A Brief Introduction to Janna Ryan, Potential Second Lady

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T.J. Kirkpatrick / Getty Images

Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and his wife Janna pose for photos on Aug. 11, 2012, in Manassas, Va., following the announcement that Ryan will be Mitt Romney's vice-presidential running mate

Janna Christine Ryan, née Little, planned to marry Representative Paul Ryan on Dec. 2, 2000, in Oklahoma City — about two hours up Interstate 35 from her hometown of Madill. Then Congress decided to reconvene on Dec. 4 to finish up work on the federal budget, and their postwedding plans to go to the Caribbean were suddenly in doubt. Being a politician’s spouse is never a honeymoon. And now that may be truer than ever for Janna, whose husband was just picked as the Republican Party’s next vice-presidential nominee.

At a Saturday event in Norfolk, Va., where Mitt Romney introduced the nation to his running mate, Ryan waved his arm toward the risers behind him and made an introduction of his own. “I want you to meet my family,” he said. Ryan introduced 43-year-old Janna and their three children: Liza, 10, Charlie, 8, and Sam, 7. They later greeted supporters — Janna wearing a sleek brown dress and big smile, the kids worthy of a J.Crew catalog. It’s a family all of America will soon get to know.

(PHOTOS: Paul Ryan’s Life and Career)

Janna hails from the remote Oklahoma city of Madill (pop. 3,818) but enjoyed educational privilege growing up. She and her sisters attended the exclusive Camp Waldemar school in Hunt, Texas, before heading off to Wellesley College just outside Boston, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in Spanish. After graduation, Janna found her way to Washington, D.C., where she attended law school at George Washington University and eventually landed a job at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Arlington, Va. It was during that period that she met Ryan, just 30 years old and starting his first term in the House.

The two enjoyed a political connection, albeit across party lines. Janna had previously worked on the Hill as an aide to Oklahoma Congressman Bill Brewster, a Democrat. Her first cousin Dan Boren is now a Democratic Congressman from Oklahoma. (He released a warm statement on Saturday saying that Janna was sure to be “Paul’s strongest supporter on the campaign trail.”) When her engagement to Ryan was made public, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Janna was “depriving Congress of one of its more eligible bachelors.”

(MORE: 8 Things You Should Know About Paul Ryan)

Janna was well known in Washington as well. At PricewaterhouseCoopers — and later at Williams & Jensen — she worked as a lobbyist, representing clients from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Conoco, according to OpenSecrets.org. But she abandoned K Street when she and Ryan wed in 2000, surprising some in D.C. who saw her as an up-and-coming power broker.

Despite the aforementioned budget situation, Ryan and Janna chose to honeymoon in the Virgin Islands rather than stick around in D.C. “I’m going to keep my first commitment to my wife, and that’s to take her on a honeymoon,” Ryan told the Associated Press at the time. Janna soon resettled in her husband’s hometown of Janesville, Wis., following in the footsteps of her late mother, Prudence, who had moved to her husband’s hometown of Madill decades before.

Those deep commitments were on display Saturday in Norfolk, where Ryan made sure his family got some credit. “I am surrounded by the people I love,” he said. “And I have been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country that I love.”

MORE: With Paul Ryan, Romney Goes ‘Bold’ and Clarifies the 2012 Choice

173 comments
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Bryant Hunter
Bryant Hunter

Why does everyone "hate" socialism? If you didn't have to pay for medicine you'd love it! Also everyone loves their social security and medicare, and public libraries and firefighters and police. That's socialism! Socialism is not inherently evil! I wish Obama was more Socialist than he is! 

NaveedXVO
NaveedXVO

Anyone else notice that their faces look uncannily similar?

bacusa
bacusa

Your lack of intellectual integrity is nauseating.  That comment was in reference to negotiations on the missile defense system the US is building in Europe. Not anything more.  Truth be known, the most "socialist"  legislation Obama has championed is the Affordable Care Act, which obligates citizens to buy PRIVATE insurance.  DON'T forget that this is exactly the same legislation that Romney promoted and passed in Massachusetts.  If you have an ounce of intellectual integrity, if you accuse Obama as being a Socialist then admit that Romney is one too.

ChowT
ChowT

Quote, Morgan Freeman, the ideologies and policies of the GOP are evil.

Robert Prehn
Robert Prehn

I think The Wall's comment is untrue, that comment is hateful, vile, contemptible, putrid, ugly, evil, vicious, libelous, and inflammatory.  Let's leave the spouses and kids out of this and have a campaign focused on the issues for a change.  Personally, I am sick and tired of the personal attacks by both sides...

Melissa Garcia
Melissa Garcia

No more enemies of America,  filthy hollywood types and crotch rubbing rappers defiling the whitehouse.

dondon626
dondon626

Sharon is living proof that brainwashing really works.

Brandon Barker
Brandon Barker

Janna and her sister didn't go to Camp Waldemar school (Camp Waldemar is a camp). They went to St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas.

mogama13
mogama13

Why people still think that calling someone a communist is an insult?  I'll never understand. 

mogama13
mogama13

Why people still thinks that calling someone communist is an insult?  I'll never understand.

Guest
Guest

why people still tries to insult other people by calling them communist?  i'll never understand. 

farmasyst
farmasyst

If you're really looking for a Presidential candidate that had an awesome track record as a 2 Term Governor and always enjoyed high approval ratings, Gary Johnson is your man.

Dencal26
Dencal26

ROMNEY is the Moderate in this Race. Obama is FAR LEFT.   Indys like myself prefer moderates.

Eusense
Eusense

 Why do you attach a "moderate" label for you self? Don't you consider each situation separately and weigh in using your intellectual capacity?

Dencal26
Dencal26

Yes I vote for what I think is right for America regardless of ideology.

Dencal26
Dencal26

Do you know what a moderate is?

Eusense
Eusense

Really? Then how come you label your self a 'moderate' ?

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

If you really believe both of those then you've just admitted you're not a moderate and don't prefer real moderates. Try again.

Dencal26
Dencal26

Romney proved he can work with Democrats in Massachussetts. Obama is a hard left extremist and his Senate Votes prove that out,

Dencal26
Dencal26

Obama-Rahm-Axelrod-Daley-Blago and Slum Lord Valerie Jarrett " FIXED" Chicago. Now they are " FIXING" America the same way.   Now we have a clear picture of what a Community Organizer does.  Destroys a city them moves on before anyone notices.   

ChowT
ChowT

Why would Obama want to destroy a city?

Dencal26
Dencal26

I don’t know. Ask him Blago-Daley-Rahm-Axelrod and Slum Lord Valerie Jarrett why they destroyed Chicago. Let me know what they say

Dencal26
Dencal26

I see the result. I don’t care how they did it

ChowT
ChowT

You replied 'i dont know'. Thank you.

ChowT
ChowT

Obama saved the country from an economic collaspe.

Gopers wants an economic collaspe to put all the blame on Obama.

Thats how Christian they are.

TXStrat
TXStrat

 Here is something I find interesting.  Liberals preach tolerance, and constantly accuse the right of excluding people, yet it is liberals that never cease to ridicule anyone with a religious belief.  Liberals lecture on inclusion and civil discourse, yet they are the first ones to go nuclear.  It call comes off a little hypocritical.  For liberals, their political ideology is something akin to a surrogate religion.  Everything is viewed through a political ideology.  For example, I would call myself a fiscal conservative, but socially I am more liberal.  I am fine with gay marriage and a woman's right to choose.  Despite all this, if I disagree with the reckless fiscal polities of the current administration, I end up getting lumped into the neo-con label by liberals.  All the while being lectured about tolerance and inclusion.   Seems to me that if you do not subscribe to the liberal ideal, you are an uneducated dullard, clinging to guns and bibles.

Lewis23
Lewis23

I voted for Obama in 2008 and I'm starting to think that was a bad choice. It is becoming apparent that Obama has nothing to run on and is resorting to all kinds of baseless attacks. Romney and Ryan seem to understand the problems of today and have reasonable solutions. History shows that they can compromise with the other sided, Obama doesn't have that ability. Looks like I'm going to have to vote republican for the first time in my life.

ChowT
ChowT

Looks like you are lying about voting for Obama.

If you really voted for Obama, you will remember from day 1 the Gopers have been blocking the president from doing all the right things.

Imreadytovote
Imreadytovote

 Sue, it says a lot when Obama is so far left he can't even work with all the democrats (Blue Dogs) even when they were all there was between him and getting everything he wanted.  But, I agree with you about the Senate being a place where bills go to die.  If it weren't for them we would have had a balanced budget, thanks to the House.  The democrat plan in the senate didn't even get a single democrat vote. 

ChowT
ChowT

The fact that Gopers declared from Day 1 to hinder his doing anything even at the expense of the whole country speaks for itself.

Lewis23
Lewis23

I remember Obama making a lot of promises that he didn't keep. I also remember that the Democrats had control of congress during his first 2 years. I’m not sure how the republicans stopped him from doing anything during that time. I do regret my 2008 vote but I'm not sure McCain would have been much better.

Lewis23
Lewis23

Be mindful of your source...

Lewis23
Lewis23

Sue, Please provide a link or two that shows the bills that the republicans blocked during the first 2 years that Obama was in office.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

*sigh*

The Democrats never had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate because the idiot Blue Dogs insisted on voting with the Republicans. Yes, they had a majority in the House for a while, but, see, there's this rule in the Constitution that bills passed by the House must go to the Senate for approval. And the GOP has turned the Senate into a sucking pit of quicksand where laws go to die.

Don't vote for Obama if you don't want to, but at least care enough about this country's future to learn facts. Learn how things work.

ChowT
ChowT

If you are really sincere , all the records of GOP officially blocking Obama's every move from Day 1 are there.

How is the president going to achieve all that he has promised when you have gangster like GOP blocking every move, acknowledging that even if it will hurt the American people.

This round we will give Obama a stronger support as that he has to tools to achieve what he has promised.

Christians in GOP are in anme, but the things they do are pure evil.

Gopers are the biggest hypocrite.

Why bother going to Church?

ChowT
ChowT

Obstructions after obstrictions from day 1.

Now it is distractions and distractions, lying conning and scamming.