Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Winning A Convention Instead Of An Election?

Trump likes to compare himself to Ronald Reagan, but Cruz is taking his cues from Reagan’s playbook.
Everybody’s flapping their gums about the first contested  brokered  open Republican convention since 1976 that may very well result in a messy floor fight if no one reaches the required 1237 delegates needed for the party’s nomination on the first ballot.

Donald Trump is acting like a yuuuuuge baby since the Colorado GOP convention selected delegates through the caucus process which allowed Ted Cruz to capture all 34 delegates. Colorado GOP leaders canceled the party’s presidential straw poll back in August of 2015 to avoid binding its delegates to a candidate it believed might not survive until the RNC convention in Cleveland this July.  That maneuver placed the election of national delegates squarely in the hands of party insiders and activists and left roughly 90 percent of the more than one million Republican voters on the sidelines.

A thoroughly vexed Trump lashed out saying, "The system is rigged, it's crooked."  "There was no voting. I didn't go out there to make a speech or anything, there's no voting," Trump said. "The people out there are going crazy, in the Denver area and Colorado itself, and they're going absolutely crazy because they weren't given a vote. This was given by politicians - it's a crooked deal."

The front-runner accused Cruz of trying to steal delegates in South Carolina. Trump won the state primary in February, but Cruz supporters got four of the first six delegate slots filled at congressional district meetings on Saturday, according to local media.

Cruz also succeeded at getting more of his supporters chosen as delegates in Iowa, where he won the caucuses in January, and at last week's state convention in North Dakota.

"Now they're trying to pick off those delegates one by one," The Donald said. "That's not the way democracy is supposed to work. They offer them trips, they offer them all sorts of things and you're allowed to do that. You can buy all these votes."

Instead of bitching and moaning, the vulgarian with tiny hands should concentrate on securing as many bound delegates as he can through the voting process.  In addition, he should compete in the delegate process, something he has failed to do thusfar and actually organize an effort to win over the supporters of other campaigns on a second ballot.

Trump hasn’t done any of that.  He’s been out-maneuvered by Cruz at every turn.

Back in February, after losing Iowa to Cruz, Trump admitted he “never realized” the importance of building a field organization. But instead of going out and building that field organization, he has done the opposite. Politico reports that “Since March, [Trump] has been laying off field staff en masse around the country.” Trump brags about how rich he is, but he has run his campaign on the cheap, relying on provocative tweets and his massive advantage in free media to win primaries. He’s now learning that Twitter and free media can’t win delegates.

Trump likes to compare himself to Ronald Reagan. Well, if he doesn’t stop complaining and start campaigning, he may end up as Reagan did in ’76 — the runner-up.

Rebecca Berg notes at Real Clear Politics, “The Republican National Committee now finds itself scrambling to introduce the most arcane details of the primary process to wary and confused voters. Rarely in modern presidential primaries has the delegate selection process in all 50 states been a topic of much interest, nor have Republican voters needed to concern themselves with the party’s rules for the convention.”

Trump has not shown signs of letting up stirring fears among some Republicans that he could galvanize his supporters to revolt if he loses the nomination at an open convention. He has already begun to move toward directly implicating the party and its leaders.

“It's a disgrace for the party. And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself.  He should be ashamed of himself because he knows what's going on,” said Trump.

“If the primary system is essentially a complicated 50-state board game, what we’re seeing now makes it clear that Donald Trump never bothered to read the instructions,” said strategist Doug Heye, a former RNC official who now counts himself among the “Never Trump” Republicans.

Indeed, Trump tweeted in January 2014 a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."  
Allahpundit astutely notes, “Trump and his allies will spend the next three months reduced to increasingly desperate gimmicks designed to either delegitimize the delegate selection process or to work around it somehow, a la Roger Stone insisting that delegates sign a pledge that they’ll vote for Trump on all ballots if they’re bound to him on the first.  It’s the political equivalent of the old lawyer’s maxim that you pound the facts if the facts are on your side, pound the law if the law’s on your side, and pound the table if neither is. They’re probably not going to get to 1,237 delegates via the remaining primaries; they’re almost certainly not going to get there either by out-organizing Cruz in state delegate elections. So it’s time to pound the table. If Reince thinks he’s tired of whining now, just wait until the day after California votes."

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