Paul Ryan may not be done yet.Am I the only person who's tired of being told every day that Paul Ryan is wrestling with his conscience and Attention Must Be Paid? Recall that even before the Trump Access Hollywood tape was released, we were reading this in AP story about Ryan's efforts to soldir on despite his profound suffering:
As thoroughly as the House speaker shocked the national political establishment Monday by saying he's done with Donald Trump and it's time to focus on his House majority, there's a distinct possibility Ryan will go a step further and completely yank his endorsement, sources close to him told POLITICO.
In fact, Ryan has personally been on the edge of pulling the plug but has held out because his decision is about more than just his personal feelings: It's about saving his massive 60-seat majority. The Wisconsin Republican is in an excruciating spot: He feels torn between his own conscience and his obligations as the top Republican in the country, according to multiple sources in leadership familiar with the internal discussions.
It's long been clear that House Speaker Paul Ryan is, shall we say, not wholly comfortable with Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.Ryan ultimately backed out of that event -- but has it every occurred to Ryan and the many friends who eagerly report his every mood swing to the media that this isn't all about him?
The announcement of Ryan's and Trump's first joint appearance of the campaign on Saturday in Wisconsin — just four weeks before the election -- was simply the latest reminder.
The awkwardly worded missive on Thursday said that Ryan would appear with top Wisconsin Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson.
Oh, and by the way, the third paragraph of Ryan's release says that Trump "will also join Wisconsin Republicans" at the annual party festival in Elkhorn, a small city in Ryan's congressional district.
In the news business, that's known as "burying the lead."
Compare the reaction to Trump by Ryan's counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. It's much more likely that McConnell will lose his Senate majority than that Ryan will lose his majority in the House -- Democrats would need to win the overall House vote by a 7% to 10% margin in order to regain control, according to various estimates -- yet McConnell is refusing to talk about Trump and generally keeping a low profile.
By contrast, Ryan seems to regard every twist and turn in the Trump saga as an excuse to make himself into a news story. I'm not sure what this gets him -- all he seems to be doing is making himself a target of Trump voters' wrath, even though he still hasn't rescinded his endorsement. He'll be one of those voters' scapegoats when Trump loses.
But the guy just loves publicity, and always has. Here's Paul Ryan embracing Ayn Rand! Here's Paul Ryan repudiating Ayn Rand! Here's Paul Ryan doing his workout routine! And on and on.
I know Ryan is young and ambitious, unlike McConnell, who's much older and who has a job he considers the pinnacle of his career. But still: We're sick of you, Paul. We're sick of your histrionic moral anguish. Get over yourself.