10 Reasons Ryan Shouldn’t Run for Speaker

Serving as Speaker of the House would hurt Ryan, his party and the country.

By - Oct 19th, 2015 02:40 pm
Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

Ten reasons why Paul Ryan should not take the Speaker’s job in the House of Representatives:

The Republican congressman from Janesville, Wisconsin has said he will not be a candidate for the speakership, but he is being pressured to do so. He is seen as a bridge between the Tea Party wing of the House and its establishment Republicans.

Reason One: For not succumbing to the pressure: It’s a dead-end job. When Robin Vos, the Republican speaker of the assembly in Wisconsin, recently asked if anyone could remember a speaker moving on to higher office, no one could. It’s a thankless job that results in a lot of political scar tissue. The speaker has to make hard calls, and that makes for more unhappy campers than supporters. The negative IOUs accumulate. How does it help Ryan if he has an eye on the U.S. Senate at some point in his career?

Reason Two: Ryan, 45, is a relatively young man who already has had a shot at the vice presidency. He could get that shot again in 2016 or 2020 from the position he is in. He doesn’t need to move up to speaker.

Reason Three: He may even have a shot at the presidency in 2020 or beyond. He doesn’t need to make enemies that the high profile speaker position inevitably incurs.

Reason Four: That is especially true in today’s GOP, where the uncompromising right wing eats raw meat. The meat is often the speaker’s flesh. They appear to want a weakened speaker.

Reason Five: His position as chair of House Ways and Means Committee is one of the most powerful positions in the federal government. In some ways, control of the purse strings provides more leverage on policy than does the speakership.

Reason Six: America would lose a major centrist talent if Ryan would get chewed up like John Boehner has as speaker

Reason Seven: The Tea Party wing will burn itself out over time. Their stridency is so disruptive to the Republican Party that it won’t wear well. They are more about opposition than creative proposition. Ryan is a problem solver, not an ideologue. He will be there for the long run. They will not. They only have 40 members in the Freedom Caucus now. As the old saw goes, timing is everything in politics.

Reason Eight: The nation’s fiscal and economic problems demand creative thinking. Ryan is an idea man (though he is dead wrong on wanting to take private employers out of health care management and reform), and he has the credibility to tackle tough issues like the national debt, budget deficits, and crushing and under-managed entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We need him as the leader of Ways and Means to deal with these intractable challenges.

Reason Nine: Ryan is one of the few bona fide conservatives who can work across the aisle. Two-party collaboration is needed to solve the nation’s biggest issues.

Reason Ten: Ryan has a young family, and he knows from his vice presidential run how much time away from home a leadership position or campaign entails. He can wait until his kids are older to take on a more demanding post. Voters will understand if for family reasons he passes on the speakership this time around.

Ryan is doing the same political calculus as he resists the pressure to take the job.

John Torinus is the chairman of Serigraph Inc. and a former Milwaukee Sentinel business editor who blogs regularly at

Categories: Politics, Torinus

8 thoughts on “Torinus: 10 Reasons Ryan Shouldn’t Run for Speaker”

  1. Barb-West Bend says:

    Paul Ryan is a disciple of atheist author, Ayn Rand. Her book, Atlas Shrugged, is a favorite of Mr. Ryan, and, at least in the past, he required his staff members to read that book. Rand’s books extol the virtue of selfishness. Her favorite dress pin was the dollar $ymbol. As an author she is the Saint of the Tea-Party. Ayn Rand had no problem with abortion, having availed herself of that service. Her marriage was a sham, having affairs with her young disciples. Although a great proponent of capitalism she didn’t invest her money in company stocks but kept it safe in FDIC insured banks. She was against the government but signed up for Medicare as soon as she was able. She died a lonely woman being cared for, not by family which she had alienated while still young, nor by long time dear friends, which she no longer had, but by a young disciple who moved in to care for her at the end.

    I read most of Ayn Rand’s books when a teenager and found them interesting, but her philosophy on the virtue of selfishness…along with reading her life story, convinced me she was no one I would wish to emulate.

    I wonder if Paul Ryan continues in his high regard for Ayn Rand and her philosophy of selfishness? Does Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness still have a strong impact on his way of governing?

    Some of my information on Ayn Rand came from Anne C. Heller’s book…”Ayn Rand and The World She Made.”

  2. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Ryan has the most powerful position in politics, setting policy fro the next 30 years. Why would he run fro senate. He is technocrat and will not run for president or governor, but policy wonk. Has said that he will nto be in politics next ten years from now.

  3. Kevin Baas says:

    I guess I don’t see how anything that hurts the Republican party hurts the country.

    If anything, their belligerent obstructionism in US Congress for the past decade has hurt the country immensely. Anything that can be done to get them out of congress so we can get it working again is a blessing.

  4. Kevin Baas says:

    @Barb-West Bend: I’m an atheist and I take offense to being associated with Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan.

    (Also, for the record, I’m an a-farie-est, a-unicornist, and not an astrologer.)

  5. Barb -West Bend says:

    Kevin, I apologize if I have offended you.

    I used the word atheist to point out that Rep. Ryan, a person who says his Catholic faith has great meaning for him, also stated Ayn Rand’s books strongly influenced his political views. IMO, neither the Catholic Church nor Pope Francis would commend Rand’s philosophy on the virtue of selfishness to Catholic parishioners.

  6. Kevin Baas says:

    @Barb -West Bend: And an atheist would? The offense is still there…

  7. Barb-West Bend says:

    Kevin…I stand corrected. Although Ayn Rand was an atheist that had nothing to do with her philosophy of selfishness. I am sorry I used the word atheist in this article. Atheism is a stance taken about a deity and it has nothing to do with the character of an individual. Please accept my apology.

  8. Kevin Baas says:

    Apology accepted. 🙂 Thanks.

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