Well, actually, I don’t know.
Ryan, by exiting now, eliminates himself as a target for ads. Not that anyone needs to run against Ryan — everyone is either running against or for Trump.
Ryan has been criticized for dropping out by reducing his ability to act as a fund-raiser. Also, he has no ability to grant or call in favors — he’s done, out, old business.
Pelosi, on the other hand, can (and will) feature prominently in attack ads this season. Does this counterbalance with her ability to raise funds, manage favors, etc?
It’s a fascinating experiment in political strategy. Depending on how things turn out over the next twelve months, it could prove to be precedent setting for future majority and minority leaders — drop out early and clear the decks, or wait until after the election.
What I do know, is that if I was running a party, having a unified front during an election and getting the new Speaker sorted out early in 2019 sounds a lot better.
Nobody is going to ask Ryan for his thoughts on, well, anything in this election cycle. Tax cuts, health care, whatever — nobody cares. Given that the daily question for Ryan would probably be “what do you think about what Trump tweeted this morning?” … well, skipping that ritual is probably better for just about everyone.