The radioactive quality of Donald Trump’s campaign is becoming more apparent day by day. Last week, Utah Representative Mia Love announced she would not attend the GOP Convention. It appears that she was only one of a large number of GOP officials who are taking a pass on appearing at the convention because everyone with a functioning brain realizes that the closer you are to Trump the more likely you are to go the way of the dodo bird.
A slot at the GOP convention used to be a career-maker — a chance to make your name on the big stage and to catch the eye of the Republican donors and activists who make or break campaigns.
In the year of Trump: Not so much.
With the convention less than a month away, POLITICO contacted more than 50 prominent governors, senators, and House members to gauge their interest in speaking. Only a few said they were open to it — and everyone else said they either weren’t planning on it, didn’t want to, weren’t going to Cleveland at all, or simply didn’t respond.
Those not going mentioned in the story: Trey Gowdy (SC), Mark Sanford (SC), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Kelly Ayotte (NH), IL Governor Bruce Rauner, SC Governor Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham (SC), Elise Stefanik (NY), Steve Russell (OK), Richard Hudson (NC). Wisconsin Representative Sean Duffy “hasn’t decided” if he’ll go.
John Cornyn has said he will not speak. Mike Lee and Marco Rubio will not speak on Trump’s behalf if offered a speaking slot. Roger Wicker (MS), Greg Walden (OR) and Rob Portman (OH) will not commit to speaking.
Trump, for his part, has made it clear that neither Ted Cruz nor John Kasich nor any other former candidate will be invited to speak unless they a) have endorsed Trump and b) will talk about Trump a lot in their speech.
This is not surprising. As Leon pointed out, signing on to the Trump Train means you are responsible for every offensive and contradictory bit of numbskullery Trump can come up with. If you get too close to him you will end up like Chris Christie or Jeff Sessions: severely diminished and made a laughing stock.
An incompetent candidate, down double digits in the polls, with his party running from him like scalded dogs is not the path to a November victory.