month that he ran the marathon in his words, in “two-hour and fifty something”, which is less than 7 minutes per mile. Here is the relevant portion of the transcript:

HH: Are you still running?

PR: Yeah, I hurt a disc in my back, so I don’t run marathons anymore. I just run ten miles or yes.

HH: But you did run marathons at some point?

PR: Yeah, but I can’t do it anymore, because my back is just not that great.

HH: I’ve just gotta ask, what’s your personal best?

PR: Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.

HH: Holy smokes. All right, now you go down to Miami University…

PR: I was fast when I was younger, yeah.

A reporter from Runner’s World found Ryan’s real time, which was 4:01. When confronted, Ryan said that he should have rounded down to four hours instead of three. So it was a rounding error, let’s move on.

Except that Ryan gave a number rounded off to the nearest ten minutes (2 hour and fifty-something), not to the nearest hour. And even after 22 years, it is hard to believe that he confused a time of just over four hours with one just under three. Hours are benchmarks, an exact time might be hard to remember, but not the number of hours it took.

My assessment is that Ryan lied. So what? It is just a marathon, right? Well ask yourself, what if Obama had been the one who shaved a quarter off his running time? Would he get a pass?

I got no pleasure out of writing this post. I am disappointed in the man, He’s just another politician.

Postscript: In the interest of fairness, I present this from Runner’s World, concerning another politician, who cannot ‘remember’ properly…

“The November 2004 issue of Runner’s World reported that (John) Kerry had run Boston in the 1970s but gave no supporting details. ESPN looked into the claim and wound up concluding ‘there’s no official record of his feat, and his campaign did not provide further details despite repeated inquiries.’

“In an e-mail to Runner’s World last night, Tom Derderian, author of Boston Marathon, said, ‘It is very hard to prove a negative, but in doing my research I read every account in every newspaper about the Boston Marathon. I would have seen and noted that a US Senator ran.'”

9 thoughts on “DON’T BE LYIN’, RYAN

  1. G., Surely you can’t rely on a fella’s memory stretching back to when he was in school. That would be like Obama saying he only smoked one joint and snorted one line.

    I tell you, in school, at one point, I lived in Burlingame and commuted to SF. I would say they are 30 miles apart. I don’t know because I’ve never checked. Would I then be considered a liar because I’m thinking back on something from a different lifetime?

  2. Kells, he didn’t forget how long a marathon is. Under three hours is a fantastic time for a non-professional runner, over four, not so much. How do you mistake 4 hours, one minute for two hours fifty something minutes?
    And he was 20 when he ran that race, he may have been in collegel, but he was an adult.

    Some may say that George Washington lied about throwing a dollar across the Potomac River. Looking at the river today, one might say its an impossibly far distance, but you got to remember, a dollar went a lot further in those days.

    • That was funny, G.

      I still stand on the argument that remembering something from school is a bit more difficult than remembering what happened last week. Of course, I’m the queen of forgetfulness, so I’m not a great example……. What was I talking about?

  3. And not that lies with numbers that actually impact Americans matter much, but here we have an example of another politician who loves a good lie with his Irish ‘brothers’ over a good mug of brew …

    “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” The CBO states the increase will be $2100.

    But when it’s Obama, I suppose it’s not a lie, it’s a “misstatement”, right? 🙂

    • Whether it’s Obama or any other Oval Office Occupier, it is a stupid thing to say, like promising to find Amelia Earhart or something.

      But we don’t know the result yet, Augger, the bill has yet to take effect, so it is not yet officially a lie. My bet is that the CBO has probably underestimated the cost. And that Obama’s statement will go down in history as a textbook example of political hyperbole.

      Now, Augger, what do we call the people who believe such horse hockey? Besides Obama sycophants, that is.

      • “Now, Augger, what do we call the people who believe such horse hockey?”

        What horse hockey? You mean those that believed in “Obama checks”, and the like?

        I’m not sure what you are asking.

        • I concede that candidates say things that they either can’t do or can’t back up. We know this, yet there is this hue and cry that Obama failed to deliver. What recent President Has delivered? If you name one, I guarantee his promise was vague enough to give some wiggle room.
          What I am saying is don’t ease up on the politician, but neither should we be dumb enough to believe their more outlandish claims in the 1st place.

          • I trust none of them. Maintained that position all along.

            I know what Romney is. He does what he’s says he’s going to do … got no problems. He doesn’t … watch the rhetoric fly. 🙂

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