Missouri is targeted in the latest Donald Trump temper tantrum.
A complaint will be filed about the state Republican Party’s process of apportioning delegates, or so it was promised on Sunday. Trump’s new campaign strategist, Paul Manafort, made the statement, appearing on ABC’s “This Week.”
Manafort told host George Stephanopoulos that the process of selecting delegates in Missouri and in Colorado will be formally challenged. His charge was that the “voters were left out of the process.”
This late in the game, Trump is finally aware that he needs every delegate he can gather to avoid being kicked to the curb at the Republican National Convention.
It’s shocking that someone who professes to be steeled for the White House was so daft about how people actually are elected. Trump repeatedly insists the system is rigged.
“It’s a crooked system. It’s 100 percent crooked,” Trump told the New York Times on Sunday as he campaigned before Tuesday’s New York primary.
He intoned yet again that he hopes violence doesn’t erupt at the GOP convention in July in Cleveland. Somehow, that always comes across as if Trump is subtly suggesting it.
Leave it to the postscript to reveal which politicos tried to alert Trump early on to the need for a more comprehensive strategy in the GOP trenches. We may later hear the interview with the Trump consultant who tried desperately to convince him. It won’t be a surprise, but rather part of a pattern, if Trump brushed off the approach, not to be bothered with such nit-picky details.
As a result, his campaign is in trouble. Despite Trump’s obvious ability to generate rousing support from a portion of the general public, Ted Cruz is positioning to eat into Trump’s delegate lead and take the nomination at a brokered convention.
Know the rules, follow the rules. And Trump has decided he doesn’t like the rules. Which is interesting, because they actually favor him in many ways.
Trump won the March 15 Missouri primary by a thin margin — 40.84 percent to Cruz’s 40.63 percent, but he will receive only 37 delegates while Cruz will get 15. Trump wants — and needs — all of them to help seal the nomination.
If Trump doesn’t receive 1,237 delegates before the convention, he risks being tossed aside in favor of another candidate on a second ballot.
Problem is, he apparently didn’t believe this possibility until recently. And it’s pretty basic to politics, not some gerrymandered conflation of actions hashed out behind closed doors, as he alleges.
Relationships, networking and building alliances are crucial in life, in politics and in business. It’s not enough for Trump to simply rile people to support him by vindictive lectures, name-calling and voicing their fears.
You get the impression that Trump thought he would win on charisma alone.
Even in his damnation of the delegate process, he tends to lean heavy on the idea that they can all be bought.
“You’re basically saying, ‘Delegate, listen, we’re going to send you to Mar-a-Lago on a Boeing 757, you’re going to use the spa, you’re going to this, you’re going to that, we want your vote.’ That’s a corrupt system,” Trump said Sunday, implying that he won’t be using his “better toys” for such things.
It’s offensive to suggest that every delegate is up for grab, but a lot of them did require more attention from his campaign during the caucuses. They weren’t asking for a spa weekend.
In Missouri, the congressional district meetings for the GOP will be April 30. The 5th District gathering will begin at 10 a.m. at Truman High School in Independence. The 6th District will meet at 10 a.m. at Chillicothe High School Performing Arts Center.
And the Republican state gathering is May 20 and 21 in Branson. That’s where 25 at-large national delegates and their alternates will be elected and a platform declared.
After 2016, when the scorched earth that was Trump cools, the legacy of his campaign will emerge. It won’t be a Trump White House.
But he may be the impetus for American voters to retake their role in politics. Detached, distracted and otherwise not wanting to be bothered, people helped ensure the stagnation that is Washington D.C. Lobbyists, big donors and a range of interests took advantage, for decades.
Both Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, to their credit, rose in stature by tapping the public’s frustration. But candidates still have to work within the system if they have any hope of changing it for the better.
That reality finally is becoming clear to Trump.