Ryan Agrees That Budget Deal Hurts His Chances To Be President
In a post several days ago, I listed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as one of the losers of the budget deal because it hurt his chances to become the GOP presidential nominee in 2016.
It now appears that Ryan agrees with that assessment. Yesterday, Ryan said publicly for the first time what many had been speculating privately for some time -- that he wants to be chairman of the Ways and Means Committee rather than president. He plans to pursue it when the current chairman -- Dave Camp (MI) -- is term-limited out of the post at the end of 2014.
This makes sense politically. Ryan hurt himself badly with one of the key groups of Republican primary voters when he put the budget deal together. His sins were that he (1) collaborated with the enemy by compromising with Democrats, (2) agreed to a deal that increases revenues and (3) agreed to a deal that increases spending. Even with the 2016 primaries being years away, that treachery was always going to be a political albatross for Ryan.
Running for Ways and Means chairman is different because Ryan will only need a majority of the House GOP caucus. His colleagues are less likely to oppose him than the tea party voters in the primaries because he most likely won't have a challenger and not supporting the probable next leader of the tax-writing committee is not usually good for your district.