GOP frontrunner Donald Trump doesn’t like losing.
He especially doesn’t like losing to a man he deems a significant lesser like Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
After a lopsided primary defeat in Wisconsin, the native New Yorker is back home and looking out at a two-weeks away home state primary and wanting very much to deliver a jaw-breaking political counter-punch to his GOP rival.
The Mainstream Media has been quick to spread tales of a Trump campaign in disarray, hoping to capitalize on the Wisconsin defeat to push the narrative that Donald Trump is a candidate in serious decline.
Mr. Trump is now determined to prove them wrong and he intends New York and its delegate-rich primary to be the tool to deliver that very message.
Campaign-trail whispers suggest the New York billionaire was initially (and understandably) angry at the significant margin of his Wisconsin loss to Cruz. Within hours this anger transformed into a more reflective self-assessment, something Trump is often not want to do. By morning he was back to his old self, steely-eyed, almost jaunty in anticipation of the opportunity to punch back inside his beloved New York political ring.
It’s said there have even been quiet suggestions from Trump’s inner circle, including from his children, that the business mogul go ahead and green-light Super PAC donations to combat the mountains of outside cash that has been propping up the Cruz campaign for the last several weeks. Mr. Trump could likely see tens of millions in Super PAC funds within days of doing so. He has resisted to this point of proceeding in that direction, taking great pride in being the only self-funded candidate in the presidential race. And while his own campaign would remain self-funded, Trump is said to feel a large-scale Super PAC operation might lessen that appeal to voters.
More and more Trump supporters are asking that he do just that, though, which might be enough to sway the businessman to align himself with those as yet untapped Super PAC dollars.
“Too little too late.”
That is the refrain of some political insiders commenting on the Trump campaign’s slow to act defense of their candidate’s critical delegate count. For weeks, Ted Cruz, with the direct support of the GOP Establishment at both the state and national level, has been actively working to poach nearly a hundred Trump delegates at last count, with the intention of winning over those delegates upon a second and third vote at the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer. Apparently Mr. Trump first became fully aware of this process last month and was initially confused that a candidate who easily won a state primary could then just as easily see those delegates effectively jump ship to another candidate. In business, one’s word is one’s bond to that transaction. Donald Trump was slow to realize one’s word meant nothing in politics, an institution built upon the backs of those with knives sticking out of them.
And so the campaign has finally hired a figure well-versed in the machinations of the viper pit that is American politics, a man by the name of Paul J. Manafort, perhaps the single-most experienced politico in the art of delegate counting. Once the gravity of the Cruz delegate-poaching situation sunk in, Trump demanded they hire the best, and Manafort and his decades of convention politics experience might very well be just that.
Manafort played a pivotal role in ensuring Ronald Reagan successfully navigated an attempted GOP Establishment push-back against the then-presidential candidate in 1980. He has also garnered a deserved reputation for being an at times very tough and uncompromising participant within the D.C. Machine. He doesn’t merely defeat political enemies so much as devour them whole.
It remains to be seen though if current Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will relinquish much if any control over to the sixty-seven year old and far more politically experienced, Manafort.
That decision will be made solely by Mr. Trump himself.
It is a time known only to those few who have entered the arena of national politics when, despite being surrounded by the chaos of a campaign, even a billionaire candidate might find himself inexplicably feeling utterly alone.
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