Although Kristen Powers from time to time wanders off the liberal reservation, I certainly didn’t expect her to come perilously close to a full-throated endorsement of Paul Ryan in her Daily Beast column.

Far from dismissing Ryan as “a radical,” Powers urges her Generation Screwed contemporaries to welcome him to the national stage:

Generation X chronicler Jeff Gordiner, has written that Gen-Xers suffer from “athazagoraphobia”—“an abnormal and persistent fear of being forgotten or ignored.” Except it’s not really a phobia; it’s been reality for a long time. Maybe that is about to change.

Enter Ryan. While Democrats attack his Medicare plan as “radical” and portray him as pushing granny off the cliff, young people don’t seem to be buying this caricature. Or maybe “radical” is what they want.

A Zogby/JZ Analytics poll Tuesday showed increased support among voters 18-29 for the Romney ticket, which pollster John Zogby attributed to the Ryan pick.  President Obama received just 49 percent of the youth vote, versus Romney’s 41 percent. (Obama took home 66 percent of the youth vote against McCain in 2008.)

Powers lives in Washington’s media world, and so it is not surprising that, despite her kind words for Ryan, she is under the (false, I think) impression that Ryan is frightening Baby Boomers and has no chance to win this go round. She may not realize that Ryan's plan doesn't change Medicare for anybody 55 or older. But Powers does think Ryan as a future:

But Ryan is young and is poised to be the intellectual leader of the conservative movement for the next generation.

He will be a force to be reckoned with. Name-calling and distortions of his plan by Democrats is not an effective long-term strategy, nor is it good for the country.

If you live in the echo chamber of Washington, you probably do think it is impossible for Ryan to survive the Democratic mud machine to win.

But most voters don’t live in Washington.

Still, kudos to Kristen Powers for not spouting talking points.