One way or another, we’ll see someone new as House Leader this time next year.
That’s because, after having been VP candidate, House Leader, and political whipping boy by critics from all sides, Paul Ryan is stepping down.
Statement from Brendan Buck, counselor to Speaker Ryan:
“This morning Speaker Ryan shared with his colleagues that this will be his last year as a member of the House. He will serve out his full term, run through the tape, and then retire in January. After nearly twenty years in the House, the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father. While he did not seek the position, he told his colleagues that serving as speaker has been the professional honor of his life, and he thanked them for the trust they placed in him. He will discuss his decision at a press conference immediately following the member meeting.”
You can be sure that this will serve as a political Rorschach test for observers on either side of the aisle. Some will paint it as gloom-and-doom for the Republican party’s odds in the Midterms, others will say it has more to do with Ryan’s own relationship with Trump — and spin that into whichever pro- or anti-Trump narrative suits them best.
Ryan, 48, was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012, and has long harbored presidential ambitions. Friends say he could make another run in the future.
Friends say that after Ryan passed tax reform, his longtime dream, he was ready to step out of a job that has become endlessly frustrating, in part because of President Trump.
Friends say Ryan was contemplating a minority or slim majority and decided that there was no good time to leave — it was time for at least a stint in private life.
What comes next: The two most likely to replace him are Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, though Scalise has said he won’t run against McCarthy, who appears to have first bite at the apple.
Either way, he’s spent a good 20 years in office. We frankly wish more politicians would step out of those stuffy offices in DC and into the sunshine of the real world.
We could do with fewer angry octogenarian trolls and harpies who have been in elected office for a tenure that could be measured in generations, rather than years.
Yes, Maxine, we’re looking at you, but not JUST you.
But maybe you have a strong opinion about his leaving, good or bad.
How do you feel about Ryan stepping down?
by Doug Giles
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