How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Mission Possible: How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Brokered convention's dark-horse candidate could be Christie

It is possible that Donald Trump may not be able to garner the 1,237 delegate votes needed to win the July Republican convention nomination on the first ballot.   If Trump doesn't get to the 1,237-delegate threshold, there is a myriad of convention scenarios.  Some are almost as frightening as Donald Trump emerging as the Republican presidential nominee.

There is wide agreement that the Republican establishment is not at all happy with the emergence of Donald Trump as their candidate.  Party insiders realize that a candidate who has alienated more than two-thirds of the population, i.e. women, Hispanics, gays, lesbians and Muslims, is going to make it almost impossible for the party to win elections in states across the nation where these groups constitute the vast majority of the electorate. Conservatives question his conservative bona fide.  The party also despises Ted Cruz's bizarre dogmatic approach to politics, which somehow says it's okay to shut down the government as part of a crusade to de-fund Obamacare.  The vast majority of Republican elected officials agree with John McCain's characterization of Cruz as a "wacko bird" who is "crazy."  It shows how much disdain there is for Donald Trump that folks like Mitt Romney, George Bush, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been willing to support Ted Cruz in order to thwart the Donald's candidacy. 

There has been a great deal of discussion lately about rule Rule 40(b) that was put in place in 2012 by the Romney forces to prevent Ron Paul's name from being placed in nomination.   The rule indicates that, "Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the names of that candidate for nomination."  Conventional wisdom is that Trump and Cruz will join their considerable forces to insist on the maintenance of Rule 40(b) to prevent their common establishment enemies from exploiting a multi-ballot convention to place someone else's name in nomination.  

Trump and Cruz, with merit, will argue that any attempt on the establishment's part to stray from the choice of the people is a perversion of the democratic process and an outright power grab.  I think this argument could hold sway for one or perhaps two ballots, but not for more than that.   If there is a protracted deadlock, I see the convention eventually bending the rules and turning to a candidate who would be viewed favorably by the supporters of front-runner Trump.  Bearing in mind that the establishment has no loyalty or love for Ted Cruz and only supported him as a tool to thwarting Trump's candidacy, the party would decide that his right-wing supporters, the party's true believers, will by and large come back into the fold when the other choice is Hillary Clinton.

On June 7, New Jersey will hold its presidential primary.  Every indication is that the Donald will win big in the Garden State and will capture the bulk of the state's 51 delegates (36 district-level delegates, 12 at-large delegates and three bound national party leader delegates).  I expect the governor to do a lot of heavy lifting on behalf of Trump.  He will call in every available chit he has to help produce a Trump landslide.  This will be our governor's opportunity to once again demonstrate his Trump-like in-your -face style and reinforce how supportive he has been of Donald's candidacy since exiting the race.

The New Jersey primary will be Governor Christie's final pre-Republican convention opportunity to audition to be The Donald's replacement, if there is a deadlocked convention.  He will stress the lie that he was able to cross party divides to craft deals.  He will, of course, fail to acknowledge that he reneged on the deals and failed to make promised pension payments.  He also will fail to indicate that he consistently made backroom deals with George Norcross, New Jersey's omnipotent unelected Democratic political boss, to sandbag Barbara Buono, the Democratic Party's candidate for governor.  Nor will he say that the majority of New Jersey voters feel he has been a terrible governor who has overseen a dramatic downturn in our state's economic condition. 

Governor Christie has governed in blunt bully-like manner and been an extremely divisive figure.  David Axelrod, a former senior advisor to President Obama, got it right this time when he said that Mr. Christie has a "Sopranos" approach to politics.  It is not surprising that he supported Donald Trump, who has demonstrated over and over again that he lacks the temperament to be president of the United States. 

If Governor Christie's endorsement of Donald Trump has shown us anything, is that he is "cravenly" ambitious and will do anything to get ahead ("Bridgegate" occurred because our Governor created and reinforced a culture that said punishing enemies is acceptable).  Christie is, no doubt, chomping at the bit at the possibility of being the Republican stand-in for Donald Trump.  This is a frightening but not inconceivable possibility.