Hate to spoil the fun, but Rep. Paul Ryan is not running for Sen. Herb Kohl's seat in 2012.
When I was a kid, my dad used to say he'd bet "a dollar to a doughnut" on something he considered a sure thing. In those days doughnuts cost a nickel; now some of them cost close to a dollar, or more, so that's not such a good offer.
So let's make is 20 dollars to a doughnut that says Ryan's not running.
Every politician loves being touted for higher office, and they usually prolong the tease by saying they haven't even thought about it -- or, in the case of Tommy Thompson, saying endlessly that he is thinking about it.
The latest word is that Ryan will decide this week. But he's already decided.
He's in the catbird seat now, as chair of the House Budget Committee with a new Republican majority and a good share of the national spotlight. He's being mentioned as a possible veep candidate, which is speculation that can stay alive for more than a year, until the 2012 convention.
To run for the Senate he'd have to give up his House seat. And if he won, he'd most likely be in the minority in the Senate, and at the bottom in seniority -- even behind a doofus like Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's new, forgotten Senator.
It's a lose-lose situation for Ryan. Count him out.