Paul Ryan is going home, and history has its eyes on him

Paul Ryan will easily add to his already considerable net worth if he opts to stray from his native Wisconsin to join a corporate board or dabble in Washington power struggles when he retires next year as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Whether that spells longterm GOP success in policymaking, diplomacy and at the ballot box remains unclear. I discussed the positive effects of these reforms with Ryan at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference.

But he has also been forced to answer for a constant stream of provocations and slights from President Donald Trump, and his retirement announcement was no exception.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who is technically third in command in the United States behind only the president and vice president, announced he will not run for reelection in November.

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, also dismissed the argument that him remaining speaker until year's end would damage party efforts to keep its House majority as "just internal D.C. gossip".

"It's no longer firmly in their control", history professor Michelle Nickerson, of Loyola University in Chicago, told AFP.

"At 48, I don't see him going to work right away as a lobbyist, though he certainly is capable of that", said Reynolds, a senior policy adviser at Holland & Knight LLP. "There's a willingness" to embrace populism.

Trump offered well wishes on Twitter before a dinner with Republican congressional leaders, including McCarthy and Scalise, at the White House. The Trumpian revolution, which Ryan had long resisted, appeared to have claimed another victory, dispatching another occasional critic and reaffirming the president's growing hold on a shrinking electoral coalition. The futility of Ryan's resistance, Cillizza surmised, stemmed from the fact that "there is still considerable peril in openly breaking with Trump", who "remains very, very popular with people who voted for him".

Some critics see Ryan as a Trump enabler, denying his own fiscal austerity convictions to lead the charge on a $1.3 trillion Trump-backed spending bill that passed Congress last month. "So I will be setting new priorities in my life".

Ryan announced April 11 he won't seek re-election this year but will finish the year as the top Republican in the House.

They include prominent traditionalists like Senator Bob Corker, congressmen Ed Royce, Bob Goodlatte, and centrists Charlie Dent and Dave Reichert.

"There is nobody who's comes close to being able to raise the kind of funds I have and still can raise for this majority", Ryan said. "And we think the smart thing to do is to stay an intact leadership team", he said. "November is going to be really telling". Jordan is a leader of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus.

Three years later, Ryan was pulled into the leadership job by the abrupt retirement of Speaker John Boehner. Brendan Buck, counselor to the speaker, said Ryan would "run through the tape" by fundraising for other conservatives and passing legislation. The real challenge to winning, he said, will be sustaining the Democratic enthusiasm into the fall.

But if change is the only constant, Trumpism itself might soon be under threat. Last August he told a CNN forum that the president "messed up" his original response to the racist violence in Charlottesville.

But Trump still won, not just the nomination but the White House, with a campaign that cast immigrants as inherently devious snakes and encouraged public displays of anger at protesters and the press.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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