As a builder, Donald Trump knows a lot about laying the proper foundation.
Just two days ago at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, before even a single vote has been cast, Trump told the crowd, “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest.”
Many political observers believe this latest gripe is Trump’s way of preparing himself for a crushing defeat or, more likely, setting up the possibly of his dropping out of the race with ego intact. I believe it’s the latter. This seems like the latest , and most plausible, Trump exit strategy.
Senior GOP officials were quick to pick up on the message. They are now exploring their options if Trump were to decide to call it a day. Time is of the essence, however. The 168 members of the RNC would have to quickly start the complicated process of picking a new candidate. It would all have to happen by early September.
The one thing Trump cares about more than anything else is protecting his brand. A humiliating loss to Hillary would be a severe blow to the Trump mystique.
Unless Trump is truly the imbecile some make him out to be (doubtful), he knows he is in over his hairpiece. He realizes he does not have the temperament, let alone the appetite, for the most difficult, thankless job of president of the United States.
The most likely scenario, beneficial to all parties, would look something like this:
Trump keeps complaining about the rigged election system, hinting more and more he won’t be victim to such corruption. His loyal supporters, no doubt, will buy this. In the meantime, Trump and senior GOP officials work out a secret deal ($$$) for his withdrawal from the race. Say, perhaps, the Koch Brothers find some spare change in their sofa cushions ($150 million?).
Republicans then pick a more middle-of-the-road general election candidate. He, or she, might not win the election but they might better protect all their down ballot races.
Trump withdraws from the race blaming everyone except his favorite aunt Ida. He goes on endless rants about the corrupt GOP and its media acolytes. A few months after Hillary is sworn into office, Trump announces the launch of his new media empire – one focused on telling “the truth” to the American people. He’ll come up with a slogan akin to Fox’s “fair and balanced.” All this courtesy of the secret ransom Trump extracted from the GOP moneymen.
If Republicans maintain their majorities in the House and Senate, they will continue to obstruct all policy proposals from a Clinton Administration and spend their time thinking of who their white knight, or maiden, will be come 2020.
No, it will not be Ted Cruz.
(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)