With a jaundiced eye, one notes that Ryan’s pro-people template seems rather well-timed for a contested convention and perhaps for unifying the party given the divisiveness and repulsion posed by Trump and, almost equally, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Plainly, it would be dicey for party leaders to bypass Cruz or Kasich, but Cruz will lose in a general election and Kasich may lack sufficient support to justify promoting him from last to first.
Thus, an argument could be made for a fresher face, a former vice presidential pick, who has a record of working with Democrats, a man of faith and family values whose only real baggage is the suitcase he carries home each weekend to Wisconsin.
Finally and surely — surely — Ryan had something more in mind when he agreed to take the speaker’s job against the advice of so many. They feared, ironically, that he would be damaged by infighting and lose any shot at the presidency some day. Alas, he has done the opposite. We live and learn. And while President Paul Ryan may not fit today’s conventional wisdom, his nomination would barely register on Ripley’s odd-o-meter.