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Wake Up To Politics - October 21, 2015

To read today's edition of Wake Up To Politics in a PDF format, click here. Continue reading to find the text of the Wake Up in the body of the email!

Wednesdayday, October 21, 2015
384 Days until Election Day 2016
103 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
24 Days until the Next Democratic Debate
7 Days Until the Next Republican DebateIt's Wednesday, October 21, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    Capitol Hill News

  • Paul Ryan: “All In” for Speaker…Maybe Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, made his long-awaited announcement about running for House Speaker Tuesday, yet whether or not he will actually run remains unclear.
  • Ryan told House Republicans that he was willing to serve as Speaker, but set four conditions that must be met first:
  • Party Vision Ryan’s first condition was his vision for the Conference he would serve atop: “We need to move from being an opposition party to a proposition party,” he told reporters Tuesday night.
  • Update Rules Next, Ryan demanded the House rules be updated “so that everyone can be a more effective representative,” but those rule changes must be made “as a team”. The changing of House rules is a big talking point for House conservative, but they may be unhappy with one of Ryan’s proposed changes: ending the process of a motion to vacate the chair, a procedural vote which can overthrow a Speaker, and was attempted by House conservatives against Speaker John Boehner in July, and could be used against a Speaker Ryan in the future.
  • Party Unity “We, as a conference, should unify now, and not after a divisive Speaker election,” Ryan said last night, insisting he will only run for Speaker if the Conference unites behind him.
  • Family Time Finally, in his last condition, Ryan made his priorities clear, saying, “I cannot and will not give up my family time,” informing his colleagues right of the bat that he will not trade time with his three small children for time fundraising. “I may not be able to be on the road as much as previous Speakers,” Ryan continued; traveling and fundraising on behalf of their party is traditionally a large part of being Speaker.
  • The condition that is key, and will ultimately decide whether Ryan runs, is #3, party unity. As part of his insistence that the party united behind him before he runs, a spokesman for the Ways and Means chairman said Tuesday he will only run for Speaker if all three of the Conference’s major caucuses endorse him by Friday. If they do, and make clear he is the party’s only “unifying figure,” Ryan will be “all in,” as his spokesman said.
  • The three caucuses that Ryan says must endorse him are:
  • The Tuesday Group A caucus of about 50 moderate House Republicans, co-chaired by Reps. Charlie Dent (PA), Adam Kinzinger (IL), and Bob Dold (IL). Dent said Tuesday he expects most of his caucus to support Ryan; an endorsement is not expected to be challenging to get.
  • Republican Study Committee A caucus of almost 200 conservative House Republicans, chaired by Rep. Bill Flores (TX). Flores personally supports Ryan’s Speaker bid, and will ask his caucus to do the same in a vote today.
  • House Freedom Caucus This will be the tricky one: the HFC is made up of 36 House Republicans so conservative that they broke off from the Study Committee, long seen as the right-wing caucus. It is hard to know if many of the upstart GOPers will get behind Ryan; their potential endorsement of him is complicated by the fact that the caucus already endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (FL) for Speaker. Webster, unlike Rep. Jason Chaffetz (the other Speaker candidate, who dropped out after Ryan’s announcement, saying, “I am out and supporting [Paul Ryan] for Speaker, [the] right person at the right time.” The caucus could change its endorsement, but according to HFC rules, only with the support of 80% of its members.
  • Those 36 members are the barrier for Ryan to run. If they fail to endorse him, the Wisconsin Republican says he will bow out, setting off a free-for-all of a Speaker’s race. That scenario would undoubtedly make the party look bad, but it places the blame for the chaos squarely on the Freedom Caucus, isolating the ultra-conservatives and removing Ryan from blame.
  • In short, on Tuesday, Ryan painted himself as a reluctant savior, playing hard to get. “If [the members] can agree to these requests, and I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve,” Ryan said. “And, If I am not unifying that is fine as well. I will be happy to stay where I am, at the Ways and Means Committee.”
  • Ryan drove home the point that the Speakership was not a job he had ever wanted or run for, or wanted now. He is only considering running because so many said they wanted him to, but will only officially run if the whole party shows they actually want him.
  • If the Speaker’s gavel is something he resisted for so long, why is he throwing his hat in (or at least closer) to the ring now?
  • “Like many of you, Janna and I have children who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives,” Ryan explained. “I genuinely worry about the consequences that my agreeing to serve will have on them. Will they experience the viciousness and incivility that we all face on a daily basis?”
  • “But my greatest worry is the consequence of not stepping up. Of someday having my own kids ask me, when the stakes were so high, ‘Why didn’t you do all you could? Why didn’t you stand and fight for my future when you had the chance?’ None of us wants to hear that question.”
  • “And none of us should ever have to.”

2016 Central

  • Whiteboard Wednesday If it’s Wednesday, it’s whiteboard time! At Wake Up To Politics, I’ve been using a whiteboard to show election polling since 2012 (my response to the giant, fancy, high-tech, touch-screen boards seen on TV news networks). My whiteboard has two sides: a map of the United States and a blank side. I used the map side in 2012 and 2014. Last week, I debuted the blank side to Wake Up To Politics readers, which I will use for Whiteboard Wednesday, 2016 edition.

Each week, I will be showing the STATE OF THE RACE on the whiteboard. I have taken the average of national polls conducted in the presidential primary races this past week, and in the whiteboard, in brown, you can see each candidate’s average percentage of support from last week’s polls. I have taken that to rank each candidate (in black, next to the logos) and in red/or green you can see each candidate’s change from their average support last week. Here is the STATE OF THE RACE:

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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light