The other day, Paul Ryan, the reluctant Speaker of the House, once again, and once and for all, claimed that despite the fervent hopes of the Republican party elites, he would neither seek or accept the Republican nomination for President in this most fractured political year.
"Count me out," says Ryan. He says that the Republican delegates should only choose someone that "has participated in this year's primaries and caucuses."
So Ryan says that if no one in the Republican race gets the required number of delegates, the delegates must choose from Trump, Cruz or Kasich.
Or does it?
Some cynics cling to the belief that Ryan says "no" but means "maybe." Perhaps. Politicians are not known for sticking to their word.
But, maybe the "Ryan Rule" of selecting only a candidate that has participated in the primaries is explicitly true. It isn't as simple as it seems.
Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and all the rest of the earlier candidates still have control over any delegates they may have won. Remember, all any of them have said was that as they dropped out of active campaigning was that they were "suspending" their candidacy. Suspend does not actually mean quitting.
If there is to be a floor fight in Cleveland this summer, could Ryan be positioning himself to promote Jeb or Marco as the Republican nominee? That would surely assuage the frustrated party regulars that seem to have lost control of the party to the demented duo of Trump and Cruz.
Why might this be possible? In spite of the small chance of any zombie Republican like Bush or Rubio actually winning the Presidency, the opportunity to perhaps salvage the down ballot candidates for the Senate and House that would be ripe for the picking if Trump or Cruz were to head the ticket.
It would be a fitting end to a particularly entertaining political season, though the long term prospects of a more fringe Republican party continue to grow dimmer.