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Paul Ryan is not running for president, just making presidential ads.

Republican chatter about a brokered convention leading to Paul Ryan being brought in as a compromise candidate seems farfetched. After all, such a scenario would require the party to sidestep not just the front-runner Donald Trump, but also the number two candidate Ted Cruz, who has an ample base of support inside the party. 

A video released yesterday, however, opens up the possibility that it’s not just the donor class that longs for a President Ryan, but that the Speaker of the House entertains such fantasies himself. 

For the last few months, Ryan has been releasing a series of unusual vanity videos on his Youtube channel. The most recent looks very much like an ad a presidential candidate would run. Titled “Politics These Days,” the video shows Ryan speaking grandly as a unifying figure, somewhat reminiscent of Barack Obama in the heady days of 2008. One aspect of the video is off: in decrying “identity politics” Ryan shouldn’t have been addressing an audience that is nearly all white. 

Is the video part of a gambit to convince delegates that Ryan is the sensible (and winning) alternative to Trump and Cruz? Perhaps. And even if it doesn’t succeed, it does indicate what a Ryan run in 2020 would look like.