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Ryan rocks Republicans with retirement

By POLITICO

The announcement creates a leadership vacuum for the party heading into a treacherous midterm electionRead full story

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  • A Quiz: Why is Paul Ryan retiring? Is it because:

    1) He is tired of his conservative wing complaining he’s compromising too much, his centrist wing complaining he doesn’t go far enough and Democrats thinking he’s a Trump stooge ? Or

    2) He’s a policy nerd and as House Speaker all he does is politics and its evil offspring, fundraising? Or

    3) He did not get the entitlement reform he dreamed about but he did pass his signature issue-tax reform, so why not hang it up with a single victory rather than

    A Quiz: Why is Paul Ryan retiring? Is it because:

    1) He is tired of his conservative wing complaining he’s compromising too much, his centrist wing complaining he doesn’t go far enough and Democrats thinking he’s a Trump stooge ? Or

    2) He’s a policy nerd and as House Speaker all he does is politics and its evil offspring, fundraising? Or

    3) He did not get the entitlement reform he dreamed about but he did pass his signature issue-tax reform, so why not hang it up with a single victory rather than possible big defeats? OR

    4) He’s tired of catching all the grenades Pres. Trump throws him? Or

    5) He thinks he will be minority leader next January? OR

    6) He never wanted to be Speaker in the first place but took it anyway because he has a strong party loyalty gene? OR

    7) He is tired of sleeping in his congressional office and showering in the congressional gym and wants to go home to Wisconsin to have a normal life? OR

    8) He’s 48 years old, he could earn more with less grief elsewhere so, why not take this job and shove it? (Please see John Boehner — provided he’s not too busy with his new job in the marijuana industry) OR

    9) He’s 48 years old, he could get back into politics if the temperature drops. (cautionary notes: Walter Mondale, Evan Bayh etc. etc.) ? Or

    10) His colleagues and the media have called him the smartest guy on Capital Hill. Maybe this proves it ? OR

    11) His kids are 16, 15 and 13. Tempus Fugit?

    The Answer is : Yes.

    In politics, as in much of life, nothing happens for just one reason .

  • Since the only thing that rebuilds any Congressional Republican’s backbone is retirement, perhaps Ryan will start speaking out against Trump and Trumpism? And what might be next? A trip to New Hampshire?

  • Ernie Sander
    Ernie SanderDirector of Platform Community at Quartz

    This is going to spark an epic battle among different factions of the GOP for control of that seat. It's also a sign of the stiff challenge Republicans see in the midterms. Under this administration, 25 Republicans have retired outright or resigned vs. 11 House Democrats. Some of those are a function of #MeToo and other pressures and social currents, but the disparity between the two parties also seems very much connected to Trump's low approval ratings and the lack of legislation from congress over

    This is going to spark an epic battle among different factions of the GOP for control of that seat. It's also a sign of the stiff challenge Republicans see in the midterms. Under this administration, 25 Republicans have retired outright or resigned vs. 11 House Democrats. Some of those are a function of #MeToo and other pressures and social currents, but the disparity between the two parties also seems very much connected to Trump's low approval ratings and the lack of legislation from congress over the past 18 months.

    One interesting question to debate is whether Ryan was as effective as he could have been in the last 18 months given the limitations on anyone's effectiveness under a president like Trump. He got his tax cut dream, but the balanced budget/shrinking government part has totally gone south. Were his hands tied by Trump or did he just fail to build the right coalitions in the GOP?

  • Paul Shi
    Paul ShiSoftware Engineer at CommonBond

    ...and the path is clear for Randy Bryce: the iron working, healthcare advocating, mustachioed democratic challenger!!!

  • Lilly Umana
    Lilly UmanaPolitical Science/Journalism Student

    Regardless of where you stand politically, this should be normal. We shouldn’t see individuals in office from their 30s or 40s and into their 80s. I hope we continue to see young people running for office and older politicians stepping down.

  • Taichi Fukai
    Taichi FukaiStudent at Waseda University

    < Politics >

    With all the Trump buzz and now this. From across the Pacific, it certainly does seem like the GOP is currently unable to maintain itself. If this is true, I do expect another House of Cards season, though.

  • Anthony Duignan-Cabrera
    Anthony Duignan-CabreraCEO at ADC Strategy

    Like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

  • Anyone think this could be a last ditch effort to disassociate himself from Trump before a presidential campaign?

  • Alvin W Jones
    Alvin W Jonesspecialist at paccar

    good riddance, should have been fired long ago

  • I wish I didn't cringe when a middle-aged politician says he wants to spend more time with his family. But I do, and I hope that's really his plan.

  • Jarret Berenstein
    Jarret BerensteinComedian | Author | Producer

    There are too many Rs in this headline and also in the government.

  • Bill Griffel
    Bill GriffelRetired Broker/CabDriver at Edward Jones

    The Washington DC Republicans have been suffering from tepid leadership. Yes, they got the tax bill enacted. However, they could’t cave fast enough when it came to appointing a special prosecutor to examine Russian collusion in the 2016 election and just about anything else that came down the pike. So far, what we have in the crime and misdemeanor department, is Stormy Daniels. And again, Republicans blinked when they went along with yet another continuing budget resolution that raised social spending

    The Washington DC Republicans have been suffering from tepid leadership. Yes, they got the tax bill enacted. However, they could’t cave fast enough when it came to appointing a special prosecutor to examine Russian collusion in the 2016 election and just about anything else that came down the pike. So far, what we have in the crime and misdemeanor department, is Stormy Daniels. And again, Republicans blinked when they went along with yet another continuing budget resolution that raised social spending as much as defense spending. On this occasion, they could have called out the Democrat’s time-worn tactic of agreeing to increase defense spending, but only if there is an equal increase in social spending. Lost was the chance to hold social spending at current levels while giving the Democrats the opportunity to think hard about whether or not, in this day and age, they wanted to be seen as voting against defense.

  • Well, I'm glad to see it wasn't just me that was left wondering if Trump had an indirect hand in this.

    He's right to not want to spend time way from his family and spin his wheels in an office that is single-minded and unwelcoming. Not long ago, he was a fresh face to the weathered Republican party. He seemed to approach public service with vigor and optimism, (infamously fueled by P90x). Today, I admire his integrity and courage to raise a white flag, but it's a shame that it came down to this.

  • Between Scalise's statement of deferment and President Trump's support for Kevin McCarthy, I think he'll finally get the Speaker seat he's wanted for a while. Given his past voting positions, I think we can expect an overall harder line on many classically Republican positions than we saw from Ryan.

  • Ajay Desai
    Ajay DesaiDirector of Strategy at The A.I. Company

    I have had a growing respect for Speaker Ryan's demeanor in the past year or so. How one can remain so calm in a sea of green politicos that know or respect little of the checks and balances has been amazing. From his speeches and engagements with the tech industry I felt he was on his way to a presidential run, which still could be the case, he's young, and seasoned enough to understand the vicious seasons of regret the old dogs have.....but perhaps he is thinking forward, realizing that time off

    I have had a growing respect for Speaker Ryan's demeanor in the past year or so. How one can remain so calm in a sea of green politicos that know or respect little of the checks and balances has been amazing. From his speeches and engagements with the tech industry I felt he was on his way to a presidential run, which still could be the case, he's young, and seasoned enough to understand the vicious seasons of regret the old dogs have.....but perhaps he is thinking forward, realizing that time off will allow him to make the smart moves necessary to run in 2020. I would love to see a Ryan Huntsman ticket.

  • Mimi Repucci
    Mimi RepucciGreen Drake Development LLC

    At 16, 15 and 13 has anyone asked his kids if they want to spend more time with HIM? Having parented children through those years I can say from experience those are the years they least want Mom and Dad around!

  • Tom Green Jr.
    Tom Green Jr.

    In all honesty I think he got sick of it. His rhetoric changed dramatically after he took the position. And I don’t think it was because he sold out like many of my colleagues believe. I think he was handed an impossible mission. To try to be the mediator between the establishment and the Conservative party. He tried his best but there’s only so much you can do. I hope he enjoys his time with his family and wish him further success. Pray for wisdom in the selection of a new Speaker. They’ll need it.

  • Ryan’s dream was to overhaul SS and Medicare. Sad that he’s not going to see that...nor will any of us for that matter.

  • Mike Mel
    Mike Mel

    How about he simply is getting sucked down the swamp drain. No great loss!!!

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