The #NeverTrump Crowd Should Get a Life (UPDATED)
UPDATE: This column has been updated to reflect new reality after late-night Ted Cruz victory in Alaska.
Ted Cruz won three states, including his Texas home and a surprise victory in Oklahoma, Marco Rubio scored for the first time in Minnesota and came close in Virginia, and even John Kasich challenged in Vermont, but there is no question that Donald Trump was the big winner on Super Tuesday on the Republican side. He won seven of eleven states.
The most fascinating, and telling, race was ultra-liberal Massachusetts where Trump won nearly 50% of the vote, suggesting reports were correct that he was altering the electoral landscape, pulling in the long-lost Reagan Democrats, some of whom may have switched parties to vote for Donald. (GOP turnout was huge, dwarfing the Democrats practically everywhere.)
More importantly, it was a different Donald Trump we saw during his Super Tuesday press conference (cleverly not a standard issue “victory” speech) at his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago. Nowhere to be seen was the “con man” excoriated non-stop by Rubio for the last week. Also not in evidence was the neo-Rodney Dangerfield/Don Rickles joker, spraying water to lampoon Rubio. This was a President Donald Trump standing before us, answering questions in a measured and crisp manner and with far more forthrightness than we have been used to with Obama. He even went so far as to reach out to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in a manner they may not have deserved, though he didn't mention Christie Whitman, who threatened to vote for Hillary Clinton if Donald was nominated.
Trump had promised he could and would alter his style when he shifted his attention from his Republican opponents to Clinton and he did that superbly Tuesday night against a backdrop that resembled the White House, replete with a proscenium of flags. Actually the venue was more luxurious, adding a touch of Versailles in its chandeliers.
Trump is a performer, quite a talented one with a wide range, and, as a Los Angeles person, I can only but ratify Bret Easton Ellis’ tweet that there are more than a few closet Trump supporters out here in Tinseltown. Some of them may even surface soon.
With all his victories, however, many Beltway Republicans are obviously still tremendously upset by Donald’s success. It’s hard to tell how big the #NeverTrump crowd is, but you will excuse me if, in plain English, I don’t know what the Hell they’re talking about.
Do these people want to lose? Would they prefer Hillary Clinton be president? Are they looking for a perfect candidate? Has there ever been one? Donald Trump may actually be expanding the Republican Party. Isn't that good? ... For that group I would recommend a reading of Hugh Hewitt's "Six reasons Trump is still better than Clinton." If Hugh can write that after Donald famously dissed him for low ratings at the last debate, a lot of other people can swallow their pride too and get on board.