Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Paul Ryan, a Speaker with a Future Beyond Donald Trump

Bloomberg has published an article about House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying he's winning praise for his open, committee-based style, but that as more Republicans back Trump, pressure on him increases : "Eighteen days after declining to endorse Donald Trump, Paul Ryan is starting to look a little lonely....A long standoff over Trump risks trying Republicans’ patience, particularly if Ryan, slated to chair the party’s July nominating convention in Cleveland, doesn’t end up endorsing the billionaire." Representative Chris Collins, one of Trump’s earliest House supporters, told Bloomberg : "Mr. Trump is going to win. It would be better, sooner, to have Mr. Ryan on board. I also think that as the Speaker sees this enthusiasm from his members...his key committee chairs, and subcommittee chairs, coming on board -- that Mr. Ryan wants to get to yes." ~~~~~ This weekend, Ryan gave an interview to Politico, in which he describes being Speaker : "...you have to fight for what you believe in...work hard at getting something done...then the next day, do it all over again, and a lot of times with the same people....it's the ability to get over things, the ability to start from scratch again, and when you have conflicts with people, don't take them personally so that you can get back on a good footing to get something done the next week with the same person....that sense of professionalism and respect is important, and watching how [Speaker Boehner] did that is important. You always find yourself in a difficult situation in divided government. The question is, can you advance your principles...what I worried about was over-promising and under-delivering. That happened too much, and I think that's one of the reasons our party is having the problems it has." Ryan's open approach, empowering House committees, has won him goodwill. Tim Huelskamp, a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who openly opposed Boehner but under Ryan is a member of the powerful Steering Committee, compared Ryan to Boehner for Bloomberg : "I think it’s a significant improvement." Representative Tom Cole said : "It’s just a more open, accessible, easier style....if people disagree, they seem to disagree agreeably. I hear very few complaints about Paul Ryan’s style or him as a person." Cole noted that Ryan didn’t campaign for Speaker, so he doesn’t have to deliver on campaign promises : "The fact is, the job sought him, he didn’t seek the job. I mean, people know he could walk away..." ~~~~~ Ryan has his first big win in his six months as Speaker with the bipartisan Puerto Rico deal. Ryan's earlier wins on highway, education and government funding were negotiated by Boehner. But, the Puerto Rico agreement belongs to Ryan. It will restructure the island’s $70 billion debt, fulfilling a promise Speaker Ryan made to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democrats last December. It shows that Ryan’s approach to the Speakership works. Ryan let Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop lead talks with both Democrats and Republicans on his panel. But when negotiations bogged down, for example about the creation of an independent fiscal control board, Ryan stepped in as 'the closer.' Ryan spoke with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, as well as working with Pelosi. Democrats say Ryan is much more involved in day-to-day negotiations than he suggests. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle appreciate his communication, which they say is a significant improvement from Boehner. Bishop will mark up the Puerto Rico bill in his committee on Wednesday, before the Memorial Day recess. GOP leadership sources say a floor vote isn’t expected until after the break, but before July 1, when Puerto Rico would default on another $2 billion in payments. ~~~~~ Dear readers, while Ryan says he won't bet on a Trump win, he must know the Greek proverb : "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." Ryan's title is Speaker, but he is king in the GOP Trump-kingdom. At 46, he knows he can support Trump, but build his own future.


  1. Ryan’s predicament all along is that he can’t openly oppose Trump without undermining his political future, but he has had to appear reluctant to support Trump or risk being written off by the same media boosters that have supported him until now.

    Once he finally endorses, he’s bound to lose most of the latter. It is doubtful that he will win much goodwill from rank-and-file Republicans later on. Ryan has painted himself into this corner of the room called inevitable.

    1. Concerened CitizenMay 25, 2016 at 6:27 AM

      Let’s face it — *every* ambitious Republican politician is going to endorse Trump. None of them want to take the blame for Trump’s loss, if he loses, and if he wins, they don’t want to be on his bad side.

      The only real question will be how long they take to fall in line. Those that come late in their endorsements might as well stay home; their endorsement will be seen for just what it is – a feather blowing in the wind.

  2. Paul Ryan has a record of falling in line behind his party leadership. The same instinct not to rock the boat during the Bush years that made him a reliable vote for the previous administration’s costly and reckless agenda is the one that appears to be leading him to get behind Trump.

    It’s not a surprising choice for Ryan, but it will be amusing to see his fans in conservative media treat it as one. I have never understood Republican enthusiasm for Ryan, but it’s probably a phenomenon I won’t have to try to understand for much longer. Many of his admirers have presented him as some fiscal conservative hero that was completely at odds with his voting record for most of his career in the House, but a Trump endorsement will give them reason to remember every nuance that record in specific detail.

    Ryan has received such glowing coverage in conservative media for the last five years, but now I assume that this sort of coverage is going to lessen.

  3. We live in an upside down world. We are leaving our kids a world that defies description.

    We have this because of leadership that is all over the map pursuing their very own stands that will guarantee the continued election. From 2010 Paul Ryan has quietly slipped from a leader of direction and conscience to a politician needing reelection .

    He's a causality of the Neocon influence in the United States Congress.

    Such a shame