Out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, I'd wager to say 420 of them would do well for themselves moving up to the U.S. Senate. Maybe even more.
Paul Ryan falls in that small group of members who are better served to stay in the House.
Ryan made it official this morning, according to the Journal Sentinel, telling the newspaper he would not seek the seat vacated by Herb Kohl.
From the moment Kohl announced his retirement Friday, I never expected Ryan to enter the race, even as his name was being mentioned in almost every conversation about potential candidates.
It's easy to see why his name was so prominent in the speculation, because he undoubtedly would have been the heavy favorite. Republicans would clear the field, and he would probably have a solid edge over any Democratic candidate. The chances that Republicans would occupy both of the state's Senate seats would never be better.
But a move to the Senate just doesn't make sense for Ryan. I'm not exactly the first person to point this out, but he has a powerful position in the House as chairman of the budget committee, and he can greatly influence legislation and the national conversation surrounding legislation. (Ryan said as much to the Journal Sentinel)
Why would Ryan give all that up and go to the back of the line in the Senate, where almost everything is determined by seniority?
Ryan has worked hard to get where he is, and moving to the Senate, as strange as it seems, would be a step backward.
His decision to stay put is neither surprising nor unwise.