Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) answers questions during his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. 
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

Despite his purported angst, Paul Ryan to campaign with Trump

In media, there’s something called “burying the lede.” A reporter or a news outlet will have some important detail to share, but instead of leading with the exciting scoop at the top of their story, they’ll “bury the lede” by putting the good part further in, where it’s less likely to be noticed.

Of course, politicians sometimes do the same thing – on purpose. As the Huffington Post noted yesterday:
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is campaigning with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Wisconsin on Saturday, though it kind of seems he didn’t want you to know that.

Ryan’s campaign released a media advisory Thursday titled, “Paul Ryan to Attend Annual Fall Fest in Walworth County.” It’s an event in Ryan’s home state, and the advisory lists lots of state officials attending.

Oh, and three paragraphs in, it mentions Trump will be there too.
Yep, Ryan seemed to bury the lede on purpose, listing quite a few local officials who’ll be at Walworth County’s “Fall Fest” before noting that the Republican Party’s presidential nominee “will also join Wisconsin Republicans” at the event.

The statement concluded, “All questions related to Mr. Trump should be directed to the Trump campaign,” which is an unintentionally hilarious euphemism for, “For the love of God, please don’t call seeking a comment.”

I’m afraid it’s not quite so easy to let the House Speaker off the hook.

To his credit, Paul Ryan has repeatedly and publicly rebuked Donald Trump for a variety of valid reasons. To his detriment, Paul Ryan has also repeatedly and publicly vowed to support Trump’s presidential campaign anyway, no matter the circumstances or concerns for the candidate’s qualifications.

BuzzFeed had an interesting piece the other day, quoting lots of people close to the Speaker about his anguish surrounding his party’s presidential nominee. Ryan is “trudging on toward November,” the report said, with “a stench of sadness clinging to him as he goes.”

And while I don’t doubt that much of this is true, Ryan publicly endorsed Trump’s candidacy. Ryan has raised money for Trump’s candidacy. Ryan now hopes to give Trump’s candidacy a boost in Wisconsin with a joint appearance tomorrow night.

I get the feeling people close to the Speaker believe we should somehow feel sorry for Ryan – he feels forced to support a candidate he neither likes nor respects – but the reality is, if the far-right Wisconsin congressman is choosing to put politics over principle, it’s awfully difficult to muster pity over his dilemma.

Paul Ryan had a choice. Now he has to live with the costs.

Postscript: It’s not the most important point, but I’m eager to see whether Ryan allows himself to be photographed in Wisconsin with Trump at his side. I have a hunch he’ll try to ensure that doesn’t happen.


Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and Wisconsin

Despite his purported angst, Paul Ryan to campaign with Trump