Paul Ryan announced today that he won’t be running for re-election.
If I was in Trump’s shoes right now, I’d prepare for a Ryan challenge in 2020.
Here’s my read of the situation. Paul Ryan is known as a moderate Republican. Paul Ryan sees that the Trump Administration is an absolute disaster, a sinking ship, and he is bailing. Who wouldn’t?! Last night, Erick Erickson wrote about meandering through a Safeway with a disgruntled Representative who cussed his way through a Trump critique: “"It's like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really f*cking stupid Forrest Gump.” Republicans are terrified with a clear reality that they will lose the House this year, and they’re starting to focus everything on gaining seats in the Senate.
But I think he’s not only bailing. He’s preparing to lead the mutiny, and we are going to see a Ryan primary run soon. I don’t think he wants his legacy to be a Trump enabler (which he is). I will never forget the late nights he stayed up stripping 23 million Americans of their healthcare and the way he turned his back on undocumented youth and their families. But if he did run, he may have a good shot at grabbing the nomination away and it would all depend on how hard the GOP is willing to challenge Trump’s base. Still, Ryan has a LOT of relationships throughout the party and with its donors and could definitely put up a good fight.
Of course, there’s always a chance that not even Ryan is willing to take on the blindly loyal Trumpists in the GOP. The anonymous Congressman Erickson quotes above is clearly afraid of them. Ryan may just disappear into the private sector to make tons of money. After all, he saw to it that his tax burden would be nicely shrunken.