Is Paul Ryan Reconsidering a Run for Speaker?

Is Paul Ryan Reconsidering a Run for Speaker?

Is Paul Ryan Reconsidering a Run for Speaker?

In a scene that plays out with all the dramatics of a struggle against the Empire, politicians and conservatives have begun to grovel at the feet of a certain Wisconsin Representative; “Help us, Paul Ryan, you’re our only hope.” We all wait with bated breath, will Obi-Wan Kenobi convince Luke Skywalker to join him on a mission to deliver the information ridden R2 unit to Leia’s father on Alderaan will Paul Ryan accept?

Washington (CNN)Rep. Paul Ryan has repeatedly indicated he is not running for speaker of the House, even as heavy hitters — including retiring Speaker John Boehner — urge him to reconsider.

But Thursday night, it looks like Ryan may be changing his tune.

As of last night, Speaker Boehner was urging the former vice president hopeful to fill his shoes, and allegedly Mitt Romney had plans to make a call of encouragement, as well. Frank Luntz even made a statement deserving of a dramatic film score, “If Paul Ryan says no, God help us.” Alright, maybe that’s a bit far, but you get the gist.

News that Ryan cleared his schedule and canceled fundraisers only added to the chatter he could change his mind. A source close to Ryan told CNN he is still a hard no on running, and simply didn’t want to raise money at this “frantic time.”

Along with Boehner, Deputy Majority Whip Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, are also personally encouraging Ryan to change his mind. Both said Ryan is the clear choice to unite the party — and Cole said Boehner is well aware of that. Both are moderate Republicans in the inner circle of current leadership, including Boehner.

It’s all about Paul Ryan today:

He even has support from one of the most trusted names in politics: Trey Gowdy.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who has insisted he won’t run for speaker, said this week that he would select Ryan for the job “if I had one draft choice.”

“To me, just speaking as one member, the smartest kid in the class is Paul Ryan,” Gowdy told the Washington Post on Tuesday.

So far his opponents would be Daniel Webster (R-Fla), and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), and we can just imagine how they feel today…

After adamantly denying any interest in being Speaker, could Paul Ryan be changing his mind? Is he mulling over the possibility? According to some sources, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Paul Ryan is seriously considering a bid for House speaker. He’s consulting his wife, Janna, and should make a definitive decision soon, according to top GOP sources.

Despite repeatedly and sincerely insisting he doesn’t want the job, the Wisconsin congressman is under intense and increasing pressure from all corners of the House Republican Conference to assume a position that puts him second in the presidential line of succession.

James K. Polk - The only President that ever served as Speaker
James K. Polk – The only President that ever served as Speaker

But what exactly could keep Ryan from picking up the gavel? Well, he has stated that due to his young family, the demands of the job would be more than he’s willing to sacrifice; particularly the campaigning. However, there’s more to it than that. The job of Speaker is unforgiving, and it requires the levelheadedness unbecoming of the “freedom caucus” constantly in search of a soul to burn. Ryan, at 45, is still young, and he still has time to run for President – a lot of time.

Additionally, Ryan may have a vast number of other aspirations.

What’s really behind this Hamlet act: Taking the job requires that Ryan gamble his political future on his own ability to break the fever gripping House Republicans. Though he’s been in Congress for 17 years, Ryan is only 45-years-old. That means he has another two or three decades on the national stage, if he plays his cards right. Ryan wants to take the lead in writing tax reform with the next Republican White House. He’s also never actually held an elected leadership position, so it’s not clear that he can herd cats; he likes to devise policy, something that’s not really part of the speaker’s job description.

Ryan is careful and plays it safe, the position of Speaker is like leaping off a cliff with a parachute that only has about a 25% chance of opening. There is a large number of people in the country who are unaware how votes in The House work, and if something doesn’t go their way, the Speaker is the first to be crucified – and that’s after they google what his name is. To add insult to injury, representatives rarely have the Speaker’s back. While cursed with an increased level of responsibility, the Speaker is also cursed with being the fall guy; I can agree that many times the title is well earned. Yet many feel that lovable Paul is still the perfect match for a Republican President come 2017.

Working with a Republican President in 2017, he would be a consequential Speaker. In a more high-profile role, he could also better steer Republicans away from the anti-growth economics that is on the rise as the Trump-Cruz faction turns not merely against immigration but also free trade and entitlement reform.”

As of right now, everything is up in the air. However, Paul has turned his “no” into “no comment.”

But then the arm-twisting began. When asked later in the day whether he would run for speaker, Ryan said, “I have no comment.”

We’ll keep you up-to-date on how everything progresses. It is yet to be seen if the pressure from conservatives and colleagues will change the young politician’s mind; will Luke Skywalker join Obi Wan? Let us know what your thoughts are, and who your choice for Speaker would be.

 

UPDATE:

Brendan Buck, Ryan’s communications director, said “Chairman Ryan appreciates the support he’s getting from his colleagues but is still not running for Speaker.”

Looks like he’s still not in the race!

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12 Comments
  • Kate says:

    Run Paul, run!

  • Jodi Giddings says:

    My rep, Raul Labrador, is part of the Freedom Caucus, and I’m proud of him for pushing back against what many of us out here see as tone-deaf reps towing the elitist/Barack Obama line. I’m not a “whacko bird,” to borrow McCain’s insult. I’m a firm believer in our Constitution and small, unobtrusive government. If I thought he had a chance, I’d support Labrador for Speaker. The Founders were far wiser than most of the men and women currently running this nation into the ground…whether it be in a NASCAR, or in a lumbering RV. The end result is the same.

    I have mixed feelings about Ryan. That said: He’d be light years better than either Boehner or McCarthy, and smarter than the two of them…combined.

    • Marybeth Glenn says:

      I think there are a few good apples in the Freedom Caucus, but also agree with a statement I heard this morning from a GOP strategist: “Leadership is to blame for never identifying any hill worth dying on. Freedom Caucus types to blame for only being interested in dying.”

      • Jodi Giddings says:

        Agreed on the former, though I disagree a bit on the latter. Boehner needed to be culled, for example, because he refused to fight for anything (or maybe the NSA had photos, who knows!). And McCarthy was a train wreck. For more than one reason that I won’t elaborate on. I think it will work out for the best in the end. We shall see. 😉

  • Kate says:

    We are not a lockstep party. I don’t agree with him on every position but he IS a leader, fighter, disciplined messenger, and would hold the respect of the members.

    It’s also bullsh*t that he isn’t a conservative.

    • Jodi Giddings says:

      Agreed. And that’s a good thing. Current leadership seems to demand Pelosi-esque unity, or be punished, which is essentially punishing the voters who elected them. While I have mixed feelings, I think Ryan could unite all factions. And we need that asap. There are only a very small handful who can.

  • It’s a sad day and a blind day when the only people who are willing to fight for conservative principles (with precious few exceptions) are identified as the problem. Then again, the founders were a problem to the Tories, too. What we really need is a ’92-style purge of the House and someone with the fire of a ’92-era Gingrich to lead them. Most likely, such a leader would come from the Freedom caucus.

  • At a 57% score from the Heritage Foundation, Ryan is not very conservative, if conservative at all. For more information, see this. You want the GOP to get behind a guy with 57%? Geesh, talk about clutching defeat from the jaws of victory! He’s below even the House average score! Wake up!

  • Brat says:

    I have huge respect for Paul Ryan, but I really hope he does NOT take the Speaker job. I have read that he feels he is being useful on the Ways and Means.

    I am sure he’d be great as Speaker BUT he does have a young family, and I honestly feel he should not sacrifice them for the Speaker job, which seems very demanding.

    As I said on FB, will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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