When Donald Trump collected a few unbound delegates last week, surpassing the 1,237 needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, expectations that the national convention could be the most dramatic in modern times evaporated.
“Now, it will be the most entertaining,” said Randy Evans, a party-wise man from Georgia, with a nod to the reality TV star’s promise to “put some show biz” into the July convention in Cleveland.
But there remains an important, unscripted drama yet to unfold in the tempestuous relationship between Trump and his chief rival, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Although Trump will arrive in Cleveland as the victor and Cruz the vanquished, the politics of the moment suggest that Trump needs Cruz — to reassure nervous conservatives — more than Cruz needs Trump, whose defeat in November would fulfill Cruz’s frequent prediction and best serve the 45-year-old Texan’s future presidential ambitions.
“If he does not endorse and Trump loses, Cruz gets to step out on Nov. 9 and say, ‘See what I said,’ ” said Evans, a member of the Republican National Committee’s Rules Committee who, as chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association, stayed neutral in the race.
“Cruz is a brilliant strategist, a long-term player. He’s got cards to play, and I fully expect him to play a few of those cards,” Evans said. “I think Cruz’s theme will be to say, `You’re the nominee, but I’m the party. You’re the name on the ballot, but I’m the one who represents, who epitomizes what it means to be a Republican.’”Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.
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