Paul Ryan Ascends the Ranks after Boehner Steps Down
R-WI, Paul Ryan takes the position of House Speaker this Thursday. This came after the resignation of John Boehner, R-OH, and after House Majority Leader Paul McCarthy, R-Calif., dropped out of the race. Ryan now has the daunting task of mending a rift in the GOP. In his address to Congress, he noted, “We are not settling scores…We are wiping the slate clean.”
The new House Speaker is the youngest since 1869 but has ties to various blocs within the Republican Party. Likewise, Ryan urged both Republicans and Democrats to work together in Congress. He received 236 votes for the speakership.
Paul Ryan was also the vice president running mate of 2012 candidate Mitt Romney who was ultimately defeated by Barack Obama. He had served in the House since 1998 and chairs the House Budget Committee.
McCarthy was the number two favorite for the position but his nomination was derailed by controversial comments on the Benghazi Committee and the opposition from the House Freedom Caucus.
McCarthy had, in an interview, remarked how the Benghazi Committee was a plot to undermine the presidential campaign of former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY). This comes with the fact that Clinton had been reviewed by 13 committees for four deaths, and costed taxpayers over $10 million.
The House Freedom Caucus contains about 40 neo-conservative members. They have opposed McCarthy on grounds that he was too establishment as well as the fact that they want more power for rank and file members in the House. The Freedom Caucus had decided to back Jim Webster, R-Fla., against Paul Ryan. Ultimately Webster dropped out and Ryan was able to secure most of the support of the GOP to gain the seat.
It was also due to the inability to work with the rising tea party anti-establishment faction within the House that Boehner decided to call it quits.
Hillary Clinton Gets a Boost in Polls
Hillary Clinton has surged in polls against her chief rival Bernie Sanders (I-VT). In the latest polls Clinton has a 41% lead against Bernie Sanders. This comes as a big shift in fortunes for the former Secretary of State. Just in September, Sanders had a small lead over her.
This comes after a strong performance in the first Democratic Party Debate and aided by Clinton’s firm resolve in the Benghazi Hearings along with Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to not run.
However all polls should be taken with caution and the shift in fortunes prove just that. Nothing is secure in the world of polling as opinion changes.
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Hillary Clinton has another objective. She is strategically securing super-delegates and already won commitments from 440 of them. Her campaign has sought to develop regular contact in order to stabilize such commitments as they can shift like they did in 2008.
A majority of delegates is needed to win, which comes to 2,385, thus Clinton has secured about one-fifth of that amount.
The next presidential debate is coming up while ‘block of granite’ Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb have already decided to drop the bid. The debate could be a boost to Clinton’s campaign if she is able to outlast attacks from Sanders and O’Malley.