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Joe Madden, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan: Oh my!

In a week that was not short on events, there was much to take in.  The Cubs and Joe Biden are out (only the latter by choice), Paul Ryan is in as the next Speaker of the House and Hillary holds her own in a marathon 11-hour grilling on Capitol Hill.  Where to start?

Well, our very own Cubs gave it their best shot and came up short.  The better team won the NLCS.  But what a season!!  Joe Madden could run for mayor and sweep Rahm out of office without much effort.  Observers have said that the culture Madden created within the clubhouse and the the trust he fostered among the players brought the shift the team needed.

The joy brought to tenacious fans around the world, despite falling to the Mets, was palpable.  The faithful will, once again, wait 'till next year to see what comes.  But what a way to go out, despite what Back to the Future said would happen.  Thanks, Joe.

Speaking of Joes, Biden called it a day, or campaign.  Pundits have chalked his decision up to Hillary's stellar debate performance and high poll numbers.  I think that misses the mark.  Looking at Biden announcing that he would seek the democratic nomination in the Rose Garden, President Obama on his right and wife, Dr. Jill Biden on his left, Biden simply did not look like he had any fire in the belly to undertake a campaign.

While Biden might very well have made an outstanding Commander in Chief, the interview process for the position is as brutal as it gets. Having made two other bids for president, Biden understands better than most what candidates must endure.  There is no phoning it in, no half-assing it.

At that level of endurance, you either have it in you or you don't.  It has less to do with having a strong field organization and cash on hand and for more to do with are you all in?

Personally I believe Biden made the right choice for himself and his family.  He also gets to play the role of elder statesman from the sidelines and preserve his reputation, rather than limping toward the final months of his term as vice president should he the primaries not go his way.  It's family first, from the First State.  Well done, Joe.

Family was on the mind of Paul Ryan as he reluctantly agreed to serve as speaker of the House.  Currently Paul Ryan is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is in charge of creating the U.S tax code.  It's considered a plum placement among members of Congress and perhaps the most influential.  If Ryan is elected speaker, he will step down and most likely be replaced by Sam Johnson of Texas.

Paul Ryan also made it clear that he would not give up his family time.  Good for him.  As the father of three young children who have remained in Janesville, Wisconsin.  Ryan's decision is remarkable, as prior speakers of the house have routinely traveled constantly to the home districts of members within their party.

In addition, Ryan goes from representing roughly half a million constituents and chairing a committee to representing one half of an entire branch of government (some have argued that the Founding Fathers so revered the responsibility of the legislative branch they mentioned it in Article I of the Constitution).

Think of it this way: if Paul Ryan was a sales rep, he just accepted the position of National Sales Manager. It's a different skill set, yet still working on the same team.

The good news for republicans is that Ryan has agreed to do the job.  That's bad news for the republicans is that their internal feud became public.  Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-MS) has said that trying to keep members of his party together on any piece of legislation is akin to herding cats.

Bottom line: the House of Representatives will get a fantastic skipper at the helm of the ship.   The institution will benefit from a person who is committed to the integrity of the process and will not permit a single faction to call to shots.  Having been Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012, Paul Ryan has a national profile and a solid favorability numbers. That will work to the advantage of republican candidates across the country.

Here's wishing you a fantastic week ahead!

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