Trump became one of the King Makers in the last couple of elections, just like Sheldon Aldelson and the Koch brothers, where nearly every candidate made the trek to Trump Tower in order to garner favor and money. Today, in desperation, Reince Priebus made the trip to meet with the King Maker and kissed his ring. He must be jubilant that he got The Republican Pledge signed by the most dangerous man in the race and can breath a sigh of relief now.
Wrong! Trump is clearly the winner in this deal and came out to his presser looking more triumphant than usual. Priebus is no match for Trump. I’d place a hefty bet that he tried to get Trump to come to his RNC office in D.C. to sign the pledge and Trump refused as he wanted the optics of who came begging to whom.
Why sign it now some may ask and doesn’t that make him a flip-flopper since the first debate when he declared he wouldn’t sign the pledge? Well a few points.
First, Trump had to know that many donors and maybe even the RNC were in cahoots to take Trump out in that FoxNews debate. He was ambushed and didn’t appreciate it one bit and thus fought back. He was ready for the attack and what better way to strike back at the Big-E (Establishment) than refuse to play by their rules. It was a brilliant move and people saw a fighter against the D.C. machine. His poll numbers went up after the debate when all the talking heads thought he was toast. They were wrong, as usual.
Secondly, why not sign it now when he’s the clear front runner and has been ever since he announced his candidacy. He has the momentum and is betting that others won’t be able to catch up to him. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially with some states requiring it to get on their ballot.
Thirdly, he’s now taken the issue of running a 3rd Party bid off the table and that should come as welcome news for many voters that feared he could become a spoiler candidate that would give D’s a victory. He took the pledge of allegiance to the Republican Party, literally in his presser, and that demonstrates his loyalty not to mention his confidence in winning the nomination. It was a yooge deal!
But in my mind, the biggest reason for Trump signing it now is to winnow the field. How many candidates polling in single digits will stick it out and pledge to support him? Who knows but as I opined here and declared I wasn’t a witch, candidates will also have a day of reckoning and sooner than the voters:
There may be a day of reckoning for many that despise Trump when they’ll have to make a choice between staying home or voting for him if he gets the nomination.
Likewise, I suspect many candidates, especially the show-and-tell candidates like [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ], would rather drop out now than sign the pledge themselves just in case Trump is the Republican nominee. There’s got a be a coyote ugly joke in here somewhere. Anyway, Christie signed the pledge today on FoxNews. How long will the RNC give others to comply? That’s what I want to know now that they’ve hooked their big prize fish. Mr. Chairman?
Many commenters here have lamented that we need to narrow the field and coalesce behind just a few candidates. We can’t have this free for all like we did in 2012 if we’re going to win back the White House. And to that I say, be careful what you wish for because my gut tells me that started today, like it or not.
(Cartoon from Bing.com; Trump image from donaldjtrump.com)