Democrats used to like Paul Ryan – can he really be as extreme as Democrats would like voters to believe?  Today, the Denver Post, and about 15 liberal activist groups came out swinging against Paul Ryan. 

We're going to take that as affirmation that they think he's a great pick – and are feeling a little nervous.  And, they should be.  Despite the Post's complaints that Ryan's "views…fall outside the mainstream", people like Paul Ryan.  And we're not just talking about Republicans.  Here are a few quotes about Paul Ryan from top Democrats:

Most effusive, of course, is former President Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles.  Just last year, Bowles told a crowd that "[Ryan] is amazing."

He further gushed:

"I always thought I was okay with arithmetic. This guy can run circles around me, and he is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget."  He continued, saying, ""I wish we had more people like Paul who are thinkers and do their homework."

(Side note: we hope that Andrea Mitchell's comments about Ryan not being a pick for the ladies have nothing to do with any kind of commentary on women's math skills.)  But, we'll get to that later.  Moving on.

Even Obama liked the guy in 2010, saying that Ryan had "made a serious proposal" with his budget.  While they disagreed on Medicare vouchers, the president agreed that deficit spending must be addressed.

And, President Clinton, who also had a tough time with entitlement program reforms offered his support to Ryan in 2011 in a "Call Me Maybe" moment.

It's kind of funny how opinions fall when a politician's star rises….