Monday, 16 July, 2018

Who'll follow Paul Ryan as speaker? Contest hums below radar

House Paul Ryan speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S House Paul Ryan speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S
Lisa Bryan | 16 April, 2018, 11:57

"Paul Ryan is the single least popular political leader in the country", said Jeb Fain, a spokesman for the Democrat-supporting House Majority PAC, before Ryan announced his retirement. The political fallout may not be so easy to control.

The California congressman described by one House Republican aide as "your favorite fraternity brother"-apparently a compliment- was the leading candidate to replace outgoing speaker John Boehner in 2015 before he abruptly withdrew his name from the race, ostensibly because he wanted a "new face" to unite the party and possibly in response to salacious rumors about his personal life, never since proven or disproven, that were meant to torpedo his candidacy". The sort of opportunism that allowed many in his conference to un-endorse and then re-endorse presidential candidate Trump is the same opportunism that ignores the mass murder of children from gun violence and supports accused sexual predators for Senate. Now some wonder aloud if the GOP grip on the House majority is already lost.

At his news conference, Ryan was required by journalists to acknowledge the trillion-dollar annual budget holes that a supposedly conservative Congress and administration have helped create.

All of the Capitol Hill palace intrigue will focus on two things: how Ryan's retirement is the last nail in the coffin of the GOP majority and who will jockey for the vacant positions as all the existing critters seek promotions up the rungs of the leadership latter. The man who was formerly described as the "intellectual center" of the Republican Party has bowed out to a smattering of applause, from those cognizant of what could have been. Leadership is merely a reflection of the broader party, which will never work for us under its current structure, ideas, and messaging.

On some level the impact is symbolic. At the retreat in Austin, Texas, Ryan was opaque about his plans for 2018, saying that he and his wife, Janna, would confer in the coming weeks to make a decision, according to two people who attended the gathering.

Ryan joins a parade of legislators - majority Republicans - who've said they have had enough, one way or another, and will give up their seats. This is why he had to push back against suspicions that he is leaving before a political deluge engulfs House Republicans this fall. I wouldn't believe every politician who said he was leaving office to spend more time with his children, but I believe Mr. Ryan. "Democrats are going to walk a mile on broken glass to vote against the president".

Yet Mic.com didn't present an alternative to Pfeiffer's claim; indeed, Ryan's call for Medicaid block grants would preserve the program for the needy while helping reduce healthcare inflation.

The retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan is the biggest political news story this week, but in the scheme of things, it is of very little effect, based on the trajectory of the Republican Party. She said Ryan has given "his all" to a job that's more a lifestyle than a job. Not minority leader, please note. The midterm is expected to be tougher, and costlier, than ever, especially amid the expanding battleground of open seats, which usually lack the built-in campaign apparatus of incumbency.


"It injects some more uncertainty to be sure", said the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas. He pointed to Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), one of the few GOP women of color in Congress. "Wisconsin voters know he's spent his time as Governor chasing national celebrity at the cost of Wisconsin's middle class families, and no level of blaring alarm bells can change that".

Ryan's allies insist the party's top fundraiser and champion of a crisp GOP message remains in full force.

Ryan's deferential relationship with Trump unsafe to America's political healthWisconsin Republicans' golden boy and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is once again under fire for his deference to Read...

Ryan endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to succeed him as speaker.

McCarthy's biggest challenge is the same one that bedeviled Paul Ryan: appeasing the Freedom Caucus wingnuts, who have long viewed him with suspicion as insufficiently conservative for their tastes.

Already discord is showing.

My choice would be Jim Jordan.

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