Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Too little, too late

In an election cycle where conventional wisdom has yet to be conventional, naming a Vice Presidential candidate while being in second place for your party's nomination for President seems to fit right in.

Ted Cruz formally named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate Wednesday -- a last-ditch move to regain momentum after being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

"After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina," Cruz said during a rally in Indianapolis.

Fiorina joined the Texas senator on stage, and Cruz's staff changed the podium in between Cruz and Fiorina's remarks to display a new logo featuring both their names.

"Ted could not be more right in what he said: There is a lot at stake, and in fact, this is a fight, this is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nation," Fiorina said. "I've had tough fights all my life. Tough fights don't worry me a bit."

While I've always been impressed with Fiorina's business background and compelling personal story, she never really resonated with the GOP electorate despite solid debate performances. I don't know if the Cruz campaign believes this puts Fiorina's home state of California in play for the June 7 GOP primary or what. If that's their belief, that seems rather far fetched given Donald Trump has enjoyed nearly a 20-point lead in most polling. Personally I would have preferred Cruz gone with South Carolina governor Nikki Haley or New Mexico governor Susana Martinez, but what do I know?

Sure this is an act of desperation by the Cruz campaign. But then again there's no more cards left to play. After being defeated handily in the Wisconsin primary three weeks ago, Trump has scored six consecutive resounding primary wins while compiling at least 50% of the vote in 5 of those 6 states (he got 48% in Pennsylvania).

With Trump's delegate total now sitting at 987, he needs 250 more to reach the 1,237 threshold that would make him the presumptive nominee. But even if he doesn't reach that mark, it's pretty much a cinch he'll get to at least 1,100 while having earned more than 40% of the aggregate vote. Let's face it. If any candidate other than Trump put up those kind of numbers, many of us in the #NeverTrump crowd would be declaring that candidate the presumptive nominee. That said, I still remain firmly in the camp of those who believe there should be an effort to select a different candidate for the GOP nomination if indeed Trump does not have it sown up after the first ballot at the RNC in July. Whenever a similar belief is conveyed, the patented response seems to be "ZOMG, SUCH A MOVE WILL DOOM THE GOP!!!!!!" The way I see it, a Trump candidacy against Hillary Clinton pretty much accomplishes that anyways. Polling shows he's consistently behind Clinton by double digits, he puts the Senate majority in jeopardy and even provides concern that the U.S. House may come in to play.

Alas, no matter whom the GOP nominee for President happens to be, it's difficult to see 2016 as anything but a proverbial train wreck for the Republicans.


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