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Friday, February 26, 2016

Can the Establishment Stump Trump?

 (Getty Images/Scott Olson)

Something happened in Iowa that deeply worried me. No, it wasn't Trumps marginal loss. It was the realization that the establishment went Walking Dead on us. The old guard is willing to do anything they need to get their next bite of grass roots flesh. Hillary is putting up wins too, with a few swigs of her witches brew. Yes folks, I think the establishment is going undead beast mode on us. 

With Bush now out of the picture, the GOP will have to look for a new pony and consolidate. Marco Rubio is clearly the preferred second string, but Ted Cruz has seem to find another gear with evangelicals and many conservative media pundits. I think Ted Cruz is among the last choices of the establishment, but surely they would rather side with them instead of being dead and buried for 8 plus years. 

So can the establishment still take a bite out of Trump? Yes they can! Although there has been minor trash talk between Cruz and Rubio, there has already been speculation on what would happen if they would join forces. And if the GOP wants to do the zombie shuffle a little longer, it might be their only hope. A Cruz/Rubio union could position the pair well in two key battleground states: Texas and Florida. That right there could be half the battle for the nomination. When you add insider experience, money, and trickery to the mix; the duo could be quite the one-two punch. 

Sure, a lot of people say they like Donald Trump, and he seems to have a lot of crossover support. But how many people will register in time to switch parties or newly register and vote for him? Being well liked is not enough. People are going to have to follow through. 

Trump has been enjoying relatively smooth sailing with his sound byte, almost Democratic style politics. It has been nothing short of genius, so far, with the amount of money he is spending. I think his tactics have worked well, thus far, while the field has been wide. But I do believe he is going to have to change and up his game, especially as things narrow down and head to head against the other big candidates. 

Will Trump's simple message of big military, big tariffs, and big walls hold up when he has to flesh out his position against Cruz? People may salivate over Trump plan to be some type of benevolent dictator over tariffs, but I think something called NAFTA is going to make that a tad difficult. Cruz and Rubio have to know this, and will probably be prepared to tear Trump apart on his arguments. 

Trump not only has to worry about the silver tongues on the GOP side, but also the Teflon Donette past the primaries. Despite Hillary's apparent waning popularity, she has steamrolled her competition, and barely faltered in the polls. While her scandals have made Bernie's candidacy possible, he has been little more than a bump in the road. And Hillary has been over a lot of bumps in the road. 

Soon we will find out if Trump has the knowledge and power to fend off all of the establishment tricks, big money, and political machinery. Not to mention having every major media outlet against him. Will he know what to do if a brokered convention is thrown at him? He will have to be well prepared by his advisors, learn a lot on the fly, and win a couple big states like Ohio and Florida. The old guard can be tough to beat, and will be fighting like a dying animal with nothing to lose.