Speaker of the House Paul Ryan fueled speculation that he is running a behind the scenes campaign for President among GOP elites when he released a video that some saw as a thinly veiled campaign ad. The tone and tenor of the ad sounds like something put out by a candidate. And the message sounds like what a candidate would say to try and unite the party and the country after a season of conflict. Hmmm… But no. Paul Ryan says he seeks no higher office. Just like he said he didn’t want to become Speaker of the House. And since his coy denials have masked titanic ambition in the past, the speculation continues.
Bob Costa of the Washington Post, probably the best political reporter in Washington and an alum of National Review, added fuel to the fire. And coming from Costa, who is better connected than most Congressman, it adds credibility to the story. Here’s what he told Stephen K. Bannon of Breitbart News in an interview today:
“I think Ryan is putting himself out there as a national political figure that people can point to beyond the presidential campaign as a face of the Republican Party,” Costa said. “Based on my reporting, I don’t see any kind of overt or indirect movement toward a presidential bid. But certainly, he is someone celebrated by party elite and conservative figures as someone that could step in in a chaos situation in Cleveland.”
Costa added that he thought a Ryan nomination would strike voters as profoundly unfair – that they want someone who has actually run for President and been through the primaries. There’s a thought! In this he echoes Charles Krauthammer, who wrote recently of the idea circulating in certain Republican circles to parachute a candidate of their choosing into the convention:
A parachute maneuver might be legal, but it would be perceived as illegitimate and, coming amid the most intense anti-establishment sentiment in memory, imprudent to the point of suicide.
Republican Elites Against Voters
Unfortunately, Republican insiders have a history of making decisions that look they were designed to inflame the base. Look at almost every decision made by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner over the past few years. Like it or not Republican voters have come to expect duplicity from Republican leaders. It’s one of the things that gives candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz power. Even talk of a Ryan nomination forced on voters from above is the type of behavior that has given rise to memes like this:
Bob Costa Reports On Paul Ryan For President Rumors
Listen to Stephen K. Bannon’s whole interview with Bob Costa here.