So, House Speaker Paul Ryan has emphatically slammed the door on being a nominee for President at a brokered Republican convention this summer. Ryan delivered an impassioned speech at a news conference in Washington yesterday, saying he didn't run for President this year for a reason, that he would not allow his name to even be put in for nomination and that only those who actually ran should be considered as nominees.
Then he delivered an equally impassioned speech about what the Republican party should be doing to win the upcoming election, how the GOP needs to offer better ideas for solving the country's problems and how effective he believes he can be in furthering that agenda. It was the best Presidential stump speech anyone on the Republican side has delivered in the past year-and-a-half--and it showed exactly why Ryan should be the GOP nominee and why so many (like me) will not give up on that idea, no matter how many times he says he is not interested.
The simple fact that Ryan had to hold that press conference in the first place shows you how little Republicans think of their current candidates. Not even Michael Dukakis had to deal with someone else overshadowing his failed nomination for President in 1988. When I was talking with people about the Wisconsin primary, to a person they all said "Well yeah, I'd prefer Paul Ryan too--but he isn't running so ya just gotta vote for someone else". That tells me the thought that all of the Donald Trump and Ted Cruz backers would abandon the party in the general election is without merit.
Besides, it's easy to stand in front of a bunch of reporters and TV cameras in a Capitol briefing room and say you have no interest in running. But what happens when Ryan comes out as Chairman of the Convention in Cleveland for what is usually the ceremonial gavel pounding and he is met with an arena full of people chanting "We Want Paul?" Or after a fifth or sixth ballot goes by without a nominee and delegates are beginning to turn on each other while the TV networks capture the chaos going on down on the floor--does he have such a strong aversion to running? If for no other reason than to prevent the same sort of damage done to Democrats by the chaos at the 1968 convention in Chicago?
So until I see Donald Trump or Ted Cruz actually making a speech accepting the Republican Presidential nomination (likely to a chorus of boos) I'm keeping hope alive that the best candidate can still be drawn into the race.