Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is leaving Congress on his own terms, a rarity for a speaker. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)
Paul D. Ryan is leaving his time as speaker of the House where he started it: in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, in a speech outlining his principles and showcasing his personality, and during a time that encapsulates the challenges any serious lawmaker faces.
“I leave here as convinced as I was at the start that we face no challenge which cannot be overcome by putting pen to paper on sound policy. By addressing head-on the problems of the day,” the Wisconsin Republican said on Wednesday amid colleagues and assorted allies and dignitaries across the street from the Capitol. “The state of politics these days, though, is another question, and frankly one I don’t have an answer for,” he added, emphasizing that re-engaging in the process, with humility and an exchange of ideas, as unlikely as that might sound today, was the way back to reclaiming public service’s luster and dignity.