Even as Speaker Paul Ryan denied three times that he was interested in being selected as the Republican nominee via a brokered convention, Politico’s Mike Allen suggested that the Wisconsin Speaker is still playing along with the suggestion being leaked by establishment Republicans.
Ryan, who’s more calculating and ambitious than he lets on, is running the same playbook he did to become Speaker: saying he doesn’t want it, that it won’t happen. In both cases, the maximum leverage is to NOT WANT IT – and to be begged to do it. He and his staff are trying to be as Shermanesque as it gets.
Allen cites two sources which he says illustrate current thinking in the Republican party.
One is a Republican insider who says that Paul Ryan has been setting the stage for a bigger leadership role after his “State of American Politics” speech last month. Another is a Ryan friend who says that the Speaker really doesn’t want the job.
“He can’t imagine an end to this current process that would produce him as the nominee. He can’t see it and he’s not prepared to entertain it,” his friend said. “He won’t receive anybody that wants to talk about it. He’s simply not engaging it.”
Allen concludes: “But of course in this environment, saying you don’t want the job is the ONLY way to get it.”
Ryan’s Press Secretary weighs in:
Guys – 2016 has already been silly enough. This talk is dumb. Let's move on.
— AshLee Strong (@AshLeeStrong) April 4, 2016