The Associated Press reported that Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to win the Republican Party’s nomination for president — 1,237. A small group of unbound delegates said they will vote for Trump at the party’s July convention in Cleveland.
Some are doing it because they want to support the nominee and others are doing it out of a sense of obligation to the voters in their states or districts that won it for Trump. Pittsburgh, PA delegate Cameron Linton said he will vote for Trump on the first ballot because he won Linton’s district, but if there is a second ball he won’t. “He’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it,” Linton told the AP.
But many of Trump’s harshest critics have fallen in line to support Trump. On Wednesday the real estate tycoon bragged about getting a phone call from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who is now supporting him. In a campaign rally last year Trump famously gave the audience — and the assembled media with their live microphones — Graham’s phone number. Graham was a fierce critic of Trump and once a member of the “Never Trump” movement.
Graham was also one of the 16 GOP contenders Trump beat in the primaries. At the start of the election cycle in June of last year, when Trump rode down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy, no one took him seriously. Once Trump started speaking, calling Mexicans rapists and banning Muslims, his 16 primary opponents began attacking him. Pundits were quick to denounce Trump and reliably loyal conservatives like George Will and Charles Krauthammer, got into verbal battles with the candidate. Recently Krauthammer said Trump was “Out of his depth” and “just terrible,”
One by one the other Republican candidates fell, with the biggest being New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Both were considered leading contenders when the electioneering began, but neither one did much more than a few percentage points when the voting began. Shortly after leaving the race — and trashing Trump as best he could — Christie became one of the first well known Republicans to back Trump.
As of yet none of the Bushes are backing Trump. Nor is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Earlier this week Ryan told the media he was working on it. “Nothing has changed my perspective,” he told reporters. “We’re still having productive conversations.”
It at least appears to be an awkward situation if the sitting GOP leader in the House of Representatives — who is also the Republican National Convention chairman — isn’t endorsing the presumptive nominee, but the chairman of the party, Reince Priebus, was quick to name Trump the “presumptive nominee” after the last serious rival to Trump, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, dropped out.
Since then Trump has turned his sights —and vitriol — on Secretary Hillary Clinton, his likely rival in the general election. He has given demeaning nicknames to all his Republican rivals, “Lyin’ Ted” (Cruz), “Little Marco” (Rubio), “Weak Jeb” (Bush) and he has done the same for Clinton, calling her “Crooked Hillary.” He also has a name for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: “Crazy Bernie.”
From the beginning Trump has attracted large crowds of followers and protesters, many of whom became props for Trump’s usually unrehearsed campaign speeches. “Get him outa here” he would bellow into the microphone as security people would escort protesters out of the halls where Trump was speaking. The crowd would roar with approval. Violence also broke out at Trump rallies, with cameras showing protesters being kicked and beaten, often with security around watching it happen.
On Wednesday in Anaheim several protestors were arrested at a Trump Rally. A rally in Chicago was cancelled when the Secret Service could no longer guarantee Trump’s safety. The Republican Party can expect no less when their convention convenes July 18 in Cleveland and the party votes to make Donald Trump their nominee for President of the United States.
In the weeks leading up to his announcement to run, pundits and comedians alike laughed it off, citing the times Trump threatened to run for president, but didn’t. Since then Trump has surprised every political junkie. For months pundits were predicting when Trump would lose support and drop out — only to see his support rise in the polls. It was predicted he would never get over 20 percent, then 25, then 30. Every prediction about Donald Trump’s campaign has been wrong so far. That should give Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party some pause.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.