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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Attractive as it sounds, a Cruz coup simply would not work

As we conclude yet another fascinating week in the 2016 presidential horse race, news of a potential plot to oust Republican nominee Donald Trump has leaked out.

Well, “leak” probably isn’t the best way to describe it, since that would imply there’s an effort to conceal the rumor. Far from keeping it secret, some of Ted Cruz’s former backers are calling publicly for drastic action at Ted Cruznext month’s Republican convention.

Ryan Lovelace of the Washington Examiner reports, “Officials from Ted Cruz's defunct presidential campaign are talking up the possibility of a coup at next month's Republican convention in Cleveland…

“Whether the anger and chatter about a coup among Cruz's ardent supporters materializes at the convention remains to be seen, but it appears to have gained steam following the fallout of Trump's racial invective directed at the presiding federal judge in a lawsuit regarding Trump University.”

In his article, Lovelace quotes Cruz supporters Bob Vander Plaats and Steve Deace of Iowa and Steve Lonegan of New Jersey appealing to Republican delegates to take power into their own hands and remove Trump as the party presidential nominee.

It’s safe to say all of us who were and are Ted Cruz fans get a rush of adrenaline whenever we see something like Lovelace’s headline, which reads “Former Cruz campaign officials push for delegate coup at GOP convention”.

What could possibly be better than having our favorite principled conservative candidate storm the convention, have the delegates immediately respond to his presence, forget about Donald Trump instantaneously and start voting for Cruz right there on the spot?

Just think of the news coverage such a scenario would generate. Even the obsolete major networks would break from their evening reality TV programming to cover an extra hour or so of the tumult from the Republican convention. Fox News would be in a tizzy. Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity would be shouting “foul!” while demanding that Cruz immediately disavow the rumors of a coup.

Donald Trump himself would resurrect “Lyin’ Ted” and go back to railing on the Republican Party, complete with predictions that his supporters would take to the streets if he’s denied the nomination.

Buuuuuuzzzzzzzz! The alarm goes off, you wake up and it was all a dream.

A Ted Cruz coup at next month’s convention is just a flat-out bad idea for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, there’s no popular support for it. Republican leaders are dissing Trump and even a few have abandoned him, but that doesn’t mean the voters are feeling the same urge. I’ve seen nothing in the news indicating Trump’s grassroots supporters are greatly offended by anything he’s done or said recently.

Some are probably a little skittish at the tone of The Donald’s remarks and how they’re being received by the public as a whole, but is anything Trump’s done lately that far apart from what he already did during the primaries?

Second, there’s no infrastructure in place for a Cruz nomination now. Even if Ted were somehow able to wrest the title away from Trump, how would it work from a logistical standpoint in terms of running a national campaign?

The Republican Party has all of its wheels in motion planning for a Donald Trump candidacy. How could they just stop and turn on a dime, shifting immediately to a completely different candidate?

Third, even if the delegates ousted Trump and nominated Cruz in his place, the chances of Ted winning in the general election would be slim and none.

Successful coups usually install a dictator backed by the military to keep order after a leader is deposed. There would be no such similarity at a party convention, but I doubt Cruz would be looked upon too highly by the voters for agreeing to be the “dictator” who throws off the public will in order to please a bunch of whiners intent on saving a political party.

Lastly, Ted Cruz himself wouldn’t go for such a far-fetched idea. Without popular support, Cruz knows he’d never be able to pull off such a daring and risky maneuver. The publicity would be enormous but it would also be sensational and probably heavily negative.

Cruz has a promising future as a leader of the conservative movement and Republican Party. Does anyone seriously believe he’d be willing to risk everything for the off chance that such a scheme could succeed?

Cruz just isn’t interested in being a sacrificial lamb, and rightly so. That’s a job much more suited for wishy-washy politicians like Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush.

As for Cruz’s supporters who are calling for the coup, they kind of remind me of the many movie depictions of General Robert E. Lee’s troops reacting to the news of his surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. “No Marse Robert! We want to fight on!”

In his farewell address, Lee talked about the need to end the fighting because he could no longer bear the “useless sacrifice” of his men facing such overwhelming odds.

I doubt Cruz would take a similar approach to Lee in telling his supporters “no thanks”, but I also surmise Cruz wouldn’t want any part of this “dream” to kick out Trump and put him in his place. This may be a cozy fantasy for the former Cruz supporters and even many of the Republican delegates, but in practical reality, it just isn’t feasible.

The “cause” is lost for Cruz in 2016. But unlike in the American Civil War, he doesn’t have to linger on as a vanquished foe. Cruz can still take part in the process and have a major influence on the direction of the country, both in the near term and down the road, perhaps in another run for president.

Cruz’s coup proponents as well as the other elements of #NeverTrump will just have to get used to the idea this election is Trump vs. Clinton. Man up and make your choice.

“The Donald” vs the real Donald Trump: which one is real?

Now that it’s clear Donald Trump will be the name on this November’s ballot representing the Republican Party, most Americans will seriously ponder the choice between him and Hillary Clinton.

As I’ve written a number of times, conservatives and Republicans don’t necessarily have as much of a problem with the populist-fueled policies Trump’s put forward as much as they struggle with supporting Donald Trump the human being, a man who has appeared to go out of his way on numerous occasions to step on and infuriate as many people as possible.

In other words, if Candidate A was in favor of the same platform as Trump, Candidate A would have no problem getting most conservatives and Republicans to support him as the party nominee.

But not Trump. The loutish, loud, brash, hard-edged character is what we’ve come to know for the past year. It’s his style, his public persona. It’s “The Donald” versus Donald Trump the father, husband, friend and businessman. People who have encountered Trump personally swear by his gracious and kind demeanor. Even some in the #NeverTrump crowd who have met Trump agree that in person, he’s a good guy.

The one demographic group you figure would disagree is women. But contrary to impressions, those women who know Trump are fascinated by his impeccable manners.

Daniel Lippman and Ben Schreckinger of Politico report, “Politico interviewed more than two dozen women who support Trump — elected Republican officials and political activists — and while many wouldn’t condone his more controversial comments, almost all saw a Trump different from the one presented on television screens nationwide…

“Supporters who have interacted with Trump behind closed doors describe him as ‘kindhearted,’ a ‘gentleman,’ and, more than once, a good listener. To a woman, these vocal and high-profile female supporters describe a man who bears little resemblance to the brash, combative and dismissive Republican who now stands as the GOP’s presumptive nominee.”

This story was a bit of a surprise coming from Politico, which has a definite liberal bent. But if Politico writers can find a number of women who support Trump to interview, they’re no doubt searching for others who know him personally and don’t like him to feature just as prominently.

The fact you don’t hear many, if any, women coming forward to bash Trump now could be saying something. Maybe Trump the man isn’t as awful to women as is portrayed by much of the media. Even his former wives are supporters of his candidacy.

Trump’s comments about women – both on and off the record – will stick with him.

But if he’s successful at all in changing the narrative that Donald Trump is sexist and anti-women, it could make all the difference in this year’s election.

In the end, Trump will either win or be beaten by his own doing

The recent dustup over Donald Trump’s “Mexican judge” comments has revealed a few things about his candidacy.

First, at least up until a couple days ago, it didn’t look like Trump was making any effort whatsoever to calm down and become more “presidential” now that he’s dispatched his primary opponents.

Two, Trump clearly believes he’ll win the general election solely on the basis of Trump being Trump and the media circus that always follows him. He appears to still think he can do or say anything and generate enough press coverage to cloak his lack of policy specifics and get people talking about him – even if it isn’t flattering.

Lastly, we’ve learned Trump will be on his own to defend him when times get hard. If he loses, he’ll have beaten himself.

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner writes, “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich identified Trump's Achilles heel: ‘The person who's most likely to beat Donald Trump is Donald Trump.’

“Trump can fix his campaign's problems. He's overcome them before. But he's going to have to do it on his own, without much outside assistance from other Republican leaders.”

I’m guessing the prospect of going it alone is just fine for Trump. He’s based his entire campaign on the notion he’s an outsider running against political correctness and the stale, inefficient federal government. The farther he gets from being tied to Republican leaders, the better off he’ll be with the voters.

But at the same time, Trump will not be elected without the enthusiastic support of the Republican Party’s conservative base. Trump will always have the loyal backing of his own followers, but they aren’t numerous enough to beat a Democrat in the general election.

Democrat constituencies aren’t going to allow their “goodies” to be threatened. They’ll turn out for Hillary or Bernie – or anyone who promises to keep the gravy train rolling.

It’s important to remember Trump doesn’t need to change all that much, but he does have to stop beating himself. He could probably improve right away by just listening to sound advice. Someone needs to have the guts to tell him when he’s crossing the line.

If he truly wants to win, he’ll tone it down. Then he’ll force Hillary to beat him, which is a much more challenging prospect.

Obama chooses Clinton to complete the work of destroying the country

Finally this week, in perhaps the least surprising bit of news in the entire campaign, President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton’s bid to succeed him on Thursday.

Jordan Fabian of The Hill writes, “President Obama formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in a video released just an hour after he met at the White House on Thursday with her rival, Bernie Sanders.

“’I know how hard this job can be. That's why I know Hillary will be so good at it. In fact, I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,’ he said in the video, which was posted on YouTube and the Clinton campaign website.”

You just have to think Obama must’ve been choking on the words “qualified to hold this office” in speaking about Hillary. They’re both patently phony, but is there anyone who truly believes Obama actually likes Clinton?

Obama and Clinton will apparently campaign together next week. If there’s anything that might bring #NeverTrump out of their self-immolating slumber it’s the sight of the two arch-liberals stirring the pot of socialism on the same stage.

It’s also clear the Obama/Clinton tag team is in a hurry to toss aside the defeated carcass of Bernie Sanders. Followers of the Bern won’t be happy with that one…(and a Trump backer predicts The Donald will get half of Sanders’ voters).

The game is on. The next five months will determine the fate of the American experiment. Join the effort or get out of the way.

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Earnestly Repulsive

Trump does not want support from conservative Republicans. He has not requested it. He has done nothing to indicate that he does want their support. Just the opposite, he has told conservatives that he does not need them.

But he has asked others to join his ranks. He asked Bernie Sander’s statist, collectivist, liberty-hating hoards to muster with his isolationist, alien-hating, selfish henchmen, who are, to say the least, uninspired by the prospects.

The nomination is not secured until the convention. Trump has about a month to destroy his credibility with his acolytes, who have lost some enthusiasm now that the mission is accomplished to insert fingers into the eyes of the Republican establishment, whose help is now needed to be successful in the next round. Awkward. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” (Shakespeare).

From all indications, Trump and his acolytes would deeply respect the candidate that could successfully engineer a coup at the national convention. If it is successful, what would they do? Vote for Hillary?

I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you have said, apart from the fact that Cruz isn't masterminding this whole coup idea. If he isn't, Cruz should have long ago endorsed Trump. I also see Rick Santorum as a possible VP, without taking Sen Jeff in the Senate.

Senator Cruz

I believe that Senator Cruz played it correctly by dropping out when he did and lay low for the time being.
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At first he did not attack trump like the others did. By the time that he did begin to react to trump he started out slow and that is when he made the major error of his campaign.
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Whenever he was asked a question about his position he would begin by saying "let me tell you what donald will not do". That was his biggest mistake, even as a supporter of his I began to get annoyed at that strategy. He would have been better to state his position then compare it to trump.
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Right now he is just laying back waiting to see what happens with trump, He may not want to be the VP because if trump gets elected and screws things up Cruz should not want to be associate with him. On the other hand if he were to be trump's VP choice and trump screws it up and both the democrats and the republicans just might find it easier to impeach him and let the VP move up to be President.
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He is too smart to believe that they can change the outcome of the Convention knowing that far too many people will be angry and maybe lose their votes that they desperately need to win in November so I believe he will not join in on any plan to do this.
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One final note if the aristocratic political elite republicans had supported Senator Cruz to begin with there would be no trump to worry about.