News from the Votemaster
Under pressure from the Republican Party, yesterday Donald Trump signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and not run as an independent or as the nominee of another party in the general election. Round 1 goes to the Republic National Committee and its chairman, Reince Priebus. But what this really means will become clear only if and when Trump loses the nomination. Trump's signature puts the other candidates under pressure to sign it as well, even if Trump is the nominee.
If Trump loses the nomination because the RNC changes the rules later on to his disadvantage, he could always hold a press conference next Summer and say: "I hereby support the Republican nominee for President. As evidence of that support, here is a check for $10 that I am about to send to the candidate. I have now upheld my promise. Personally, however, I intend to vote for Hillary Clinton because I know her very well and I think she'd make a great president." There is nothing Priebus or anyone could do about that.
Worse yet, he could simple renege on his promise and run anyway. That would not violate any federal law. The Republican Party would be infuriated, but they would have no way to force him to give up his quest. Conceivably, they could sue him for breach of contract, but that would be a longshot and the suit would drag on for years. Many of his supporters would no doubt see his poking his finger in the eye of the Republican Party as an extra reason to vote for him.
Also worth noting is Trump's track record on keeping his word. He's been divorced twice despite promising "until death do us part." He also has gone bankrupt four times, in effect breaking his promise to pay back loans he signed for. Given this history, anyone assuming he will keep his word is being perhaps a trifle optimistic.
It is important to note that Trump has merely promised to support the Republican nominee. He has not promised to support the 2012 platform or the 2016 platform when it is drawn up. He will no doubt continue to call for the deportation of the 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. as well as the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (but not one between the U.S. and Canada, as Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has called for). Trump also differs from all the other candidates on some key policy issues. He supports raising taxes on rich people. He has praised Canada's single-payer health care system. He doesn't want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, he rarely goes to church. While this pledge (temporarily) gets rid of one problem, it certainly doesn't get rid of the problem called Donald Trump.
Was Trump smart to sign the agreement? Greg Sargent thinks so. But Joshua Green thinks not. Our view is that signing gets Trump on the South Carolina ballot, and that is more important than what happens down a long and windy road that you can't find on Google maps.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is mulling a run for governor of North Dakota now that incumbent Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) has announced he will not seek reelection. North Dakota Democrats are urging her to run for governor since she is popular in the state and has a reasonable shot at winning. National Democrats are doing everything to keep her from running for governor because if she runs, a special election must be held within 95 days of her resignation from the Senate and the Republicans are likely to pick up the Senate seat in deep red North Dakota.
After a foreign policy speech in Atlanta yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden once again said he can't decide if he should run for President. When asked if he was running, he said: "The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run." Chances are that is actually true. Biden's long history of saying what he actually thinks has gotten him into trouble many times, but it also adds to his authenticity, one of his strong points. His son Beau died of brain cancer in May and his family, especially his wife, is still grieving. Right now, he gets a lot of sympathy from everyone, including the many Republicans with whom he served in the Senate for 30 years. The instant he becomes a candidate all that will vanish and he will come under attack for things he did 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. Biden has wanted to be President for decades and has run twice, but he knows it would be a very difficult battle against Hillary Clinton, so he probably really can't decide.Email a link to a friend or share:
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