Rep. Paul Ryan: 'Hey girl'

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The Internet meme follows the popularity of the "Hey girl" phenomenon that originally used photos of the actor Ryan Gosling. A mash-up of humor and fantasy, the Gosling meme added the kind of text to Gosling photos that his fans theoretically wanted to hear him say. For instance: "Hey girl, we don't need arbitrary beauty archetypes steeped in historically biased ideologies pumped out to us by mediocre, archaic forms of media to define our sexiness."

The Ryan meme plays on the House Budget Committee chairman's popularity within the Republican Party and tweaks the concept of Ryan as a fantasy politician figure to many conservatives. Ryan's name repeatedly came up earlier in the campaign cycle as a possible last-minute choice for the Republican presidential nomination, and now also comes up in speculation about the vice presidential shortlist. He has also been credited with crafting and guiding high-profile GOP ideas about the budget. 

Lyndsey Fifield and Emily Zanotti, both communication professionals in Washington, D.C., are behind the blog. 

On Monday, the blog tweaked its own precedent in a post that included a Gosling photo caption. "You’re adorable, Ryan Gosling, but you’re no Paul Ryan," the blog reads.

Since Ryan is often tasked with explaining technical issues like the federal budget, it seems appropriate for some of his "Hey girl" captions to also refer to the minutiae of policy, for instance to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), part of the recent healthcare reform and reviled by conservatives: "Hey girl, don't worry. IPAB might ration our healthcare. But it will never ration our love."

Ryan's "legendary" status within the party became the subject of much debate this week following the publication of a profile by Jonathan Chait in New York magazine that attached that adjective to his name, followed by another piece in the New York Times that called him a "trailblazer." 

Appropriately, another photo posted Monday teases the New York magazine author, reading: "Hey girl, you know I think Jonathan Chait got it all wrong ... our love is legendary."

Ryan's office did not respond when asked to comment, but precedent suggests that he is probably aware of the popular Tumblr. Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the creators of another popular Tumblr dedicated to photos of her texting and even submitted a post of her own.


— This post was updated at 11:14 a.m. and 12:21 p.m.

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