The presidential nominating process can get pretty nasty. The losers will lick their wounds but quickly get behind the nominee. The classic example is the 1976 Republican National Convention. Both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan came to Kansas City with a chance to win. Reagan lost but gave an incredibly moving concession speech. If there is an insurgency or the loser is a true believer, healing is more problematic.
This time we have two insurgencies led by Trump and Sanders. While the focus is on the Republican divide, let’s first look at the Democrats. Everyone knows that Clinton has won but Sanders is still fighting. Will the two come together? I think Clinton made a huge mistake in the last debate. Instead of going after Sanders, she should have taken the higher road. Sanders will need to do a great job selling his supporters on her. I could be wrong but I think they will work it out. There is no way Sanders wants Trump to win.
Things are a lot more complicated on the Republican side. Trump has left a lot of carnage in his path. How do you endorse a guy that repeatedly called you a liar, insulted your wife and tried to tie your father to a presidential assassin? To make matters worse, he seems to be saying that it doesn’t really matter if the party is united. Certainly Republicans are horror-struck with the idea of Clinton as our next president.
The key factor is how Trump views himself and the Republican Party. His towering ego almost makes President Obama seem humble in comparison. He loves to talk about his ability as a deal maker. These deals are between Trump’s organization and other entities. Within his business he serves as an absolute dictator. If he views the Republican Party as his “business”, he will expect everyone to toe the line and likely not budge an inch. If he decides to negotiate, he might make some real headway. If I had to bet, I’d bet on the first approach.
Better stay tuned, this could get interesting.