Despite refusing to run many times, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has officially entered the race to be Speaker of the House, the position third in line for the Presidency.
Ryan had declined previously saying he could serve America better in his current position as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. But when heir apparent Kevin McCarthy of California had difficulty gaining sufficient support in the Republican Caucus, he bowed out, leaving the party in a lurch. Encouragement to Mr. Ryan to enter the race came from all sides including current Speaker John Boehner and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
But Ryan wouldn’t budge.
A major stumbling block had been the Freedom Caucus, a group of 38 conservative Congressmen who vowed to refuse endorsement of a candidate who they felt did not support their principles. According to their mission statement, “we support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.” They had supported Daniel Webster of Florida.
However in closed-door negotiations, Ryan insisted on unity from the Republican Party before he would enter the race. He also insisted on a change of rules making the Speakership less vulnerable to the short terms whims that almost unseated John Boehner earlier this year. Plus he insisted he be allowed more time with his family and less time on the road than is expected from a Speaker.
Ryan now has supermajority support from the Freedom Caucus and apparently has received satisfactory answers to his other demands.
Author’s note: We believe Mr. Ryan’s chances of being elected are now nearly 100%. Having followed his philosophies on balancing the Federal budget, we are relieved.