The battle for delegates to the Republican national convention is happening behind the scenes; Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) has the story. The Trump operatives are already working the phone lines.
If Trump falls short of the magic number, many believe it will create the opening anti-Trump forces need to nominate someone else. NBC News reports today on Team Trump’s effort to make sure that doesn’t happen.
While Trump publicly dismisses talk of a battle in Cleveland, he is quietly assembling a team of seasoned operatives to manage a contested convention. Their strategy, NBC has learned, is to convert delegates in the crucial 40 days between the end of the primaries and the convention - while girding for a floor fight in Cleveland if necessary.
The outreach is already underway. “We are talking to tons of delegates,” says Barry Bennett, a former Ben Carson campaign manager now leading the delegate strategy for Trump.
[However] plenty in the party are still dreaming of a scenario in which there’s a contested convention and the nomination goes to a white-knight candidate who isn’t even in the race right now.
It’s something to keep in mind as the GOP establishment continues to rally behind Ted Cruz, a candidate party leaders have actively and fiercely hated for several years. Some see the Texas senator as a less-ridiculous option to the current Republican frontrunner, but many also see him as a means to an end: if they can boost Cruz and he does well enough to keep Trump below 1,237, it may open the door to keeping the nomination out of Trump’s and Cruz’s hands.
So who is the "white knight"? Would you believe Speaker of the House Paul Ryan? If you think that's impossible, perhaps because Ryan is (supposedly) not running, Charles Pierce has some words for you about Ryan's latest speech.. Ryan and other candidates spoke at the recent AIPAC conference.
Ryan said: "Israel, like us, is a liberal democracy in a sea of authoritarian regimes. So when America helps Israel, both countries become stronger. Both countries are protecting our way of life.
Wait, whoa. The United States is "a liberal democracy in a sea of authoritarian regimes"? Why does Paul Ryan hate Canada so much? Or the U.K.? Or Ireland? Or the Finns, the Danes, the Swedes and the Norwegians? What is this man talking about? He's talking about delegates from Florida, is what he's talking about.
Granted, he did not directly ask for votes. Maybe he was just asking for money.
h/t Sherri Moreau for the Charles Pierce essay via ReaderSupportedNews.