Tuesday, April 26, 2016

To Veep or Not to Veep

Running behind this Tuesday, hauling out the boat to remove a ridiculous amount of mussels from the hull, quick new paint job, and then back in again just as our surprising April snowfall began.  Very close now to diving right into this majestic summer - with the boat and the Euros and a lazy July through October planned after banking some significant hours in the first few months of the year, it is going to be sweet.

Will we have a contested convention in Cleveland to look forward to?  I still hope so, even as Trump seems to be flirting with a cloak of inevitability.  Increasingly desperate, Cruz has floated various trial balloons.  The mutual non-aggression pact with Kasich makes perfect sense, although count on Kasich messing up the launch by not at least hinting to his supporters that for him to have a chance they may have to vote Cruz in Indiana to run this game out.  The musings about pre-announcing a VP selection are more intriguing.  We have never really seen a contested convention before, so what might work and what might not is a real unknown.

The best analogy is, of course, 1976.  A year perhaps best known for Newfoundland and Labrador's sole Brier win (perhaps, eh? -ed.), but also featuring a pretty compelling moment in US Presidential politics that I had never really considered...  Before this year (before now), have you ever heard the name Richard Schweiker?  This was the Senator from Pennsylvania that the upstart Reagan announced as his VP prior to the convention - which apparently started the now standard practice of announcing pre-convention.  For a great recap of the 1976 convention in its glorious chaos, check out this excellent oral history.

Not surprising to see Cruz following in the footsteps of his idol.  And as Reagan's efforts were meant to pull in delegates from Pennsylvania, has Cruz indicated a willingness to pick Fiorina with an eye to winning votes in California?  Colour me sceptical that Carly is the answer to Cruz's Trump problem, but who knows?  Worth the gambit at the very least, if only to keep his name in the spotlight.  But presumably a stronger pick would play even better.  Problem - who would want it?

All that a long lead in to the short prediction for the votes to come tonight.  118 delegates are at stake, and the 538 guide from late March had Trump winning 91, with Rhode Island and Connecticut the biggest vulnerabilties.  No matter what happens, it is likely nothing specific will be decided tonight.  Next Tuesday is Indy, though, where Cruz has a shot and Trump needs a decent amount to stay on target.  Momentum could swing another time if Cruz can figure out the argument that will stick, or if he can rally some of that Wisconsin magic. 

I hope he does at this point, just to keep the farce running on.  We will know a lot more in a little over a week.


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