- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — House Speaker Paul Ryan has been showering select Republican bigwigs with email messages.

Some recipients said they trashed them immediately in the belief they were simply self-advertisements by Mr. Ryan, who has all but sworn on a stack of bibles that he will not be the “white knight” that many think the party establishment plans to parachute into the Republican National Convention.

But other recipients here at the Republican National Committee’s annual spring meeting interpret the Ryan missives as exactly the opposite — campaign fliers from a man trying to be exactly that “white knight” if neither Ted Cruz nor Donald Trump can win after three or four ballots.

Mr. Ryan had once sworn he wasn’t interested in and would not take the speakership being vacated by Rep. John Boehner of Ohio. But Mr. Ryan changed his mind and has been “Speaker Ryan” since October.

One email says that “no matter the outcome of this year’s crucial presidential election, your Republican House majority will continue to fight for conservative values.”

To that end, Mr. Ryan asks that the recipient take “this personalized Leadership Priority Survey to collect your input and help guide our agenda in this crucial election year.”

One prominent RNC member who has been receiving the Ryan email rain noted in an email to The Washington Times: “I have probably got 10+ emails from Ryan since last week. Hardly ever did before and i’m on everyone’s email list. What do you think is up?”

A state GOP chairman attending the four-day meeting here who also asked not to be identified said he simply thought the emails were just self-advertising for Mr. Ryan.

The speaker has been, as former President George H.W. Bush used to say, in “deep doo doo” with conservatives for promising that once Republicans captured the Senate as well as the House, President Obama’s liberal reign would be reined in.

The Ryan rain is particularly relevant to the RNC meeting because members will debate Thursday whether to adopt for the party’s national presidential nominating convention rules that make it much harder to parachute in such a “white knight” to take the nomination from Mr. Cruz or Mr. Trump.

• Ralph Z. Hallow can be reached at rhallow@gmail.com.

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