Lost in the discussion about Paul Ryan’s presidential boomlet is that he, or those who were seriously trying to prevail on him to run now, simply waited too long to stick his toe in the waters. The moment to act would have been last spring, in the wake of his famous budget proposal when he forced President Obama to play a pathetic game of catch up and all momentum was on his side. For the longest time he also stood head and shoulders above the GOP’s announced presidential hopefuls, offering an alternative vision for America with unique authority and competence. But instead of building on his emergence as leading Republican statesman, he let a unique opportunity slip away. Once his moment passed, Democrats found it much easier to smear him, and as the GOP field has filled out he’s been even further distorted and defined by the more hot-blooded right. The only happy news in all this is that, as Phil Klein notes, he can wait until 2032 to run for president and still be younger than Mitt Romney is today.