Laura Ingraham: A source tells me Paul Ryan might be in line to replace Boehner as Speaker
posted at 3:01 pm on December 22, 2012 by Allahpundit
Via the Daily Caller. The possibility that Boehner will be dumped on January 3, especially if he makes a deal with Obama before then, is real. (There’s already a plan circulating to make it happen, per Breitbart.com.) The possibility of Ryan replacing him is not, for two reasons. One: Ryan’s a Boehner loyalist. He even backed him on Plan B. Maybe he’d agree to step in if the GOP caucus ended up hopelessly divided between Boehner and Not Boehner and he was the only candidate able to unite the two sides, but that would have to be some deadlock for him to feel moved to step in. Two: The Speakership will be an even more thankless job next year than it is now. See Nate Silver’s back-of-the-envelope math about ideological divisions among the incoming class. There are three major groups — establishment Republicans, tea partiers, and hardcore liberals — plus a tiny little sliver of centrist Democrats. Which means that if even a small group of tea partiers walks away from any given bill, the Speaker will have basically no Blue Dog votes with which to replace them. Compromise bills will thus have to be a bit more liberal than they are now in hopes of getting to 218 with some combination of House progressives and centrist Republicans. What sort of aspiring Republican presidential nominee wants to preside over a clusterfark like that? Speaker Ryan would be forever torn between tea-party-driven standoffs with Obama over the budget, which are always risky given the public’s penchant for blaming Republicans, and demoralizing caves to the left by making deals with Pelosi to push stuff through. One way or another, he’d be brutally weakened in 2016 either in the primaries or the general. No thanks.
Update: Related thoughts from Philip Klein.