When they’re on, they’re on and this spoof is spot on. Saturday Night Live’s spoof of Paul Ryan not running is as good as Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin in 2008.
SNL took on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) repeated denials that he’s not going to accept his party’s nomination to run for president by parodying his denials accompanied by mocking the “parallel campaign” he’s been running in real life – the one where he looks like he’s running for President while he says he isn’t.
Announcing that he is not running and will not accept his party’s nomination, a much favored and sought after Paul Ryan* tells America that while he isn’t running, he gets it.
And the camera cuts to a sweeping overhead of Ryan* in a field with a flag and old-fashioned house or barn in the background. It’s pure campaign corn.
“But I hear you America,” Ryan* says, over rising patriotic music as he walks toward the camera which is craning down to meet the Greatness that is Paul Ryan*.
“You want someone to restore the leadership that’s been so sorely missing in this country for the last eight years. Someone with a vision for this great nation,” Ryan* says, giving a dead on impression of Paul Ryan’s attempt at playing Very Sincere and Serious Wonk to the camera.
“Someone you can trust with your family’s future,” Ryan* says ominously, as he walks off frame.
Gee, whoever can it be? Are we to be abandoned without leadership?
While you are figuring that out, Ryan* will just go ahead and lay down his vision for America. You know, like a presidential candidate would. Cut to a campaign speech set up where Ryan* stands in front a flag.
Ryan* promises to cut taxes, rein in entitlements, strengthen borders, and create great, high-paying jobs. It’s a Republican dream!
Ryan* tells Americans that they want someone young with “a sick body and a decent face” and a “full head of his own hair.” The real Paul Ryan posed lifting weights during the 2012 campaign.
Ryan* took a dig at Donald Trump, bragging up his “long, muscular fingers.. fingers that know what they’re doing… fingers that have been there.”
Now that you know the kind of person you’d like to be running for president and figured out that that person is Paul Ryan*, Ryan* cruelly announces again that he’s not running because his family is his priority right now, as he enters the living room of his home where his family sit arranged Hallmark card campaign style.
A Ryan* son with a furrowed brow in a Normal Rockwell pose asks, “But dad, didn’t some of our best presidents come from contested conventions?”
Another Ryan* son pipes up helpfully, “Like Eisenhower and Lincoln?”
Gosh, sons*! Looking as if he would need to consider this hefty weight of being so wanted and so great, Ryan* says there means there would be a lot of historical precedence if he were to run.
But that’s just not his style.
Ryan’s* wife adds in a Stepford wife monotone while gazing at him obediently, “You’re so strong, Paul.”
They cut to a montage – campaign style – of Ryan* on a tractor, sitting next to a black man, and of course a waving flag in front of a red barn. For America.
Ryan* continues, now outside again walking, “I already have a job to do. A job I swore I would never, ever take but then I did.”
“But come on, that was like six months ago,” Ryan* explains to the camera.
Looking dead into the camera with the real Paul Ryan’s attempt’s at the sincere Boy Scout stare, Ryan* smirks, “I would never do something like that now.”
Ryan* tells America he’s sorry, “You’re a heck of a country, but I’m… not… running for president.”
Followed by a graphic reading: Paul Ryan* for President, with a disclosure at the bottom that this ad was paid for by Paul Ryan* for President.
Cue the escalating threats from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz supporters, because this wouldn’t have been so funny if it hadn’t been so real.
Ryan*= fictional Paul Ryan, which I felt was needed since this spoof is so spot on it would be easy for readers to think it was real.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.