Paul Ryan, a big boy who just stifled a tiny, little yawn, is insisting that he is not yet ready for bed, even though the party stopped being fun like an hour ago after the guests stopped pretending to think his peek-a-boo game was charming.
Ryan appeared on CBS This Morning on Wednesday with a hall of fame shit-eating grin and those kind of tilty eyebrows that people have when they say, “Aw, I’m sorry you felt left out,” to celebrate the House basically passing the GOP’s tax plan (despite a minor procedural error causing them to re-do the whole vote)—a goal that Ryan has been single-mindedly focused on for his entire career. During the segment, he was asked about rumors that he’ll be retiring. And Gayle, America, Mom, Dad, he just has no idea why people think that.
“The idea that after passing tax reform, as if it’s the only thing I care about, that I’m just going leave, get up and go, it’s ridiculous,” he said. “It’s a thought that never entered my mind, let alone discussed it with anybody. So I really see this as sort of rank speculation among the DC beltway press, speculating these things. I think it was fairly irresponsible speculation. It’s faulty speculation.”
Last week, Politico Magazine reported that Ryan has expressed to his “closest confidants” that this will be his last term.
He consults a small crew of family, friends, and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.
Earlier this fall, Ryan, who has gleefully worked to strip entitlements from needy Americans and team up with a xenophobic, demented Jabba the Hut, said to Politico, “You’ve got to remember, I’m the only guy in the modern era who didn’t want this job. I did this because I had to do it.”
Honey, no one will judge you if you go to bed now! We don’t even want you here! This is a party for grown ups.