Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Speaker and the President


For John, BLUFMartha conjectures he didn't want to go into the family business, Undertaking.  He is from her home town.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From Politico, Reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere gives us "Obama and Ryan:  Covert collaborators".  The sub-headline is "The two wonkish leaders, who've had their ups and downs, get ready to try to get along."
President Barack Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan haven’t had a face-to-face meeting in more than two-and-a-half years.  And despite Ryan’s election this week and Obama’s congratulatory call to him in advance of the vote, there still isn’t one scheduled.

But the two already have a good sense of each other — and beside John Boehner, Ryan's probably the House Republican Obama's spent the most time with.nbsp; And if Obama had to pick a House Republican to be speaker, people who know the president say he’d probably have voted for Ryan himself.nbsp; There isn’t a close runner-up.

Looking ahead to what the dynamic between them will be now, aides to the president and new speaker point to their collaboration on getting trade fast-track through Congress last summer as a model.

People in both offices note that the two leaders helped produce a bill with bipartisan support and tea-party opposition that the president eagerly signed.nbsp; They’re a lot less eager to talk about what happened behind-the-scenes to get there: significant collaboration between the president's staff in the West Wing and Ryan's staff on the Ways and Means Committee, along with several direct phone calls the White House still won’t confirm between Obama and Ryan.nbsp; Those calls were in part vote counting, in part strategizing about how to avoid looking like they were working together — even though they were.

Facing each other now as Ryan's setting the tone for his speakership and Obama's looking to wrap up his presidency is the latest stage in a long relationship between the two self-styled wonks.nbsp; It began with a lovefest on stage when Obama visited the House GOP retreat before the 2010 midterms.nbsp; It took a dive after Ryan's selection as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012 — proof to West Wingers at the time that they'd been silly to think he'd ever sacrifice his brand to work with them.nbsp; And it's been on a slow track back since.

If it was about Rep Paul Ryan running for Vice President, that is pretty petty.  That is like the Downtown Boston Republicans being in a snit because the Grass Roots Republicans up this way (and elsewhere) wanted to have a contested Primary for the Republican Gubernatorial nomination last time.  Give the voters a shot?

Hat tip to the Drudge.

Regards  —  Cliff

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