WASHINGTON,DC – As the Republican presidential primary has progressed onwards and members of Republican leadership struggle to come to terms with the possibility of Ted Cruz or Donald Trump being the party’s nominee, party members have increasingly lobbied popular Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to take up the mantle as the party nominee, which the Speaker has consistently refused. These efforts came to a head this week when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus publicly proposed the candidacy to the speaker, only to be met with a lukewarm reception.

Preibus snuck out onto the National Mall at sunset, personally aiding a corps of party interns laying out a series of lights that spelled out “PREZ?” in hundred-foot tall letters. Gabriel Danton, a small child from Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin – selected by a Republican focus group out of a group of 13 Janesville children, who were tasked with identifying the kid with “the most Bambi-like eyes” – was enlisted to toddle up to Ryan as he was leaving for the day, imploring the Speaker in childish, Wisconsin-accented English to “show me the Washungtin Monyoomint?” The Speaker agreed, with what one photographer who captured the moment described as a “butter-melting smile” gracing his wearied face, after which Gabriel ran excitedly to the front doors of the Capitol, towards the National Mall and the monument at its end.

At that moment, a sympathetic petrochemical lobbyist placed as a spotter in the Capitol’s front chamber texted Preibus that Ryan was approaching, and as the Speaker stepped onto the building’s front steps, the lighted sign on the Mall was illuminated. Though reportedly pleasantly surprised for a moment, Ryan appeared to quickly regain composure, and in a public statement the next morning firmly stated that he would “not run for President in 2016 if the Republicans were the last political party on Earth.”

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