Paul Ryan not to run again

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Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-04-12 12:22am

Reuters
Senior House Republican Ryan to quit in latest Washington upheaval
Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell

(Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek re-election and will leave his post at the start of 2019, further unsettling a Republican Party rocked by Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency ahead of November's pivotal congressional elections.

Ryan, who has had an often-strained relationship with Trump but helped the president achieve his biggest legislative victory in the form of major tax cuts in December, made the announcement on Wednesday, portraying it as a decision to spend more time with his family after serving two decades in the House.

His action sets up a distracting House leadership succession struggle while Republicans are trying to fend off Democratic efforts to seize control of Congress in the mid-term elections.

"You realize something when you take this job," said Ryan, who reluctantly agreed to become speaker in 2015. "It's a big job with a lot riding on you, and you feel it. But you also know that this is a job that does not last forever."

Asked how much Trump and his conduct in office influenced his decision not to seek re-election for his seat representing a district in southeastern Wisconsin, Ryan told reporters, "Not at all."

Ryan's announcement marked the latest upheaval in Washington in the second year of Trump's presidency, following the firings and resignations of a series of senior White House officials and Cabinet members.

In 2016, Trump slammed Ryan as a "very weak and ineffective leader." But on Wednesday, Trump wrote on Twitter: "Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!"

Ryan was scheduled to dine with Trump on Wednesday evening with other Republican congressional leaders.

Besides holding the top House post, Ryan's resume includes a failed run as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012. His retirement has stoked speculation he could be eyeing a presidential campaign in 2020 or beyond, potentially putting him in competition with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.

The House speaker is second in the line of presidential succession, after the vice president.
I wonder if he voluntarily left because he knew he couldn't win with the current direction the Republican party was taking, or if he was pushed out.

Thoughts?
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-04-12 04:11am

Seems like a calculated maneuver to distance himself from the current shitshow.

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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-12 06:48am

The trick is that historically, Speaker of the House has been one of those positions that comes at the end of a political career. If Ryan tries to get back into the game after "the current shitshow" has blown over, he may be unable to do so.

Plus, the shitshow isn't going to be over at least until 2021, because the 2020 presidential election will be a referendum on Trump even if Trump is somehow persuaded or forced not to run for the presidency in 2020.
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-04-12 01:42pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-12 06:48am
Plus, the shitshow isn't going to be over at least until 2021, because the 2020 presidential election will be a referendum on Trump even if Trump is somehow persuaded or forced not to run for the presidency in 2020.
This has been such a shitshow that 2020 is going to be a referendum on Trump even if he's not even president by that point, regardless of whether that hypothetical is the result of impeachment, resignation, an invocation of the 25th Amendment, or a massive coronary caused by his almost comically unhealthy lifestyle.

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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-12 03:48pm

Yes, that's what I said. "Forced not to run," e.g. by being in jail, having already died, having already resigned, having been kicked out by his cabinet in a grand act of "fuck you, no, YOU'RE fired!"
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-12 04:13pm

Pretty sure Ryan is just getting while the gettin's good. He got his massive tax cuts passed, he doesn't give a shit about much of anything else, he knows the Republican odds are probably going to be dismal this fall, John Boehner is going to start selling weed (no joke) and maybe he's getting a piece of that action...
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-04-12 09:54pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-12 06:48am
The trick is that historically, Speaker of the House has been one of those positions that comes at the end of a political career. If Ryan tries to get back into the game after "the current shitshow" has blown over, he may be unable to do so.
The other trick is that Paul Ryan has been, IIRC, one of the youngest Speakers of the House in US history. I don't think there's any inherent reason Speaker of the House marks the end of one's career, other than that historically it is a position often held by politicians who have already been around in some capacity for 10-20 years, whereas Paul Ryan became Speaker at a young enough age, that we can reasonably expect him to continue to hold public office. I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see him make a run for Governor or Senator.

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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-13 08:01am

It's possible, but historically American politics has been unkind to people who stepped down or bowed out and hoped to make a comeback later. There are exceptions, but the ones I can think of involved people with a lot more charisma and relatively weak opposition.
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by houser2112 » 2018-04-13 08:05am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2018-04-12 09:54pm
it is a position often held by politicians who have already been around in some capacity for 10-20 years
According to Wikipedia, he has represented the Wisconsin 1st congressional district since 1999 (19 years).

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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-04-13 01:19pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-13 08:01am
It's possible, but historically American politics has been unkind to people who stepped down or bowed out and hoped to make a comeback later. There are exceptions, but the ones I can think of involved people with a lot more charisma and relatively weak opposition.
It seems to me that it isn't terribly uncommon for members of Congress to step down to pursue Governorships, for example, or for Governors to step down to pursue a Senate seat. It's not like he is stepping down in the face of public pressure or scandal, for example (although he also hasn't publicly announced that it is specifically for the purpose of pursuing a different political position, I grant). I don't have the patience to look through every single possible case in US history, but it doesn't seem to me that it is all that unusual for someone to step down from one political position and later assume another high profile one. I mean, Newt Gingrich stepped down as Speaker of the House under far more dire circumstances than Paul Ryan is, and his political career hasn't exactly ended; he is widely respected as an elder statesman in conservative circles, and was a legitimate contender for being the Republican nominee for president not that long ago.

On a bit of a sidenote, I do think it is an interesting exercise to look back at the past Speakers of the House and how their careers ended. Of the 10 pre-Paul Ryan Speakers, I count a rather astonishing 7 that had to leave the position essentially in disgrace for one reason another, often due to ethics investigations/scandals or pressure from their own party. And of those 7 only Gingrich had any sort of political career afterwards. Of the remaining 3: Sam Rayburn died in office, Nancy Pelosi became Minority Leader because the Democrats lost the House, and Tip O'Neill retired while still maintaining a sterling reputation. It seems like the modern history of the position has been rather toxic.
According to Wikipedia, he has represented the Wisconsin 1st congressional district since 1999 (19 years).
Fair enough, but I still think the main point being that Paul Ryan is still relatively young, so I don't think it's a fair comparison to a, say, Tom Foley, whose political career was essentially over after being Speaker of the House at almost two decades Ryan's senior.

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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-13 01:31pm

If Newt Gingrich was that "respected" you'd think he'd have gotten further in the last couple Presidential elections than he did. There's no question that he does command some respect among the Republican establishment, but overall I don't think people care about him that much. Having four marriages didn't help his profile in the 'family values' party either.

Ryan is... what... late fifties old? He's got a couple more decades ahead if he really wants to stay in politics. I can definitely see a run for Governor in a term or two; Scott Walker has been highly unpopular in Wisconsin of late and the Republicans will probably lose the next cycle there, but the one after might be fair game.

I suspect that in the short run at least though he'll take a break. If nothing else, to avoid the taint of being associated with the Trump administration.
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-13 03:06pm

The big problem is that Ryan will always be vulnerable to attack ads aimed at his flip-flop on Trump. Mixing some video clips of him saying bad things about Trump in the 2016 primary, combined with select bits from during the Trump administration, will always be a cheap easy way to take a shot at him... And it's going to be MORE effective in ten or twenty years. At that time, a lot of the people who now think Trump is the shit will be dead, and a lot of the people who think Trump is just plain shit will be more active than today.
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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-04-13 08:08pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-13 01:31pm
If Newt Gingrich was that "respected" you'd think he'd have gotten further in the last couple Presidential elections than he did. There's no question that he does command some respect among the Republican establishment, but overall I don't think people care about him that much. Having four marriages didn't help his profile in the 'family values' party either.
Um, the "last couple Presidential elections"? Gingrich has only run for president once, in 2012. This past cycle he was an adamant Trump supporter, and in fact had for a while been a possibility for Trump's running mate. In 2012, didn't win the nomination, but it's not like he was some obscure fringe candidate with no real shot at the nomination (e.g. Gary Johnson in 2012, Jim Gilmore and others in 2016). IIRC before the primaries he had been considered one of the favorites to get the nomination, even if he ended up flaming out. I'm not trying to argue he is some great statesman or really important politician, only point out that it's not like he has been a complete non-entity/failure since his tenure as Speaker of the House. Granted, it's not the most impressive resume, but it's not like his career ended in disgrace the way several other former Speakers have.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-13 01:31pm
Ryan is... what... late fifties old?
He is 48. Which is why I keep emphasizing how young he is. 48 is still quite young for a career politician. Younger by about a decade than Gingrich was when he left office.
Simon Jester wrote:The big problem is that Ryan will always be vulnerable to attack ads aimed at his flip-flop on Trump. Mixing some video clips of him saying bad things about Trump in the 2016 primary, combined with select bits from during the Trump administration, will always be a cheap easy way to take a shot at him... And it's going to be MORE effective in ten or twenty years. At that time, a lot of the people who now think Trump is the shit will be dead, and a lot of the people who think Trump is just plain shit will be more active than today.
I'm not so sure I follow why it would be MORE effective in ten or twenty years, when Trump becomes more widely reviled than he is today. Perhaps under some doomsday scenario for the Republican Party where everyone even vaguely associated with Trump has become persona non grata in American politics, which isn't outside the realm of plausibility, but also represents such a major paradigm shift that it seems unfair to single out Ryan specifically. It seems to me the more realistic scenario is that Trump and some of his closest cronies have been purged from politics, but that the more mainline Republican Party endures, than Ryan's more outspoken stance against Trump works in his favor, since it will be argued he was a man of principle who worked to oppose Trump.

I'm not saying the flip-flop angle isn't a valid one that the opposition would surely take, it just doesn't seem to me that it will have that outsize an impact in 10-20 years, even if it does in the short term.

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Re: Paul Ryan not to run again

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-13 11:28pm

Basically, the attack ad's line is "Ryan was for Trump when it mattered and only against him for personal power, and helped Trump on many occasions, when he could have restrained Trump's stupidity."

Within the Republican Party this may not work out so well, but it's going to be very hard for Ryan to make a case for himself as a "principled opponent" of Trump's in a way that passes the laugh test.
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