A pig flew by the window.
I turned on the weather and the meteorologist said it was raining cats and dogs and Hell had frozen over.
Welcome to the presumptive and presumptuous near-official Republican nomination of Donald J. Trump for President.
No one thought this would happen. Not even Donald Trump, I’m guessing, if we could, or wanted to, climb inside that head of his.
In his victory speech last night he spoke of “the Hispanics” and “the African-Americans” and “the Evangelicals” I assume had he continued we would have heard about “the Jews” and maybe even some of “those people.”
He couldn’t have praised Ted Cruz more highly, saying he has a “great future.” This from the man who also said last night he was getting many phone calls from bold-face-named Republicans who had trashed him and now wanted on the Trump Train. “Politicians,” he spat out in referring to those callers. Hypocrites he meant. Just like Donald Trump praising Ted Cruz as having a great future even after he spent months trashing him and insulting his wife. He said the same of Little Marco when he got out of the race. Politician!
That is The Donald being magnanimous and a uniter. That’s Trump being diplomatic (a contradiction in terms). That is Donald trying to be the head of the party he contributed against for many years and has railed against for months. Next thing you know, he'll be complimenting the media.
Afterward, I’ve read, on Twitter you had significant GOP names saying they would vote for Trump to keep Hillary out of the White House and we saw other significant GOP names saying “I’m with her,” one of Hillary’s slogans.
I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton. But my belief is she won’t intentionally start a trade war, as Trump would; nor would she intentionally start a fighting war, as Trump would. Nor will she torture families of our enemies, as Trump would. Nor will she insult women or be condescending toward racial minorities. Nor she will say the First Amendment needs to be changed because she's treated unfairly.
As Trump now takes over the party, will he dump national chair Reince Priebus? Or will Priebus, who Trump has attacked for months saying the “party” is trying to stop his candidacy, now become Trump’s guy at HQ? After all, he has praised Priebus too, when it suits him. Poltician!
We’ll now focus on who Trump will select as his vice presidential choice. Many, I hope, would turn him down. Some – Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions and others – would salivate at the chance to be on a national ticket, even with Trump. I can’t imagine a Jeb Bush even considering the possibility for more than a nanosecond, if that.
Trump truly is a charlatan. He will be what he thinks he has to be at the moment to satisfy folks. His challenge now, though, is that would mean – if he wants to win even a portion of the 60-plus percent of voters who disapprove of him – shedding much of what he’s been for the past year or so. And that would threaten his “base” of mostly old white men but also expose him for the charlatan he is , the cynical politician who says what he needs to say to survive, whether he believes it or not.
Heck, he sent his new political guru, Paul Manafort, to a GOP national committee meeting to say Trump was just “playing a role” and that he’d change once he secured the nomination to be more appealing in November. But then Trump cut Manafort off at the knees, or higher up in the anatomy, when he saw that wasn't playing well and said that wasn’t true. Is it true? Who knows? With Trump you never know. As Roger Simon said this morning, "What I believed Monday I still believe Wednesday. No matter what I said Tuesday."
I will not officially join the club of those who say Trump can’t win in November only because you can’t predict how a liar will do in the short run. Typically, liars can survive the short run, in my experience. They can’t survive the long run, though.
I don’t believe the role Trump has been playing during this part of the nominee selection process works in a general election among a broader cohort of voters. You can’t put down women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and others and expect to win an election. Especially in today's demographic make up of the country. You can’t get away without being specific as to how you will bring jobs back, stop companies from moving overseas, build a wall that another country will pay for…etc. At least I don’t think so. Can he make amends with those constituencies? I don’t see how but he is a helluva salesman, you gotta admit that.
As Nate Silver, the New York Times numbers genius, said this morning: “Part of the problem for Mr. Trump is that the anger that has driven his success in the Republican primaries isn’t seen at the same levels in the general electorate. A majority of Americans now narrowly approve of Mr. Obama’s performance — a big improvement from his standing in surveys ahead of the midterm elections, when his ratings were decidedly negative. An ABC/Washington Post poll found that just 24 percent of Americans were angry at the federal government.”
“We” have been wrong at every step (well, I will hang my hat on predicting he would lose in Iowa, the first state to vote, and I got one right. I’m batting about the same as John Kasich and getting as much gain out of it.
But morally “we” can’t be wrong about the next prediction – that he will lose in November. And if “we” all do the right thing, he will lose.