If you read my morning post you know that in my opinion Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republican Convention was the only honorable response for him in this situation and I applaud him for it.
However you might noticed that while I think Ted Cruz was totally justified in what he said at and after the speech as you can see by the title of this post I think Donald Trump played Ted Cruz and won, and I would even say won brilliantly.
The reason is apparent when you ask a very basic question:
What advantage does Donald Trump get with a Ted Cruz endorsement?
The answer is almost none.
Donald Trump spent the entire campaign (falsely) referring to Ted Cruz as “lying Ted”, the media, which hates Ted Cruz MUCH more than they do Trump and have been attacking him since the day he was elected, played it up a year. He would get no love from the GOP establishment which hates Ted Cruz as much as the media does from an endorsement and the number of NeverTrump people from the GOP who would vote for Trump after a Cruz endorsement is so minimal that it’s not worth thinking of.
In fact a Ted Cruz endorsement might even HURT Trump who is still trying to win over Bernie Sanders fans who believe Ted Cruz is the devil and seriously could you imagine the gift to Hillary Clinton a Ted Cruz endorsement would be? I can see the ad now:
Mythical Cruz Endorsement speech: “Donald Trump is a great leader”
Cut to old Donald Trump “We call him lying Ted”
Mythical Cruz Endorsement speech “Donald trump will make America Great again”
Cut to old Donald Trump speech: “He lies lies and lies”
I’m Hillary Clinton & I approve this message
Donald Trump knows media and knows visuals, he isn’t dumb enough to let this happen.
There is also no advantage for NOT having Ted Cruz speak. He won 11 states and made a strong case if he was denied a speaking spot or stayed away it would draw into question the “Big Tent” business and “party unity” meme that Trump was playing on. There is no visual no media no nothing. Nothing at all, no advantage.
Instead consider what we saw at the GOP convention last night.
Images of the delegates on the GOP floor booing Cruz in support of Trump
A contrast between Cruz’s attack and the pro-trump speech from Mike Pence (who endorsed Cruz before the Indiana primary) causing Cruz grief from all over.
A contrast between Cruz’s “attack” and people reporting Trump thought Cruz’s non-endorsement was “No Big deal“
Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
(Even as I type this Rudy Giuliani was on MSNBC calling Trump the “bigger man”.)
And remember all of this is taking place with a GOP convention that is drawing millions more viewers than usual and sets up tonight as an even bigger potential TV audience.
And doesn’t even take into account all the social media radio etc this generated or the fact that it took MSM attempt to go wild Meliana “plagiarism” business off the tube.
All this was made possible because Trump is good at reading people. He understands who Ted Cruz is and knew that despite all that “lying Ted” BS that Cruz is an honorable man and used that to his advantage.
Trump also knows media, he knows the audience and played to them manipulating the situation, the visuals and the media because he understands that the audience for any counter argument will be only a tiny percentage of this and consists mostly of political geeks like you and me dear reader. If Mitt Romney had 1/10 of the Trump media savvy he’d be president today. It was absolutely brilliant.
And remember each of these conflicts at the convention that the MSM thinks are so damaging helped build audience to draw people who would normally never watch this stuff and give Trump free access to make his case.
And now that Bernie has dropped out what drama is there in the Democrat convention? What person who has not already made up their mind will be watching it?
Trump won the case and the night and will likely win the competing conventions even with the MSM doing all they can to knock him off and prop up Hillary. Furthermore his actions maximize the potential vote increase from persuadable voters while keeping any damage localized to voters he had already likely lost.
You can debate Trump and his morality all day and all of the night but in my opinion this is pure LBJ class political genius.
And I submit and suggest that’s not debatable .
One final thing, the fact that Ted Cruz did the right thing and deserves praise rather than blowback he is getting is totally irrelevant to this analysis, but it all comes down to what matters most as this tweet says:
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) July 21, 2016
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