Paul Ryan broke many influential hearts in the “DC Cartel” today when he announced, again, that he will not be the Republican nominee for President. It wasn’t just the supporters and Establishment types who had their hearts broken. It was also anyone who thought that they could swoop in an be Karl Rove’s “white knight” party savior.
This bodes well for Ted Cruz and to some extent Donald Trump. As far as John Kasich is concerned, there was an interesting and very specific wording that Ryan used when addressing delegates that could spell doom for Kasich’s desire to be the Establishment’s choice.
It could be nothing, but then again it was worded very carefully. Listen to Ryan as he addresses delegates:
“So let me speak directly to the delegates on this. If no candidate has a majority on the first ballot, I believe that you should only choose from a person who has actually participated in the primary.”
That means Kasich, right? Not necessarily. Keep in mind that when Marco Rubio bowed out after March 15, the majority of the delegates had been assigned. Moreover, “participating in the primary” will include those states that had early voting before he dropped out. In Arizona, for example, Rubio had already dropped out but came in 3rd over Kasich. Rubio still has a lead over Kasich and he has asked the RNC to bind his delegates to him on the first ballot.
There has been a little speculation about Rubio trying an end-around on the process to work his way back into the mix on the second and future ballots. Ryan’s announcement doesn’t prohibit this from happening. If Rubio is getting enough delegates in any of the rounds to make himself viable, he could end up being the “unity” candidate that the Establishment wants.
This will anger Kasich. It will make Cruz extremely upset as well, though he would probably have to be part of the solution as Rubio’s VP for them to pull it off. Trump, of course, would explode.
It’s a longshot to the point of falling into conspiracy theory territory, but there needs to be an understanding of how the RNC works. The Establishment has had a firm hold since Ronald Reagan left office and they have no intentions of relinquishing that control even if it means losing in November. This might all seem very unlikely and in reality it is. However, one shouldn’t be surprised if it happens.
The most likely scenario is that either Trump gets to 1,237 before the convention or Cruz gets to 1,237 during the convention. That’s how it should be, but don’t underestimate the desperation of the Establishment. They may still try something insane.