Google Searches For Paul Ryan “Shirtless” Spike

The announcement of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate has the guys at Google busy:

In the space of the past 24 hours, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan went from an unknown to a figure of intense curiosity.

What did that curiosity center on? Well, of course, the fact that he was chosen by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Saturday to be the Republican vice presidential nominee. And, what he looked like without a shirt on. Not kidding.

According to the good people at Google, the most common search term tied to Ryan was “vice president”. The second most common was “shirtless”.

Some context helps explain the massive interest in seeing Ryan in a stage of undress. He is a workout fanatic and an acolyte of P90X, the rigorous core training regimen that has come into vogue in recent years. (The Fix, on the other hand, owns the P90X DVDs, which are resting comfortably in their sleeves in the basement at the moment.) Ryan is also a former personal trainer who prides himself on keeping his body fat in single digits. (Make sure to read this great Maeve Reston story in the L.A. Times on Ryan’s workout habits.)

That the desire to see Ryan half-naked trumped other things like, say, his budget proposal (“budget” was the fourth most common search term connected to Ryan, right behind “wiki”) tells you all you need to know about how the average person consumes politics.

Not my cup of tea but to each their own I suppose. I’m guessing there aren’t many searches for “Joe Biden shirtless,” though.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    Actually, there’s a whole meme (started by The Onion) of “Shirtless Joe Biden“…

  2. @legion:

    I had forgotten about that! I love the tattoos they added in one of the pics.

  3. legion says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It took me a sec to remember why it sounded familiar, too. Photoshop is an amazing thing 🙂

    But I think a better meme for Ryan is those big, sad-eyed paintings…

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Only in the GOP…

  5. Commonist says:

    But he’s not handsome!

  6. Fausta says:
  7. David M says:

    I think this answers the question of whether people are looking for a serious “big-picture” election.

  8. bill says:

    @legion: funny when the only semi-liberal media that will make fun of the current administration is a the onion…’s scary actually.