As Republican and Democratic presidential candidates compete amongst themselves for their parties’ nominations on the campaign stage, another person who is no stranger to a general election year has been quietly dancing around whether or not he’ll make a run.
And no, it’s not Michael Bloomberg.
Current Speaker of the House and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s name has been surfacing recently as a possible GOP presidential nominee if the party is unable to come to an agreement on one of the candidates currently in the running. Ryan said Tuesday in no uncertain terms that he neither wanted nor would accept the nomination, and urged delegates to choose a candidate who has participated in the primaries if no nominee emerges from the first ballot at the GOP convention.
Ryan is seen as a rising star within the GOP, a bright young politician with experience chairing House committees and the support of his state and the Republican party.
Still, there’s speculation that Ryan’s blunt refusal to accept a nomination is just a way of staying out of the fray for now. Many Republicans believe he stands a better chance of defeating the Democratic nominee and, if no nominee emerges, that he would reluctantly accept the nomination just as he did the Speakership when Ohio Congressman John Boehner stepped down.
Others have speculated that the real strategy behind Ryan dodging the nomination is to lay groundwork for a 2020 run.
Do you think Paul Ryan really wants himself removed from the conversation or is he biding his time? What do you think is behind Ryan’s strategy?
Peter Dreier, Professor of Political Science, Occidental College