Monday, April 25, 2016

Political Note: Trumpled

Tailgunner Ted Cruz and John Kasich, two of the three remaining aspirants to the GOPer presidential nomination, announced through their campaigns that they are cooperating on a strategy to stop Donald Trump from going to the convention with enough delegates to win on the first ballot.

Unless I miss my guess on what Trump will now do, I'm pretty sure this move all but guarantees Trump the nomination.

I expect Trump to meet this with righteous fulmination, resulting in big wins on Tuesday and either humiliating victories in the states where these two choose to go one-on-one with Trump or enough sustained noise to scare GOPer delegates into putting Trump over on the first ballot if he's anywhere close to a majority.

If these guys had tried to make Trump's angry hordes angrier, they couldn't have done better than this strategy, which plays directly into the perception of cynical party politics thwarting the public will.

The only way this could possibly work is that by each training their campaign ads and speeches on Trump's deficiencies instead of each other's, they cut into Trump's support and expose a serious vulnerability.

But right now it just looks like a response to Trump's overwhelming victory in New York and his likely victories in the northeastern primaries this week.  Ordinary voters expect candidates to either be in the race or out of it, not playing in some states and not in others. Without much in the way of a public rationale or public outcry, this looks as cynical and political as it gets.

Moreover, Trump realized that the more and louder he talked about issues not on his primary agenda, the more trouble he was getting into.  He's all but disappeared for the last few weeks.  Now he's got something new and pretty safe to shout about. Cruz and Kasich are about to be Trumpled.

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