What Does Paul Ryan Holding The Gavel At The RNC Convention Mean? He's Back In The Spotlight
Even though it no longer seems this year's Republican National Convention will be a contested race to the nomination, that doesn't mean it's going to be boring. There are still plenty of crazy and exciting things that can happen at a political convention, and a lot of them have to do with the gavel holder, the person in charge of moderating the whole shebang. This year's gavel holder is current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and it will mean a lot of exposure for the prominent politician.
The gavel holder actually has a lot of the same powers as the Speaker of the House, so it makes a lot of sense that Ryan would take the position. As of right now, the person who holds the gavel has the power to reject objections and points of order from individual delegates in order to streamline the convention, much like in the House. It should be a role with which Ryan is fairly comfortable, considering his few months' experience in the position already. However, it looks like the traditional way of moderating the convention might change before Ryan even takes the gavel.
When it looked like the convention was going to be bitterly contested, Oregon RNC committeeman Solomon Yue decided to push for a shift towards Robert's Rules of Order, instead of House rules. The change in the rule would allow delegates to raise objections on their own so that the convention could operate more democratically, without establishment interference. The Republican Party's Standing Committee on Rules convened last month to suggest changes to the Republican National Convention's Standing Committee on Rules, which is the first step to deciding if that change will be put in place, but the rulebook won't be finalized until shortly before the convention starts. The rule seems less likely to change now that the convention won't be contested, but if it does, the convention could be wild with anti-Trumpers potentially trying to shake up the balloting.
The esteemed position of gavel holder is a big deal for Ryan's own career too. It's widely rumored that Ryan will make a run at the presidency in 2020 and although he's already got the name recognition, a successful run presiding over the convention definitely promotes the visual of Ryan being named the nominee in four years. If the convention goes AWOL under his leadership it could be problematic, but now that the threat of a contested convention is ostensibly past, Ryan should have no problem ushering in the new nominee, as divisive as he may be.
The RNC convention should be a exciting event, even if it won't be quite as nail-biting as a contested convention would have been. Most importantly, it may set the stage for the 2020 nominee and a chance to see that the party could unite behind a leader like Ryan.