The Public Is Clamoring for Shirtless Photos of Paul Ryan, Will Have to Settle for Reagan for Now

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Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday, Paul Ryan paid a visit to his alma mater, Ohio's University of Miami, and the media was on hand to ask the tough questions. Specifically: Where are the topless pixxx of the vice-presidential candidate? (It's what the people want, as Google's ever-seedy search recommendations can tell you.) Tim Sardinia, the president of Ryan's old fraternity, Delta Tau Delta (apparently known in some circles as "Dorks That Drink"), reported that esteemed news outlet TMZ "wanted to know if I had any pictures of Paul Ryan shirtless." Sadly, he does not. "I'm pretty sure he doesn't go around taking pictures of himself in the mirror," Sardinia added. 

We are much, much less sure about that. Ryan is the House authority on P90X which —  for the uninformed and/or lazy —  is "an intense 90-day workout routine and nutrition plan mixing elements of body-weight training, cardio, yoga and martial arts" that he has credited with keeping his body fat hovering somewhere between 6 and 8 percent. Maybe showing off the fruits of his labor could distract the crucial female swing state demographic from his desire to dismantle their reproductive rights? (Not to mention some of his other annoying qualities.) After all, this election season has been low on Republican politicians who look good in swimsuits. 

Perhaps you recall this photo of spring's conservative darling, Rick Santorum, which was somewhat ironically snapped by a passenger on an all-gay Atlantis cruise in March.

Photo: joemygod.blogspot.com

Then there's this shot, which — despite a spokesman's denials — was widely interpreted to be one of Newt Gingrich basking in the sun. (If it's not, in fact, Gingrich, then it's a very convincing doppelgänger who happened to be vacationing in Greece at the exact time he was.) 

05_Flatbed_WEB - June Original Filename: 0614-newt-tmz-ex-2-credit.jpgvia Flatbed Web Photo: TMZ

Of course, history has shown us some exceptions. (What's up, Theodore Roosevelt?) Ronald Reagan was pretty in-shape during his acting days, and — like Ryan — his interest in fitness did not seem to wane as his passion for supply-side economics grew. 

President Ronald Reagan tosses a coconut during a midday break on the beach at Kahala Beach, in the midst of a stroll and swim in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Monday, April 23, 1984. Photo: Scott Stewart/AP Photo

Meanwhile, there's Ryan's running mate — and apparent soul twin  — Mitt Romney, whose wetsuit look is made all the more impressive by his (mostly) waterproof power hair. 

And, just for good measure, here's the competition:

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., gets out of the ocean after body surfing in Honolulu, Hawaii, during a vacation from the presidential campaign. Since becoming president, both Obama and first lady represent an almost irresistible package for celebrity-fixated Americans. But it's Barack, not Michelle, who's had a swimsuit edition: Washingtonian splashed a photo of a shirtless Obama in his swimsuit on the cover of its May issue. The headline declared: "Our new neighbor is hot." Photo: Alex Brandon/AP Photo

We'll go ahead and preempt charges of reverse sexism and distracting from the real issues by encouraging Ryan to settle the matter by releasing a photo or two. Otherwise, we have to wonder what he's hiding.