Differing Views of Paul Ryan's Departure

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As House Republicans poured out of the closed-door meeting where Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told them he won't run for re-election this year, there was a constant theme: Things are on track.

"I suspect that the pressures and the contention in the Republican caucus in the House and probably also the strained relationship he has with the President and his administration just ultimately came to be more than he wanted to deal with", said Assistant Professor of History and Political Science Bill Miller.

Wisconsin House Speaker Robin Vos, who has championed Republican Gov. Scott Walker's agenda, decided not to run.

Ryan's relinquishing of one of the most powerful positions in Washington left Republicans reeling Thursday over not just who will replace him but whether Ryan's lame-duck status will jeopardize the GOP's pitch to voters and donors, and worsen their chance of keeping the majority.

First, House Republicans will nearly certainly lose seats in the midterm elections; the only real question is how many.

"At that point we'll know if we're going to elect a Republican or Democratic speaker", he said.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Other Republicans, such as New York Rep. Peter King, expressed wariness about the bid by conservatives, who've pressed the party not to compromise with Democrats. Staunch conservatives such as Jordan and Meadows tend to represent Republican strongholds, and so they likely will end up with greater influence within the GOP House ranks.

And while Mr Bannon's ouster previous year suggested the establishment was striking back, other signals defied that narrative.

Now that McCarthy's on the inside track for speakership, expect his fundraising to pick up even more, analysts say.

"They're middle of the road in temperament, and I think that no matter what happens in November, that's a big brain drain and loss of experience in Congress for the Republican Party", said Dr Matthew Green, a Catholic University professor who has taught on politics in the age of Trump.

But a top GOP fundraiser, Eric Tanenblatt, expects Ryan to remain a force in a tough cycle. Vos did not immediately return telephone or text messages. AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman, didn't respond to an email seeking comment on her boss' potential future employment.

Democrat Randy Bryce, a colorful ironworker who has cultivated an "IronStache" moniker, had been Ryan's best-known challenger, drawing liberal support from around the country. That includes $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2018. The only declared Republicans are Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year for posts criticized as racist or anti-Semitic, and Nick Polce, an Army veteran who also co-owns a security consulting firm. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader, is seen as a leading contender. Others have suggested that an ideal job for the policy wonk could be running a think tank, noting the leader of the conservative American Enterprise Institute recently announced he would be stepping down.

Rep. Tyler August, speaker pro tempore of the state Assembly, announced today he will not run for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Paul Ryan, and instead will run for re-election.

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