Ryan makes a smart move

Friday, October 23, 2015

By the time this editorial goes to print, the U.S. House of Representatives might have resolved the issue of who will serve in the role of House Speaker.

Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for Vice President in 2012 and current chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, at first flatly refused to consider seeking the position, but after pressure to serve as a unifying force in the Republican Party, Ryan set the conditions under which he would serve.

He does not want to deal with the hostility toward his leadership of the kind that drove the current speaker to announce his upcoming withdrawal from the position. He also wants to be able to spend time with his wife and three children rather than become totally immersed int the job of Speaker of the House.

The specifics of what he would require to take the position were laid out in a speech on Oct. 20, which was an apparent challenge to the contentious Freedom Caucus.

Ryan's demands are not likely to be met and he knows it. Ryan is only 45 and has apparent presidential aspirations. The reason for making a proposal that will likely be rejected is that he can always say that he had offered to step in and save the country before it descended into chaos but his expertise and leadership were rejected.

This is not just simply self-serving scheming. He really would need the concessions he is demanding to be effective in the job. He won't get them.