Rep. Paul Ryan is moving forward with his bid to be the next House speaker. After a closed-door session with the House Freedom Caucus, Ryan came away with more than 70% of the members in favor of him becoming the new speaker. Ryan had previously demanded 80% for an official endorsement, among other demands, but apparently will settle for 70% for the benefit of party unity.
“I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus,” Ryan said in a statement he tweeted out Wednesday night. “I look forward to hearing from the other two caucuses by the end of the week, but I believe this is a positive step toward a unified Republican team.”
“If I can be a unifying figure in our conference, I’m willing to step up and do that, it’s just that simple,” Ryan told reporters upon leaving the Capitol. “If not then it’s OK, I’ll go back to Ways and Means.”
For their part the House Freedom Caucus has been co-opted by the establishment Republicans and they may not even know it, and yes Ryan is a part of that coalition. the fact that Ryan would compromise his own demands proves once and for all that he really does want to be the speaker, but he wants it on his own terms.
The one thing that Ryan has proved through this process is that he is a master strategist and negotiator. he sold the conservatives in the house a bill of goods. In the process he has rendered the Freedom Caucus irrelevant.
John Boehner was not the right guy for the job when he took over. Ryan is not the right guy for the job at this time.
The fact that Ryan wants to vacate or limit the houses ability that allows any member to offer a “motion to vacate the chair” should tell America all you need to know about his intent and his character.