Why Paul Ryan IS Running. Maybe.

Whether he knows it or not, Speaker Paul Ryan is running for the GOP presidential nomination.  This afternoon, he will say that he is – without a shred of doubt – not running.  He will say that he does not want to be president now.  He will make references to the hundreds of candidates that ran or are currently running for the GOP nomination.

Yes, it sounds similar to the path that brought Speaker Ryan into the speakership in the first place.  And it would make for a great fan fiction series/conspiracy plot stemming back from the early days of the 2014 primary loss for then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  But the situation surrounding the speakership was different in that the Speaker of the House is not directly elected by American voters.  The party basically chose Paul Ryan to be speaker, and he accepted (with conditions).  Delegates and party leaders would need to be behind a Ryan presidential nomination in Cleveland, but there would be more voter involvement than during the speaker election, which could very well put the decision out of his hands during the convention proceedings.

But that almost sounds like confirmation that he IS NOT running, right?  Wrong.  He might very well not be actively running, but that is a different story than actively NOT running.  What?  My head hurts.

  1. He says he does not want to be president “now.”  That may be true, but he also ran for Vice President in 2012, which would have set his path to the White House for 2020 (assuming two- terms under Romney).  Four years is rounding error.
  2. He believes the nomination should go to someone that ran for the nomination.  15 or so Republican candidates have suspended their campaigns, meaning they did not want to continue the fight for the nomination (as unrealistic as the path may have been for them). Trump and Cruz, well they should not be the frontrunners. Plain and simple, they are scaring the children.  Kasich would be the one candidate that would fit this argument as a counterpoint to Ryan “running” because he has continued forward despite the delegate math.
  3. Polls and electoral analysis show that he would lose in the general election.  …because election polling and analysis has been so reliable this cycle.  Remember when Trump’s rise faded six months ago?  Remember when Bernie’s campaign was showing signs of burning out last November?  I respect everyone’s insights, predictions, etc., but my point is that there has been nothing but unpredictability this year, and I don’t expect that to stop during the general election.

So is Speaker Ryan running?  Maybe. Despite the articles and speeches this week saying that he is not running, nothing is as straight forward as a yes or no answer this presidential election cycle.  I’m not ruling anything out this year except maybe the launch of a new political book series, “The Donald Who Should Not Be President.”

P.S. I am fairly moderate in my political views and am not registered with either of the major political parties.