It Ain’t Over Till . . . Oh, Wait, There’s the Fat Lady

I suspect John is right that the GOP race is now over, but I can still see some extremely unlikely scenarios whereby the GOP convention in Cleveland nominates someone else. But it would take some kind of fatal stumble from Trump, and let’s face it, if nothing he’s said or done so far has slowed him much, what could he do now that would cause delegates to want to dump him?

But since it has been such a strange year, who knows. Fact: America has never elected president someone without high political experience (I count being the commander of the allied armies in Europe in World War II to be “high political experience”). Only once, in 1940, has a major party nominated someone who had never held public office before (Wendell Willkie), though there are some interesting parallels there. The GOP was institutionally exhausted at the presidential level after two terms of FDR, despite a blowout win in the mid-year elections of 1938, such that there was a good opening for the relative outsider Willkie. Sounds a little familiar, no? But remember that Willkie lost. I can see many ways in which Trump could beat Hillary, but it still seems unlikely to me.

Meanwhile—what’s this? Hillary losing to Bernie again? She has the nomination locked up on paper, but now with the GOP race decided (and who thought the GOP race would be decided before the Democrats?), the sole focus will be on Sanders-Clinton, and Sanders should do very well out in the western primaries. So Hillary will limp into the summer an exceedingly weak candidate. And if Hillary should be indicted around mid-June, one could imagine the superdelegates who are now Hillary’s firewall defecting to Bernie. So maybe we’ll have a Trump-Sanders race!

The Libertarian Party nomination is suddenly worth having this year. Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, is the likely nominee, and while he was a decent governor of New Mexico (or so I hear), have you seen him on the stump? He’s dreadful. If he seriously wants to make a race of it, he’d have to step up his political game by an order of magnitude, and I doubt he has it in him. But let’s see: if he can poll 10 percent or so, he might be included in the fall presidential debates. Then things will really get weird.


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