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

(Even as I type this Rudy Giuliani was on MSNBC calling Trump the “bigger man”.)

And reporter after reporter talking down Ted Cruz both that night and even the next day

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?

Nobody.

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:


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State Sen Jim Rubens in Hollis
State Sen Jim Rubens in Hollis
While all the focus right now is on the National convention there is still local politics going on and there are plenty of divides there.

In NH former State Senator is putting up a primary challenge to Senator Kelly Ayotte. He made an appearance in Hollis NH and I managed to get there to cover some of it before I had to head for work and got the tail end of his speech

He then took questions on political promises and the clash between establishment vs grassroots

On Race Relations

On the 2nd Amendment and guns

I think that’s critical along with this question on life and planned parenthood

I’m committing to you on camera.

one from me on targeting police

On illegal immigration and sanctuary cites and had an interesting take on the effect

and then sat for an interview with me before I had to run to work

as a rule such a primary is an uphill climb and while my opinion on Senator Ayotte is not as harsh as many in the room it’s my opinion that as Scott Brown learned if you don’t have the pro-life and the pro 2nd amendment conservatives turning out in a general election you lose.

Mr. Rubens web site is here.


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Mr. Scratch (the devil): [whispering to Webster while he writes his speech] Listen, Black Daniel, you’re wasting your time writing speeches like that. Why worry about the people and their problems? Think of your own. You want to be president of this country, don’t you? And you ought to be! Inauguration Day parade: Bands playing, horses prancing, the sun shining on the stars and stripes waving in the breeze, crowds cheering ‘Daniel Webster, President of the United States of America!’ Don’t be a fool. Stop bothering with that speech and get busy promoting yourself…
Daniel Webster: BE STILL!

The Devil & Daniel Webster 1941

As regular readers of this blog know I’m a Ted Cruz fan. I endorsed him early, supported him through the primaries and was very disappointed that the GOP choose Donald Trump over him.

As regular readers of this blog also know two weeks ago I endorsed Donald Trump citing the danger of electing Hillary and normalizing the efforts of the left to use the IRS and various arms of government to oppress religious and political conservatives. I also stated that if we reward the Corruption of Hillary Clinton with the presidency we would get more of it.

Yesterday Ted Cruz went before the convention to make the speech that being the runner up in a seventeen person field and winning nearly 20 state, he was entitled to make. On the meat of the speech I’ll say nothing because we all know where Ted stands and always had. What I will talk about is the choice he had to make: Would he endorse Donald Trump or not.

Ted Cruz is a young and talented man, there is little doubt that he would be a formidable candidate in the future.

Ted Cruz is also a knowledgeable man, he is quite aware of what Hillary Clinton is and what her election would mean.

Ted Cruz is also a man who knows how to think strategically. Regardless of what some have said an Endorsement of Trump, while disappointing to some would have a lot of upside:

If Trump lost he would be able to count on help from Trump supporters, particularly if he went out on the stump or employed his grassroots team, the type of team that Trump needs right now.

If Trump won, there was always 2024 or 2020 if Trump decided to serve only one term (which I think is likely) and if he helped getting the immigration and ISIS plans of a Trump admin through the senate he could rightly take credit for the results.

Yet if he failed to endorse, he would not only have caused an uproar among trump supporters, but he would ensure that a billionaire and his children would have a chip on their shoulder and the money to spend on many more to destroy any such Ted Cruz run for president.

Against all that upside (and avoiding down side) what was the downside?

Just this.

He would have to betray his family.

If the only thing Ted Cruz had to worry about the false “lying Ted” business I suspect he would have let it go and endorsed Trump.

But Trump and his team slandered Ted Cruz’s father and insulted his wife and did so publicly, and Ted Cruz is half Italian.

To my knowledge Trump has not apologized either publicly or privately If he had then perhaps Cruz could have let it go.

But to publicly endorse Trump would have sent a message to his daughters, that their mother and grandfather meant less to their father than his ambitions.

What man who respects his father and loves his wife and daughters could do such a thing?

A lot of pundits think Ted Cruz’s non endorsement was about ambition, they were right.

It was his ambition to be loyal to his wife and married to her till death do them part and his ambition to teach his children that family trumps power.

That fact that people don’t realize this, the fact that they think it’s about his next run for the White House, frankly says more about those who think this than it does about him.

It might not have been the right thing for the party and you might even make the case that it wasn’t the right thing for his country, but it was the right thing for his wife, his father and his daughters and that’s the first duty of a husband.

Exit question:  Given my opinion you might wonder why was I willing to endorse Mr. Trump, that’s rather easy.  It was not my wife & father that were slandered, thus I am in a position to be more pragmatic and allow the danger of Hillary Clinton to both the country and my family to override my personal honor.

If it had been my wife & father, no power on earth could have prevented me from decking him, let alone getting an endorsement. After all Ted Cruz is only part Italian, I’m a full blooded Sicilian.

Closing thought 1.  Donald Trump is lucky this didn’t happen in the election of 1816 instead of 2016.  If it had I suspect Cruz would have called him out and shot him.

Closing thought 2:  All this being said, Trump knowing what was coming, handled the situation brilliantly and to maximum effect, but that’s a later post.

Update: I think Ted put it perfect here

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and my father. And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you slander and attack Heidi that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say ‘thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father’.”


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