Collins, solo

In “50 Ways to Leave The Donald” Ms. Collins says rather than pursuing the Ted Cruz option, a lot of Republicans are maneuvering for a contested convention.  Here she is:

Rational Republicans are desperately trying to figure out a way to get rid of Donald Trump. Their desperation is so great, you’d expect someone to release a herd of crocodiles on Mar-a-Lago.

Taking an even more dire route, the former presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham endorsed Ted Cruz. That was a little embarrassing for Graham, who had joked, just a few weeks ago: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you.”

And if you endorsed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, people would — stare at you blankly? Move their desks to the other side of the room? Cruz, the only senator left in the race, now has the solid support of two colleagues. If it keeps going like this, by summer he’ll have enough friends to fill a closet. Even Mitt Romney, who announced he’d be voting for Cruz in the Utah caucuses, made it clear that wasn’t an endorsement or anything.

Rather than pursue the Cruz option, a lot of Republicans are plotting about a contested convention when they gather in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena. Before we go any further, let’s spend one second contemplating that name. Do you think anybody at the Republican National Committee pointed out that there could be a lot of stories about how party leaders “have all turned their thoughts to Quicken Loans …”?

It could be worse. There’s a stadium in Akron, Ohio, named InfoCision. And there’s the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. Cities have sold their souls when it comes to naming rights. I’m happy to report, however, that back in the 1970s when New York was planning its big new convention facility, officials resisted the efforts of a certain real estate developer to get it named the Trump Center.

But about the contested convention. There are 2,472 delegates, most of them pledged to vote for one candidate on the first ballot. But if nobody gets a majority — contested! Anything could happen. And you probably have questions, so fire away.

Why are there 2,472 delegates?

That’s a really terrible first question. How many would you prefer? There were only 261 electors in 1824, and they couldn’t come up with a majority — even though one of the leading candidates had suffered a paralytic stroke. And then they sent the whole thing to the House of Representatives, where John Quincy Adams won by one vote, cast by an addled representative from New York who allegedly saw a piece of paper on the floor with Adams’s name on it and thought it was a sign from God.

I don’t think that story actually has anything to do with party conventions.

No, but it’s pretty interesting, right? And Andrew Jackson, the nonparalyzed loser, never got over it. Still, he didn’t go around threatening riots in the streets.

Like Donald Trump?

Be fair. Trump has made it clear he never threatened riots if he got snookered out of the nomination. He just predicted riots.

What about his supporters?

This week a Trump policy adviser, Sam Clovis, demanded that Republicans “get on the train or they’re going to end up under the train,” which sounds pretty firm. This is a guy you want to pay attention to. Trump, you may remember, recently said his primary foreign policy adviser was himself. On the domestic front, it appears to be pretty much down to Clovis, an evangelical conservative activist and former failed candidate for Iowa state treasurer.

If Trump doesn’t get the nomination and everybody hates Cruz, who would they give it to?

Well, there’s John Kasich, who won the Ohio primary. True, he had a special advantage, what with being governor of Ohio and all. But that’s still something, right? And he’s been endorsed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and the former governor of Utah. I’m not saying Kasich’s candidacy is snowballing, but you could definitely call it a partial flake. Yet so far, the only people talking up a Kasich convention strategy appear to be immediate family members.

There’s nobody else?

That seems to be a problem. Right now, there’s a Republican rule that says the delegates can’t consider anybody who didn’t win a majority of delegates in eight states. They passed that in 2012 to make life easier for Mitt Romney. Hehehehe.

Wow, is there any way around that?

Sure. There are a lot of primaries to go. A bunch of outraged moderates could rise up and stage a write-in campaign. You know how wild-eyed and crazy Republican moderates can get. Or they could just change the rule.

Sounds like changing the rule would be more likely.

Yeah, right now we’re excited about a contested convention in Cleveland. By next month we’ll be obsessing over the meeting of the Republican National Convention Rules Committee.

I still don’t see who they’re imagining as the candidate.

There’s not exactly a long waiting line. Some people are talking about Romney parachuting in, which gives you an idea of their level of desperation. The crocodiles would seem to be more promising.

With frickin’ lasers!

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