On Wednesday afternoon, House Republicans voted to nominate Rep. Paul Ryan to be the next Speaker of the House. The vote was reportedly divvied up between Ryan and Rep. Daniel Webster, who received 200 and 43 votes respectively. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Kevin McCarthy both received one vote.
Ryan, who will likely be approved in a floor vote on Thursday, is in the midst of making a number of major changes to his own personal brand. On Wednesday morning, he also officially requested that his name be changed to Paul D. Ryan. D stands for Davis. Congratulations!
The New York Times reports that Ryan’s experience is unusually lacking for the role:
In his reluctant promotion from chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to what is often called the second most powerful job in Washington, Mr. Ryan has a nontraditional pedigree for his new responsibilities. Not only will he be the youngest speaker in more than a century, he is also a policy wonk rather than the typical veteran lawmaker who has risen through party ranks. Unlike virtually all of his predecessors, Mr. Ryan has not served a day in senior House leadership.
Ryan made headlines after agreeing to accept a potential nomination only under the condition that time spent with his family be respected as sacrosanct. (Ryan has repeatedly quashed congressional efforts at providing the same basic courtesy to America’s women.)
During the vote, white smoke reportedly emanated from the Longfellow Conference room, invoking a papal conclave. While the smoke is said to have come from a congressman’s vaporizer, the comparison is apt: both conclaves involve a group of elderly, out-of-touch white Christian men getting together to choose the next figurehead of a powerless organization. Boom, Congress roasted.
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