(WASHINGTON) -- Paul Ryan may have been on the losing ticket with running mate Mitt Romney, but he was a winner in Wisconsin where he once again elected to serve as U.S. congressman.
Ryan won his eighth consecutive term as the representative for Wisconsin's 1st District, a position which helped him rise to national prominence as the chairman of the House Budget Committee during his last term.
Now, when he returns to Congress in 2013, many political watchers will be wondering where Ryan goes from here. Will his run as a vice presidential candidate boost his stature in the House, or will he follow the path of recent Veep candidates whose careers seemed to tailspin after their losses, including Sarah Palin, John Edwards and the recently-retired Joe Lieberman?
All three V.P. candidates were once at the top of their parties, but after suffering losses at the national level, fell from their parties' pedestals rather quickly.
Stu Rothenberg, a political commentator who writes the Rothenberg Report online each week, said he doubts Ryan will fare the same way his most recent predecessors have.
"That is a conclusion based on a ridiculously small sample," he said.
"I suppose he'll get more media attention that will make him one of the party's spokesman over the next couple of years," Rothenberg said. "Without the White House, there's no obvious party spokesman other than Boehner, so who's going to be on the Sunday morning shows and doing interviews? I would think Ryan will definitely be in the mix."
Ryan, who headed back to Wisconsin on Wednesday, released a statement saying he looked forward to going back to Congress next year.
"I am immensely proud of the campaign we ran, and I remain grateful to Gov. Romney for the honor of being his running mate," he said. "I look forward to spending some time with my family in the coming days and then continuing my responsibilities as chairman of the House Budget Committee and representative of Wisconsin's First Congressional District."
Ryan drew praise as the HBC chair after introducing his budget proposal, which became a controversial part of the Romney campaign when Ryan was announced as his running mate in August.
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