Rand's name keeps coming up now in the context of a national election. She's been dead 30 years. Much of what she wrote is more than 50 years old...
The Left accepts, as an absolute, that Rand is an Albotross around the neck of anyone who claims to admire her work, at least in their circles. They bring her up as a de facto accusation. They are convinced that they have convinced the Great Middle that Rand is poison incarnate.
They are attempting to de facto smear Ryan with the accusation of 'Randian' or even 'once Randian,' makes little difference.
Their calculus is as follows: 'Atlas Shrugged' and 'Fountanhead' are kind of thick. 'We the Living' kind of fringe, and 'Anthem' although short and to the point isn't going to be easily found if they don't point it out and they are not about to. Her non-fiction collection of essays are easy to demagogue and misrepresent because of their controversial titles; not just Virtue of Selfishness, but Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, because they accept as an absolute that Capitalism is Evil incarnate.
The sum of all that is, they have calculated that even though they are giving her free press and raising curiosity, they can head off most of those who have never read her with their mangled Cliff Notes version/re-interpretation of her words and keep them from actually making the effort to read her on their own.
Their calculus is they will win more then they lose in that battle, that more who don't know Rand will settle for what they are fed by the Left than will actually make the effort to read her.
Their abject fear and hatred of Rand is telling; she nailed their Jell-o to the wall, to the point they can only snarl and hiss whenever she is around, like vampires at a cross.
...and she's been dead for 30 years!
Meanwhile....maybe the kids won't notice The Hunger Games?
The Left has a lot of snickering and snarling to do, if they are going to successfully cling to the Table Top of History. So much of what drives the Left is pure existential terror, and Rand is the witch who haunts most of their terror filled nightmares, because she nailed them cold.