Greetings, folks from the campus of Northwood University in Midland Michigan — snowy Midland, Michigan. I was a former member of the Board of Trustees of Northwood University and have been asked to address their Values Summit this evening, what an honor. It’s a beautiful campus nestled here in the woods of the Great Lakes Bay region. However, it would be nice to come back here and really see what those “pure Michigan” commercials are all about.
Anyway, due to the lateness of the results of last night’s primaries and my travel to the Michigan Bay region, here’s my assessment of last night’s political contests.
First of all, I can just imagine Hillary Clinton throwing a big-time fit because she just cannot make Bernie Sanders go away. Yes, there’s no doubt she’ll be the Democrat Party nominee for president, but boy howdy, Bernie takes Utah and Idaho. It doesn’t pay great dividends for delegates but it keeps him in this race, and in the long run, it just remains a thorn in the flesh of Clinton because she needs, wants, to wrap this thing up sooner than later. But the most important thing is she’ll have to reconcile with those Sanders supporters and get them to turn out for her — remember, she did lose Michigan, but pulled it out in Ohio.
As for the GOP contest, well, what can I say? Did any of you see the Bret Baier interview with Ohio Governor John Kasich? Just gotta be honest here, Gov. Kasich came off a bit unhinged and delusional, and very confrontational when presented with objective facts. Here is the lowdown of delegates after the events of last evening: Donald J. Trump (739), Senator Ted Cruz (465), and Governor John Kasich (143). As you know, one must attain a majority of the delegates — 1,237 — in order to win the nomination. At this moment, there are only two individuals on the GOP side who can mathematically achieve that number: Trump and Cruz. If my math is correct, there are just 19 state contests remaining, the biggest catch being 172 in California.
Last night Trump handily won Arizona and was awarded all 58 delegates. In Utah, Sen. Cruz breezed to a clear victory with nearly 70 percent and winning all 48 delegates. Based on his interview with Bret Baier of Fox News, Gov. Kasich is in the race for only one purpose — to prevent Trump and Cruz from achieving the 1,237 number. He believes that at the RNC convention, in his home state, and city of Cleveland, the gathered delegates will have some epiphany and see he’s the only “electable” candidate and give him the nomination. In other words, Gov. Kasich, who has only won one state, his own, believes that it’s not about the will of the electorate but rather the will of a group of political insiders, elites, who will crown him with the GOP presidential nomination.
Now folks, you can say what you will about Donald Trump, but this would be a Titanic scenario for the GOP. Because once again, regardless of record voter turnouts, the folks in the GOP would be told, “we know what’s best, this is the most electable person.”
Let me put it in simple southern lexicon: “that dog don’t hunt.” The GOP contest is a two-person race and now that Gov. Kasich clearly articulated his objective — spoiler — he can say he’s looking out for the country, but we know otherwise. John Kasich cannot mathematically win the GOP nomination; instead he’s relying on deterring others and then presenting his case, not to GOP primary voters, but to a select group.
The other drama playing out in the GOP primary revolves around the most recent endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. I think we can all agree there was no way Gov. Bush was going to endorse The Donald.” And Neil Bush is already part of the Cruz National Finance Committee.
But here is the danger for Sen. Cruz: you were once referred to as the “most hated man in Washington D.C.” but now have the endorsements of Sen. Lindsay Graham and Gov. Jeb Bush. As well, it was the blessing of the elder, Gov. Mitt Romney, that put Cruz so far over the top in Utah. The last thing Sen. Cruz needs is the hint of perception that he’s willing to sacrifice his principles in order to be president. And that is a very viable concern, and perceptions can lead to reality. If the GOP elites, the patrician establishment class, throw their lot in behind Sen. Cruz, there is a price to be paid — could it be a Kasich VP?
It is imperative that Sen. Cruz quell any concerns that may arise — and quickly. The longer these type of thoughts exist, they metastasize into a cancer, and the surgical operation to eradicate the disease becomes more complicated — and extensive.
The next big test will be in Wisconsin, and we can all but surely guarantee a Ted Cruz endorsement by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and probably Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. The question becomes, does this help in the strategic long view for Sen. Cruz, or could it tactically damage his brand? One must always protect his brand. I completely understand the concept of better to deal with the devil we know instead of the devil we don’t. But, I would advise Sen. Cruz to turn this into his favor by stating that he is winning folks over to his constitutional conservative message — not the converse.
And just to clear the atmosphere, the PAC Make America Awesome again should be ashamed of itself by using an ad depicting a naked Melania Trump to suggest she is not fit to be first lady. That was classless, and just shows how depraved our electoral process has become. And the endless back and forth between two political camps is disgusting, especially when we have ISIS killing 32 and wounding some 150 in Brussels.
My conclusion from the Tuesday primaries? Gov. John Kasich seems disrespectful to the will of the electorate, and Sen. Ted Cruz must guard his brand. Donald Trump won the biggest prize of the day, Arizona, and it wasn’t even close. As for the Democrat primary? Who cares? Neither candidate is qualified to be president.