Category Archives: Mitt Romney

Clint Eastwood Rips ‘P*ssy Generation,’ Says He’ll Vote For Donald Trump

Trigger warning for the easily-offended special snowflakes.

clint eastwood

From Huffington Post: Clint Eastwood is calling out the “pussy generation” for being too politically correct, and says anyone offended by Donald Trump’s history of racist remarks should “just fucking get over it.” 

In an interview with Esquire magazine, the Academy Award winner said Trump was “onto something” because “he’s just saying what’s on his mind.” “And sometimes it’s not so good,” Eastwood said. “And sometimes it’s … I mean, I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it.”

Eastwood explained:

“You know, he’s a racist now because he’s talked about this judge. And yeah, it’s a dumb thing to say. I mean, to predicate your opinion on the fact that the guy was born to Mexican parents or something. He’s said a lot of dumb things. So have all of them. Both sides. But everybody—the press and everybody’s going, ‘Oh, well, that’s racist,’ and they’re making a big hoodoo out of it. Just f*cking get over it. It’s a sad time in history.”

Eastwood also spoke out against political correctness:

“(S)ecretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist. And then when I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, ‘This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.’ And I said, ‘Good. Let me read it tonight.’ The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, ‘We’re starting this immediately.’”

Eastwood said he planned to vote for Trump, but called it a “tough one” and didn’t endorse the Republican presidential candidate.

empty chair

As for that now-famous 2012 Republican National Convention speech where Eastwood lectured an empty chair as if it were President Barack Obama, the actor/filmmaker explained that after a series of speeches praising then-nominee Mitt Romney, he felt he had to do something different:

“And so I’m listening to an old Neil Diamond thing and he’s going, “And no one heard at all / Not even the chair.” And I’m thinking, That’s Obama. He doesn’t go to work. He doesn’t go down to Congress and make a deal. What the hell’s he doing sitting in the White House?

Eastwood’s next film, “Sully,” opens in September and stars Tom Hanks as “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

DCG

Death of the 2-party system: GOP bigwigs formally endorse Hillary Clinton

Democrats and RepublicansWhatever happens on November 8, Donald Trump can claim this achievement: His candidacy exposed the fact that the two-party system of Democrats and Republicans is an illusion.

What we have in the U.S. instead is a corrupt polity where Democrat and Republican élites form a single ruling party, as Professor Emeritus Angelo M. Codevilla stunningly asserted in 2010. (See “America’s Bipartisan Ruling Class vs. the People“)

The evidence?

The following list of Republican bigwigs who, by publicly declaring their support for Hillary Clinton — the pathological liar who had accomplished nothing as secretary of state, but violated U.S. laws and jeopardized national security with her unsecured private email server; lied about and left four Americans to die in Benghazi; and supports the absolute “right” of women to kill their unborn — instead of Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump, have peeled away their masks, revealing their true faces.

monsterHere’s a list of the Republican élites who have declared they’ll vote for Hillary:

  1. Dan Akerson, former chairman and chief executive of General Motors: ‘‘Serving as the leader of the free world requires effective leadership, sound judgment, a steady hand and, most importantly, the temperament to deal with crises large and small. Donald Trump lacks each of these characteristics.’’
  2. Marc Andreessen, venture capitalist: ‘‘[Silicon] Valley wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be doing any of this if we didn’t have the amazing flow of immigrants that we’ve had in the last 80 years. And the idea of choking that off just makes me sick to my stomach.’’
  3. Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state and adviser to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush: Trump ‘‘doesn’t appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues. So I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.’’
  4. Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and adviser to GOP presidential candidates: ‘‘I’m literally losing sleep over Donald Trump. She would be vastly preferable to Trump.’’
  5. Sally Bradshaw, former top Jeb Bush adviser, who told CNN that she left the GOP and became an independent because of Trump: “As much as I don’t want another four years of Obama’s policies, I can’t look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump.’’
  6. Arne Carlson, a former two-term Republican governor of Minnesota who supported Obama.
  7. Jim Cicconi, former Reagan and George H.W. Bush aide: ‘‘Hillary Clinton is experienced, qualified and will make a fine president. The alternative, I fear, would set our nation on a very dark path.’’
  8. Eliot Cohen, former Bush administration official who has been called “the most influential neocon in academe,” declared Clinton “the lesser evil, by a large margin.”
  9. Maria Comella, former spokeswoman for governors Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani: ‘‘Instead of speaking out against instances of bigotry, racism and inflammatory rhetoric whether it’s been against women, immigrants, or Muslims, we made a calculus that it was better to say nothing at all in the interest of politics and winning elections.’’
  10. Doug Elmets, former Reagan spokesman: ‘‘I could live with four years of Hillary Clinton before I could ever live with one day of Donald Trump as president.’’ Elmets spoke at the Democratic National Convention, along with other Republicans now backing Clinton.
  11. Mike Fernandez, $4 million to GOP candidates in recent years: ‘‘If I have a choice — and you can put it in bold — if I have a choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton, I’m choosing Hillary. She’s the lesser of two evils.’’
  12. Charles Fried, US solicitor general under Reagan and current Harvard Law School professor: ‘‘Though long a registered Republican, this will be the third consecutive presidential election in which my party forces the choice between party and, in John McCain’s words, putting America first. . . . It is to [Mitt] Romney’s credit that this year, like John Paulson and George Will, he is standing up against the brutal, substantively incoherent, and authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump.”
  13. Richard Hanna, a “moderate” Republican Congressman (NY) who is retiring this year, told The Syracuse Post Standard he will support Hillary because Trump is unfit to lead: “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?”
  14. Ben Howe, contributing editor at RedState.com.
  15. Robert Kagan, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; former Reagan State Department aide and adviser to the campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney; will vote for Hillary.
  16. Peter Mansoor, retired Army colonel and former aide to disgraced general David Petraeus: ‘‘It will be the first Democratic presidential candidate I’ve voted for in my adult life.’’
  17. Hamid Moghadam, chairman and chief executive of Prologis: ‘‘Our country is about tolerance and inclusion and that’s why, as a lifelong Republican supporter, I endorse Hillary Clinton for president in this election.’’
  18. William Oberndorf, $3 million to GOP candidates since 2012: ‘‘If it is Trump vs. Clinton, and there is no viable third-party candidate, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton.’’
  19. Henry Paulson, treasury secretary to George W. Bush. Paulson wrote: “When it comes to the presidency, I will not vote for Donald Trump. ‘I will not cast a write-in vote. I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton, with the hope that she can bring Americans together to do the things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world. To my Republican friends: I know I’m not alone.’’
  20. Larry Pressler, former three-term Republican senator from South Dakota: ‘‘I can’t believe I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, but I am. If someone had told me 10 years ago I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed them.’’
  21. Chuck Robbins, chief executive of Cisco.
  22. Mark Salter, former top adviser to John McCain: ‘‘Whatever Hillary Clinton’s faults, she’s not ignorant or hateful or a nut. She acts like an adult and understands the responsibilities of an American president. That might not be a ringing endorsement. But in 2016, the year of Trump’s s campaign, it’s more than enough.’’
  23. Kori Schake, National Security Council and State Department aide.
  24. Robert Smith, former judge on New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals: ‘‘This year, I’m going to vote for a Democrat for president — the first time I’ve done it in 36 years — and I think the decision is easy. Hillary Clinton is the only responsible choice, and I don’t understand why so few of my fellow conservatives see it that way.’’
  25. Brent Scowcroft, chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and adviser to three previous GOP presidents: ‘‘The presidency requires the judgment and knowledge to make tough calls under pressure . . . [Clinton] has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time.’’
  26. Craig Snyder, former chief of staff to then-Republican former senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and also an ex-colleague of former top Trump adviser Roger Stone and current top Trump adviser Paul Manafort.
  27. Alan Steinberg, regional EPA administrator.
  28. Mike Treiser, former Mitt Romney aide: ‘‘In the face of bigotry, hatred, violence, and small-mindedness, this time, I’m with her.’’
  29. Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard executive; former California gubernatorial contender.

Add to the above list Glenn Beck, the billionaire Koch brothers, Bill Kristol (National Review), Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, and Ben Shapiro (National Review), who, although not declaring they’ll vote for Hillary, are reported to be adamantly opposed to Trump.

Here are the Republicans who will vote for the Libertarian Party’s Johnson-Weld ticket and so effectively assure a Hillary win:

  1. Martin Avila, CEO of Terra Eclipse, former Digital Campaign Director to former Rep. Ron Paul, member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld’s steering committee.
  2. Julie Germany, Interim Executive Director of the White Coat Waste Project, former COO of Generation Opportunity, member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  3. Mason Harrison, head of communications for Crowdpac,  former strategist for the campaigns of Gov. Mitt Romney and ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  4. Jon Henke, former adviser to US Sen. Fred Thompson, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and former Sen. George Allen; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  5. Dawson Hodgson, former member, RI State Senate; former Rhode Island State Prosecutor; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  6. Cyrus Krohn, former Republican National Committee e-Campaign Director; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  7. Ed Lopez, former national vice chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus; former member of the national campaign at Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry; co-chair of Republicans for Johnson-Weld initiative.
  8. Liz Mair, longtime GOP operative whose group is behind the Facebook ad buy in Utah featuring a racy photo of Melania Trump; the RNC’s first and only online communications director, and has advised US Senator Rand Paul, Governors Scott Walker and Rick Perry, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on communications; co-chair of Republicans for Johnson-Weld initiative.
  9. Kevin Martin, former chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Massachusetts; small business owner; co-chair of Republicans for Johnson-Weld initiative.
  10. Michael Melendez, former leader of Young Americans for Liberty in Utah and Utah State Central Committee member; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  11. Marco Nunez, Jr., Republican strategist who served on the George W. Bush and John McCain presidential campaigns, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign, and at the Republican National Committee; co-chair of Republicans for Johnson-Weld initiative.
  12. Moira Bagley Smith, former communications director to Sen. Rand Paul and multiple members of House GOP leadership; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  13. Lyle Stamps, attorney; former White House staffer; leader of Latter-day Saints for Bush during the 2004 election cycle; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  14. Michael Turk, President of Opinion Mover Strategies; former Republican National Committee e-campaign director; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  15. Luke Williams, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author; Vice President at AECOM; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  16. Dan Winslow, former Chief Legal Counsel to MA Gov. Mitt Romney; former member, MA House of Representatives; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.
  17. Keith Velia, finance industry leader; Republican Liberty Caucus of Connecticut Treasurer; Ridgefield Republican Town Committee Associate; member of Republicans for Johnson-Weld steering committee.

Sources: Boston Globe, New York Times, In These Times, Townhall, Republicans for Johnson/Weld 2016.

George W. Bush hugs Hillary at Nancy Reagan funeral

As The Daily Bell observes:

There is only one party: pro-war and pro-technocratic (corporatist).

The fundamental mythology of US politics is that the Democrats are socialist-oriented and Republicans believe in freedom and individual human rights.

But Hillary is corporatist, not socialist….

Important Republicans call Trump’s stances “brutal, substantively incoherent, and authoritarian.”

Strangely, Hillary’s actions and statements provide evidence of the very authoritarianism and brutality that Trump is being accused of.

When she and her husband entered the White House, one of the very first things Hillary did was fire the staff of the travel office in order to put her own people in place.

She didn’t just fire the staff however, she also tried to get the head of the office, Director Billy Dale, put in jail for embezzlement. He was subsequently found not guilty and Hillary herself was investigated for initiating the firings and making false accusations.

Her intimidation and blackmailing of her husband’s lovers is well known by this point- and thus her campaign’s emphasis on “women’s rights” is ironic to say the least.

Her voting record and statements reveal an individual who is most comfortable with US serial wars abroad, no matter the reason (or lack of reasons).

Additional  accusations against Hillary and her husband include violence and even murder of individuals whose interests diverged from theirs.

Most notably, Hillary has been accused of orchestrating the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster.

None of this seems to register with Republicans who are “crossing over”….

Conclusion: Whatever else takes place during this federal election, the disintegration of the credibility of the two-party system is perhaps the most important development of all.

See also:

~Eowyn

5 reasons why Democrat docu-maker Michael Moore thinks Trump will win

While the Left’s willing accomplices in the media pour on their sickening adulation of Hillary in their selective reporting of the Democratic National Convention, one Democrat is actually speaking the truth.

In a very long, tediously verbose email to his followers whom he addresses as “friends,” which you can read for yourself here, Hollyweirdo film maker Michael Moore mournfully predicts that Donald Trump will defeat Hillary Clinton this November.

By the way, did Moore take in even one Muslim refugee?

By the way, did Moore take in even one Muslim refugee?

Moore writes:

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

Notwithstanding his forlorn wish that he could “be proven wrong,” and despite his belief that “the American people clearly want” the Obama legacy to be continued, which the “whip-smart” Hillary Clinton who “cares about kids” will, Moore tells his followers that they must “stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real.”

According to Michael Moore, these are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:

1. Trump will win the rustbelt states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

These are four traditionally “blue” states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes which can no longer be relied on to vote Democrat because “the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest, and Trump will “hammer” Hillary on this “and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.” Moore predicts that “What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here” because of the plight and anger of the former industrial workers of America’s rustbelt:

“From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.”

Trump understands and speaks to their anger. Moore writes:

“When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.”

Some signs that Trump will win those 4 rustbelt states are:

  • All four states have elected Republican governors since 2010 (only Pennsylvania recently elected a Democrat).
  • In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million).
  • Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio.
  • In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. The electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are precisely 64, which means “All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.”

2. The Angry White Man

While he has only contempt for America’s angry white men who he says are furious that the “male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end” and “a woman is about to take over,” Moore nevertheless sees the 2016 presidential election as the “last stand” of the “Endangered White Male” who will turn out in droves to vote for Trump.

3. Hillary Clinton

Asking his followers, “Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves?,” Moore says outright that “Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary.” Here are the dimensions of what Moore calls “The Hillary Problem”:

  • Hillary Clinton is a hawk, who “will find a way to get us in some kind of military action.”
  • Hillary Clinton is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest.
  • Hillary Clinton is an opportunist — she doesn’t really believe “in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage.”
  • Young women, in particular, don’t like Hillary and “are among her biggest detractors…. [N]ot a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her.
  • No enthusiasm of Hillary means low voter turnout: “No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.”

4. The Depressed Sanders Vote

While Moore maintains that Bernie Sanders’ supporters will vote for Hillary, he warns that “The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a ‘depressed vote’ – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election.” That’s because Bernie supporters, being young, “have zero tolerance for phonies and BS.” And although “They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home.” And Hillary picking Tim Kaine — “a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy” — as her running mate sent precisely the wrong message to the Bernie millennials.

5. the angry, DEFIANT american

Moore calls his 5th reason why Trump will win “the Jesse Ventura Effect”. By that he means what happened “back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor” simply because they could — a gesture of defiance against the establishment, “Minnesotans’ version of a good practical joke on a sick political system.”

Moore predicts “This is going to happen again with Trump” when the voter draws “the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth” — “one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops … and no one can make you do anything.” And because of “the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad.”

In other words, like so many other political analysts, Moore correctly sees the American people as sick of the prevailing system, and they want to “shake things up,” which “President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show.”

H/t FOTM reader MCA.

~Eowyn

Rove-Romney-Kasich plot against Trump in Cleveland?

The 2016 Republican National Convention that began today in Cleveland, Ohio, promises to be that rare GOP Convention that’s boycotted by the party’s super luminaries.

polls_GOP_Suicide_4337_123568_poll_xlargeNeither of the former President Bushes will attend, nor will former Republican presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney, nor will Ohio Governor John Kasich, who had fought for Cleveland to host the convention.

Curiously, however, both Romney and Kasich will be in Cleveland at the time, though not at the convention. So is GOP guru Karl Rove.

In fact, Rove and InfoWars’ Alex Jones were on the same connecting American Airlines flight to Cleveland, and had a fracas upon landing at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport.

Jones approached Rove, calling him by the nickname given Rove by George W. Bush, “turd blosson.” Rove threatened to call the police on Jones.

Jones believes Rove is in Cleveland “to siphon off” super-delegates from voting for Trump.

Independent investigative journalist Wayne Madsen writes:

The presence of Rove, along with failed 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in Cleveland can only mean that there is some serious closed-door political maneuvering against GOP nominee Donald Trump.

But Madsen, in a previous article, maintains that:

The campaign to drop Trump from the ticket will be unsuccessful due to Trump’s support on the GOP Rules Committee. The schism, however, will prevent any party unity going into November. The lack of party unity cost Humphrey the election in 1968 and Ford re-election in 1976. But keep in mind that those were the days when politics, barring an assassination, were predictable. That is not the case this year.

~Eowyn

WTF: If elected president, Trump won’t serve?

In a recent interview, when Donald Trump was asked by the New York Times if he would actually serve should he beat Hillary and is elected President, Trump refused to give a definitive answer.

The New York Times did not actually give us the transcript of the interview. Below is Jason Horowitz’ article, “Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the election? He Doesn’t Rule it Out,” in The New York Times of July 8, 2016, in its entirety:

The traditional goal of a presidential nominee is to win the presidency and then serve as president.

Donald J. Trump is not a traditional candidate for president.

Presented in a recent interview with a scenario, floating around the political ether, in which the presumptive Republican nominee proves all the naysayers wrong, beats Hillary Clinton and wins the presidency, only to forgo the office as the ultimate walk-off winner, Mr. Trump flashed a mischievous smile.

“I’ll let you know how I feel about it after it happens,” he said minutes before leaving his Trump Tower office to fly to a campaign rally in New Hampshire.

It is, of course, entirely possible that Mr. Trump is playing coy to earn more news coverage. But the notion of the intensely competitive Mr. Trump’s being more interested in winning the presidency than serving as president is not exactly a foreign concept to close observers of this presidential race.

Early in the contest, his rivals, Republican operatives and many reporters questioned the seriousness of his candidacy. His knack for creating controversy out of thin air (this week’s edition: the Star of David Twitter post) and his inclination toward self-destructive comments did not instill confidence in a political culture that values on-message discipline in its candidates.

Those doubts dissipated after Mr. Trump vanquished his Republican opponents and locked up the nomination.

“I’ve actually done very well,” Mr. Trump said. “We beat 18 people, right?”

But as the race has turned toward the general election and a majority of polls have shown Mr. Trump trailing Mrs. Clinton, speculation has again crept into political conversations in Washington, New York and elsewhere that Mr. Trump will seek an exit strategy before the election to avoid a humiliating loss.

Told of Mr. Trump’s noncommittal comment, Stuart Stevens, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012 who has become one of Mr. Trump’s most vocal critics, said that Mr. Trump was “a con man who is shocked his con hasn’t been called” and that he was looking for an emergency exit.

“He has no sense of how to govern,” Mr. Stevens said. “He can’t even put together a campaign.” [Really, Stuart Stevens? Trump managed to “put together a campaign” that defeated all his GOP rivals in primary elections. I call that a successful campaign! What would you call it? -Dr. Eowyn]

Even Mr. Trump’s supporters acknowledge that his past campaigns had the air of a vanity tour. That impression lingers. A recent Trump news release promising “a speech regarding the election” prompted many reporters and political fortunetellers to predict a declaration of his departure. But just the fact that a routine news release prompted paroxysms of conjecture throughout the political universe suggested that, as Mr. Trump might say, “there’s something going on.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign and his supporters dismiss the talk as the fantasizing of frightened liberals or frustrated establishment figures.

“He’s not going to pull out,” said Thomas Barrack Jr., a financier and real estate investor who is a close friend of Mr. Trump’s. He compared Mr. Trump’s candidacy to an innovative start-up company: “You never see disruption when it’s happening.”

In Mr. Trump’s case, the disruption is everywhere. Last fall, he said in television interviews that if his standing collapsed in the Republican primary polls, he could very well return to his business. In mid-June, amid an onslaught of negative news coverage, he joked to a crowd that he would consider leaving the race for $5 billion.
On the off chance he actually is planning to back out, what would happen?

Alexander Keyssar, a historian at Harvard who is working on a book about the Electoral College, said the process of succession would depend on “the precise moment at which he said, ‘Nah, never mind.’”

The party representatives who make up the Electoral College would suddenly have real power rather than a rubber stamp. If Mr. Trump bowed out after winning on Nov. 8 but before the electors met in each state to cast their ballots on Dec. 19, then the electors could have the opportunity to vote for another candidate, Professor Keyssar said.

A majority of the 538 electors would be Republicans, but they might not agree on the best alternative candidate. If no one won a majority of the electors, the contest between the top three vote-getters — one of whom would presumably be Mrs. Clinton — would go to the House of Representatives, where each state would be given one vote, while the Senate would select the vice president. House Republicans hold 33 states to the Democrats’ 14, with three evenly split. It is unclear whether the vote would take place before or after newly elected representatives were seated.

It is also unclear what would happen, Professor Keyssar said, if Mr. Trump bid adieu after the electoral votes were cast but before they were officially counted, per the 12th Amendment, by the president of the Senate before a joint session of Congress in January. And if Mr. Trump left after the votes were counted in Congress but before he was sworn in on Jan. 20, Professor Keyssar said the closest guidance would probably come from Section Three of the 20th Amendment: “If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the president, the president-elect shall have died, the vice president-elect shall become president.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened,” Professor Keyssar said.

And nothing like it will this year, Mr. Trump’s supporters say.

“It’s going to be too late by then,” Roger Stone, Mr. Trump’s longtime political adviser, said of the go-out-on-top theory. “If he got elected president, he’d certainly serve. I’m fairly certain about that. You think he’d resign? I don’t see that happening. There is only one star in the Donald Trump show, and that’s Donald Trump.”

Russell Verney, a former top strategist for Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who abruptly pulled out of the 1992 election, only to re-enter and win 19 percent of the vote, said that outsider candidates were more vulnerable to questions about their resolve.

“It never would be a subject raised with Romney and others, because the presidency is the ultimate goal of their entire professional career,” said Mr. Verney, who conferred with Mr. Trump during his exploration of a presidential run in 2000, during which, he said, Mr. Trump expressed reservations about selling his casinos to fund his campaign. “Donald Trump has not worked toward being president every day of his professional career.”

Mr. Trump’s supporters point out that he has begun adopting the more traditional trappings of a presidential campaign: a fund-raising operation, policy ideas, prepared speeches.

“This is silly,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which has tried hard to make the Trump campaign more professional. “He’s in it to win it.”

But the only person who could truly put any doubts to rest seemed instead to relish the idea of keeping everyone guessing, concluding the recent conversation with a you’re-on-to-something grin and handshake across his cluttered desk.

“We’ll do plenty of stories,” Mr. Trump promised enigmatically. “O.K.?”

So what do you think?

Sound off in our poll below:

~Eowyn

Bill Kristol declares there will be a 3rd-party candidate against Trump

polls_GOP_Suicide_4337_123568_poll_xlargeIn the early days of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, fearing that he might go independent if he did not get the GOP’s nomination, the Republican Establishment begged him not to because it would ensure a Hillary Clinton win.

Trump agreed.

Now that Trump has, fairly and squarely, won enough delegates in GOP primaries to be the party’s presidential nominee, GOP elites are doing exactly what they had asked Trump not to.

On Sunday, May 29, 2016, Bill Kristol, the so-called “neoconservative” (which really comes down to mean pro-war) editor of The Weekly Standard and son of Jewish parents “godfather of neoconservatism” Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, announced on Twitter: “There will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”

Bill Kristol tweetBreitbart reports that Bill Kristol has been trying for months to find a third-party challenger since his preferred candidates lost in the Republican primaries to Trump.

Kristol has floated names including Mitt Romney, Tom Cotton, and Marco Rubio as potential third-party spoilers. Kristol tried to get retired Marine Corps general James Mattis to run, but Mattis turned him down.

Kristol recently met with Romney in Washington, D.C., to talk about the idea.  Romney has consistently bashed Trump throughout this election cycle, even after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. In January this year, Romney and Paul Ryan filed an intention to run for the presidency with the Federal Election Commision.

The Republican National Committee has condemned Kristol’s third-party scheme as “helping to elect Hillary Clinton.”

david frenchMark Halperin and John Heilemann report for Bloomberg, March 30, 2016, that the person Kristol has in mind is David French, a staff writer at Weekly Standard, whose name Kristol floated in the magazine’s current issue.

French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a recipient of the Bronze Star, a constitutional lawyer, and author of several books. He lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children.

Reached in Israel late yesterday afternoon, Kristol declined to comment but confirmed that French is open to launching a bid. French has not made a final decision and reportedly has not lined up a vice-presidential running mate or significant financial support. However, according to one person deeply involved in the efforts to recruit a 3rd party challenger, some conservative donors look favorably on the prospect of French entering the fray.

See also:

~Eowyn

Paul Ryan blinks: Will endorse Trump & step down as RNC chair

The first thing Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney’s VP runningmate in 2012, did after becoming Speaker of the House last December was to cave in to everything that Obama wants. See “Betrayal: GOP funds Planned Parenthood, Syrian ‘refugees’ and amnesty for illegals“.

After Donald Trump won last week’s Indiana GOP primaries and became the party’s presumptive nominee, Ryan said he would not endorse Trump.

Trump fired back, saying he would be “very quick” to remove Ryan as chairman of the upcoming Republican National Convention, for how can the chair of the convention oppose the individual whom the convention would nominate?

But it appears in the Trump-Ryan contest, the latter has blinked.

Paul-Ryan-SCGabby Morrongielo reports for the Washington Examiner, May 9, 2016:

House Speaker Paul Ryan would reportedly be willing to resign as chairman of the upcoming Republican National Convention should Donald Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, ask him to do so.

During a meeting Monday with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., Ryan reportedly said he would do “whatever” Trump wants when it comes to convention planning since he is the de facto nominee.

“He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention,” Ryan told the paper. […]

Ryan also rejected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s recent claim that his refusal to endorse Trump is linked to future presidential ambitions.

“I would not have become Speaker of the House if I had 2020 aspirations,” he told the Journal-Sentinel. “I could have run in 2012 and 2016. The Speaker is not exactly a good stepping stone for president.”

“I think people who know me know that is not my aspiration,” he added.

[Really? Hey, Ryan, how do you explain the fact that this January 31, you and Romney filed Form 1 with the Federal Election Commission, indicating your intention to run for the presidency? See “It’s deja vu all over again: Romney-Ryan filed intention to run for presidency with FEC“]

According to Schneider, Ryan also said he completely opposes efforts by party elders to put forth a conservative, third-party alternative to Trump. His comments come just minutes after Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol told CNN there’s a “50-50” chance he and his cohorts will convince someone to launch an independent bid.

A spokesperson for Ryan could not be reached for comment.

The Washington Post reported that Kristol is courting Romney and that on May 6, 2016, the two met privately to discuss the possibility of launching an independent bid, potentially with Romney as its standard-bearer.

~Eowyn