After two decades in U.S. Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan bids his farewell, ending his five year stint as Wisconsin’s only House Speaker after being drafted to replace John Boehner in 2015. Along with other highlights of his career, Ryan was running mate to Mitt Romney’s presidential challenge to Obama in 2012. Looking back on his career, does he have regrets? Well, yes, a few.
Among his setbacks were a failure to clinch a long-standing crusade to repeal Obamacare, but in his interview he cited lack of immigration reform and the ballooning debt ceiling as his chief regrets. He also expresses frustration with what he calls “tribalism” between the two major parties, a statement dripping with irony given that he has been the enduring poster boy for the Tea Party, the most divisive force to enter US politics in the 20th century.
And in a final punch in his ongoing tussle with US president Donald Trump, Ryan has expressed that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, who recently pleaded guilty to perjury charges related to the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, “should be prosecuted to the extent of the law.” He however affirms his belief that special legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller is not necessary.
But all is not sorrow in Paul Ryan’s memoirs. He gave a rousing speech thanking the people of Wisconsin for his long tenure, humbly expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to serve. One wonders what Ryan could have done at a different time in history; his career has seen some of the most turbulent times in US political history, with pitched battles landing in his lap, derailing his primary agenda.
In any case, even his opponents will have to admit they’ll miss Paul Ryan just a little bit, if for nothing else than those soulful blue eyes.