Donald Trump and Ted Cruz passed the peace pipe in what was their first meeting–or from what I understand their first conversation–since Cruz exited the race in early May. With that, the biggest schism in the GOP may be starting to close.
National Review reported that Chairman Reince Priebus, RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh, Cruz’s former campaign manager Jeff Roe; along with Trump’s crew of Paul Manafort, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner attended. Trump offered Cruz a speaking slot, and Cruz accepted “on the spot.”
No conditions were attached to the speaking offer, according to sources who attended the meeting. This raises the question: What should Cruz say?
Obviously, it was a huge concession by Trump to give Cruz the keys to daddy’s Cadillac and no curfew. But Cruz has to live another day, and another election cycle, in the GOP. Priebus needs to ensure that the baton passes cleanly to Trump, and some kind of campaign (albeit late, broke, and lame) can be mounted against Hillary. With that in mind, it’s likely that Cruz’s speech will get much–and personal–attention from the RNC.
But once at the podium, Cruz can say whatever he likes.
This meeting foreshadows what is likely the bitter end of those firmly committed to a “Dump Trump” strategy at the convention. While it’s for the best that they try, for the sake of the party, the country, and for simple decency, there will be just too much pressure to follow the path of least resistance. Even juries fall for peer pressure when there’s only a few holdouts; even when the holdouts are right.
It would be so marvelous if Cruz stood at the microphone and said what he really thinks about Trump. But Cruz is smart enough to know that he can’t be a political suicide bomber (if he wanted to do that, he would have done what Bernie Sanders did and stay in the race). So he’ll likely play the “statesman” card, knowing that Trump will probably lose to Hillary. And should Trump win, he will have nothing to hold against his old rival.
I sincerely hope Erick is right and that the delegates wake up from their zombie infection and stop the party from marching over the cliff with Trump at the lead. But I just don’t see it happening. What I would, however, recommend, is that the entire Trump campaign team be dismissed and replaced with people chosen by the RNC.
I also recommend that they send Trump somewhere where there are no press, microphones, or smartphones with Twitter for about a month after the convention. The RNC can use that time to fully exploit Hillary’s incredible weaknesses, lies on top of lies, and serious deficiencies unworthy of any high office.
Then Trump can return to Make The Presidency Great Again, by being a ceremonial poo-bah, a rubber-stamp for Speaker Ryan’s plans and the Senate’s recommendations for appointments. It’s a perfect symbiosis. Trump gets be “Be President” while someone else does the work. At least I can dream.
The wall was never going to get build anyway.