What will happen at the Republican Party’s nomination convention in Cleveland is anyone’s guess.
One burning question is will presumptive nominee Donald J. Trump select from a shrinking slate of candidates to become his running mate. More people — including Senators Joni Ernst and Bob Corker — have bowed out of consideration than shown interest.
Winning the GOP nomination with 14 million votes, more than any Republican presidential candidate in history, Trump knocked out more than a dozen contenders.
But many country club elite Republicans refuse to accept Trump as the party’s democratically-chosen nominee. They’re planning a coup to unseat the Donald at next week’s convention.
At this stage in the presidential election cycle, nominees usually head to their respective conventions for the pomp and circumstance of their party’s official anointment. In recent memory, this has meant no drama.
But Cleveland may turn into one big reality TV show with more plot twists and turns than anyone could imagine.
Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Trump’s most bitter rivals, agreed to put down his sword and speak at the convention after a private meeting with Trump.
“Sen. Cruz and Donald Trump had a good meeting … There was no discussion of any endorsement,” Cruz’s spokesman Catherine Frazier said in a written statement.
It’s no wonder — during the nomination battle, the two got down and dirty with one another. Trump dubbed Cruz “Lyin Ted,” implied his father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and said Cruz’s wife wasn’t as pretty as his spouse, Melania.
Cruz called Trump a “serial philanderer,” “pathological liar” and “narcissist” — among other unsavoury names. What Cruz say will at the convention will have everyone on the edge of their sits, including, I’m sure, Trump.
Cruz may be playing yet another wild card. He could announce he’s running or endorse a dark horse candidate brought to the floor at the last minute. The Republican National Committee’s convention rules allow a candidate who has won at least eight states or territories to be put on the nomination’s first ballot. Cruz won 10 contests.
Some Republicans are pushing for an open convention to hijack the nomination from Trump. A dump Trump group, Delegates Unbound, is lobbying delegates to revolt. They launched a television ad, “TrumpWreck,” encouraging Republican Party delegates to “Choose your values, follow your conscience.”
This effort to undo the will of the people, who voted overwhelmingly for Trump, would require the Convention Rules Committee to vote to unbind the delegates, allowing them to vote for any candidate they wish. Bound delegates are required to vote for the candidate who won their state primary or caucus.
All this drama heading into the convention doesn’t include the unscripted nature of Trump. In an election cycle that has been anything but predictable, fireworks are sure to fly in Cleveland — and right up to November’s election.