An Extraordinary Day in Politics

Rich Galen
|
Posted: Mar 04, 2016 10:02 AM
An Extraordinary Day in Politics

I've been involved with politics since I was in college which is a long, long time ago. I have never been through a day like today.

I am including in that election day (and night) 2000 when Bush won Florida, then Florida was too close to call, then we descended into the nightmare of the recount - a process that didn't end until December 12, 2000.

I covered local politics as the news director of WMOA Radio (1490 on your AM dial in Marietta, Ohio 45750). I ran for City Council twice. Lost by two votes the first time, but won in a walk the second time when the Mullings Director of Standards and Practices ran my campaign.

I came to Our Nation's Capital in 1977 to be the press secretary for a Congressman from Illinois.

Did two U.S. Senate races as press secretary (including Dan Quayle's successful run) in 1980.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I've been at this a long time.

I watched Mitt Romney's speech yesterday morning and was amazed at the machine-gun litany of what he obviously felt were the shortcomings of Donald Trump.

Later in the day, Donald Trump got his chance and came right back at Romney much like a boxer who gets his opponent in the corner and doesn't let up until either the bell or the referee ends the round.

You will have read all about that, so there is no need for me to recount the charges and counter charges.

My colleagues were pretty much split on whether Romney's speech was useful for the anti-Trump people, or would actually help Trump.

The pro-Romney side held that Romney was the only person who could say what he said without worrying about Trump harming him personally or professionally. But, it is on the record and now the other candidates can refer to it, if they choose.

The pro-Trump side held that Romney diminished the other three candidates (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich) by coming in like the angry mom wagging her finger in the schoolyard bully's face.

Another point the pro-Trump people said was that Romney would energize his voters.

Two things. First, 15 states have voted. No matter how much more energized Trumps supports in those states become, they can't vote again.

As to the Republicans in the states that haven't voted, my strong feeling is Trump already has the support of just about everyone who intends to vote for him - late deciders have not been trending toward Trump - and they, too, can only vote once no matter how more dedicated they are.

Last point about this. I was in the CNN Green Room the other day where three Democrats were chortling over the jumble the GOP has become. I told them to be careful because Hillary Clinton might get the Democrat nomination in the end, but Bernie Sanders raised over $40 million in February and the same anti-establishment forces that are propelling Trump are at work on Sanders' behalf.

There is nothing to suggest that Clinton will be able to attract huge percentages of Sanders' voters in the Fall.

Will the anti-Trump forces be able to force a contested convention in Cleveland? I have no idea.

But, the non-Trump campaigns will not be able to negotiate solely among themselves, because Donald Trump will be there as well and, if he is as good a negotiator as he wants us to believe, then he may well make deals - legitimately and within the rules - that get him to the magic number of 1,237 delegates and the title of Republican Nominee for President.

At the debate in Detroit last night, at least in the first half hour it was very clear that Marco Rubio has gotten under Donald Trump's skin over the past week or so. That, however, has to translate into votes and, at least on Super Tuesday, Rubio's attacks left him with only one win out of the 11 states that were contested.

Ted Cruz knows the details of his program proposals but I thought John Kasich made the case for the role of government in real people's lives very well.

Yesterday was an extraordinary day but what may be more extraordinary is: I don't think it's the last one we're going to see in this cycle.