Inside Politics: Ryan hasn’t talked VP with Romney

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A leading House Republican says he hasn’t had a discussion with Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney about taking the No. 2 spot on the ticket this fall.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin tells NBC’s “Today” show the subject hasn’t come up but that he enjoys working with the former Massachusetts governor.

But on the matter of joining Mr. Romney on the ticket, Mr. Ryan says, “I haven’t given enough thought to that question” and adds, “I think he still has to go through the process of nailing it down. He still has opponents.”

Mr. Ryan suggests Mr. Romney is miscast politically because he served as governor of Massachusetts, saying, “He reminds me of a sort of earnest, upper Midwest person.” Mr. Ryan says Mr. Romney “has the principles, the skills, the skills” to govern the country.

SENATE

Lawmakers show some comity, if only briefly

For a brief moment in a season of partisan rancor, Senate Democrats and Republicans as well as the White House hit the pause button.

In a matter of minutes last month, more than 60 of President Obama’s nominees to be ambassadors, financial regulators and senior agency officials sailed through Senate confirmation without acrimony.

That rare moment of comity before the Senate went on spring break was a sharp contrast to the Christmas-New Year’s holiday, when Mr. Obama used recess appointments to bypass Senate Republicans blocking his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The difference between the two events is that core union, consumer and business constituencies for one party or the other didn’t take vehement positions for or against the latest nominees.

CENSUS

Director leaving bureau, no timetable for replacement

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves is stepping down, having overseen the 2010 census but raising questions about the future stewardship of an agency grappling with potential cuts to government surveys.

Mr. Groves says he will leave in August to become provost of Georgetown University. He has been director since 2009, leading the agency’s once-a-decade count of the nation’s population. That census was generally praised for being accurate and coming in $1.9 billion below budget.

His departure comes at a time of transition for the bureau and just before the November elections. It will leave a vacancy until President Obama nominates a new director who is approved by the Senate.

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