2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

GOP Convention Preview: Can Trump Keep the Public Awake?

July 18, 2016

The convention is finally here. The last vestiges of the #NeverTrump movement were stomped out last week, so there won’t be the brokered/contested convention political junkies have dreamed of for decades. Even Bill Kristol is about ready to concede Donald Trump will actually become the nominee.

The choosing of Mike Pence takes any VP drama off the table. There were thoughts some delegates would attempt to throw their weight around on that pick, but the goal was to force Trump into picking a Pence-like person. Mission already accomplished. While it’s very possible he’ll give a solid and effective speech on Wednesday, it won’t have 2008 Sarah Palin levels of anticipation. Continue reading

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2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Who Should Trump Pick?

July 13, 2016

The decision is imminent. Sometime in the next 48 hours Donald Trump will end our suspense and choose a running mate. CBS is taping a 60 Minutes interview with Trump and his Veep-to-be on Friday. He’ll leak the choice ahead of the interview, which airs on Sunday evening.

If he hasn’t already decided, he’s making the choice now. So we’re looking at a similar chessboard, though likely with different vision. This is not an attempt to guess what Trump will do. We’re asking ourselves what a candidate in Trump’s position, with his proclivities should do. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, Strategy, Uncategorized

Ted’s Talk

July 8, 2016

Ted Cruz is now set to speak in Cleveland. Yesterday, he met with Donald Trump and Reince Preibus and a deal of sorts was reached. Cruz did not commit to endorse Trump. He did accept a speaking slot (at an undetermined/unreleased time.) What’s in it for these guys?

Why would Trump let him speak without first securing an endorsement? Why would Cruz link himself to Trump at this point? What might his speech sound like? Does this even matter? Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized

Sheriff Lewandowski

July 5, 2016

Corey Lewandowski is gone from the Trump campaign, but definitely not forgotten. He got himself hired by CNN, despite having signed a non-disclosure agreement with the campaign that effectively prohibits him from criticizing his ex-boss. The network has a couple other paid Trump supporters, but they weren’t his body man/campaign manager for a year.

This means what Lewandowski says on CNN is far more likely to get picked up by Politico and other media outlets than his pro-Trump peers. He’s also not exactly subtle or layered in defending Trump, making it even easier to repeat his comments. When Trump (and/or his campaign) does something extra Trumpy (like using a Star of David on top of a money pile in a tweet), it’s Corey Time. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Trump Enters the Cocoon

June 28, 2016

Three weeks from today is Day Two of the Republican convention. Three weeks from tomorrow, Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee will give his/her speech. Between now and then, expect to see quite a bit less Trump. It doesn’t mean he’ll be out of the news, or won’t say anything interesting. He’s not entering the Candidate Protection Program, but he will be a bit under the radar, at least by Trumpian standards.

On the morning of April 6, Trump was in trouble. Ted Cruz had just defeated him in Wisconsin. This came after losing two of three contests in the previous round of primaries on March 22 (he won Arizona, lost badly to Cruz in Idaho, and finished third in Utah.) #NeverTrump was in the ascendant.  Continue reading

2016 Republicans, State of the Race, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized

Bye Bye Corey

June 20, 2016

Corey Lewandowski is no more. After a tempestuous year in the upper reaches of the Trump campaign organization, he was forcibly ejected from service today. While he helped an electoral novice to the top of the polls last fall, and was at least part of the brains behind his mega rallies, Lewandowski was on borrowed time.

For months, various staffers bristled at his heavy-handed methods. Corey was not a charmer with the campaign staff. His altercation with reporter Michelle Fields in March cast an unwelcome spotlight on his activities. Within minutes of joining the campaign, veteran operative Paul Manafort was trying to eliminate Lewandowski. At first he didn’t succeed, but he tried and tried again. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, History, State of the Race, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized

How Easily Could the GOP Dump Trump?

June 18, 2016

You’re starting to hear some loud whispers about an attempt to overthrow Donald Trump at the Republican convention. Like many dreams of the #NeverTrump faction, it’s technically possible and highly unlikely. The mechanism to toss out the primary/caucus results exists. Delegate commitments based on results, even on a first ballot, are only binding if the convention says they are.

Whether this is fair or just is a matter of opinion, but RNC bylaws and historical precedent allow the convention rules committee to do whatever they damn well please. Though Trump has the majority of currently pledged delegates, as we regularly heard back when Ted Cruz mattered, it doesn’t mean all of the “Trump” delegates would pick him on a first ballot if given the opportunity to choose otherwise. Continue reading