Seriously, at what point does Paul Manafort start fighting back? – Because Ted Cruz’s delegate wrangler Ken Cuccinelli got ten of the thirteen statewide delegates up for grabs in Virginia today. As usual, the delegates are bound for the first Presidential ballot (so the hard delegate totals don’t change) – but they’re also only bound to the first Presidential ballot, which means that Cruz will have a say in everything else. Including future Presidential ballots, which possibility still remains a thing, despite the constant drumbeat to the contrary for the last week or so.
And this is definitely a victory for Cuccinelli and a defeat for Manafort. How do we know this? Because even Trump’s Virginia guy doesn’t get to be a delegate to the convention. Which led to this amusing couple of sentences:
Cuccinelli said the Cruz campaign had the numbers to take all 13 delegates, but allowed three Trump slots as a “compromise” and “olive branch.”
Corey Stewart, Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman, called it a “screw-you branch.”
…That’s probably fair, yes.
PS: This is what actual political hardball looks like, in case you were wondering. It’s also consistent with what streiff called a “scorched-earth convention” earlier. Which would be something that I would find personally regrettable, to be sure.