Well, now it’s official, Donald Trump has all the delegates he needs to wrap up the GOP nomination for President. He could coast into the convention, but you know that won’t happen. Trump just isn’t wired for laurel sitting.
And he’s wasting no time ramping up for the general election. He has officially turned his attention toward presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Sure, she’s still in a veritable fistfight with Bernie Sanders, but it’s only academic at this point. She has the votes, and he doesn’t.
But that hasn’t stopped Trump from weighing in on what most folks thought was going to be an easy win last fall. “Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can’t close the deal…”
That dynamic, in and of itself, gives Trump one of his most powerful arguments against a presumptive President Clinton. If she can’t beat Bernie, how will she ever help America “win again”. There’s no doubt Trump’s fans will eat that up, but what will the rest of America think when he starts in on that line of messaging come debate time?
Especially if Hillary counter punches with a line about Trump’s failure to unite his own party, something along the lines of “How do you expect to unite the country when you can’t even unite your own party?”
It sets the stage for an explosive war of words in what will likely be one of the most contentious and quote-worthy presidential campaigns of recent memory. How long will people forget the “happier” days of Trump and Clinton hugging and laughing it up at parties and receptions when the insults start flying fast and thick?
It’s an interesting race from a PR perspective. Both candidates have wildly loyal and vocal core supporters as well as massive negatives in the polls and failure to bring undecideds to their cause. Both the NeverTrump and NeverHillary campaigns are picking up speed, teasing rumors of not a three-way race but a possible four-way race. It’s happened before and may happen again.
Of course, there are many others in the race for the presidency, but without national exposure, they’re likely not to score out of single digits … with the exception of one possible party crasher. Many self-described conservatives have declared they cannot – not will not, but CANNOT – vote for Trump. They are currently flirting with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The question, though, is whether this is harmless flirting or if they plan to take him into the voting booth with them. Trump is certainly hoping for the former … because he won’t win without those folks.
Elie Hirschfeld is a real estate developer in the Manhattan metro area.