Bumpy GOP Convention Ride Ahead?

Is the Republican Party anticipating a floor fight in Cleveland? That's how I read the Trump campaign's out of the blue firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.  It will be seen by many insiders to mean that the hoary, appallingly corrupt, veteran Washington DC insider Paul Manafort won the low level war that has been simmering inside the Trump campaign the last few months. Manafort likes to take credit for corralling the delegates needed for Jerry Ford to beat out Ronald Reagan in 1976, and earlier this year Trump hired him to line up convention delegates for his campaign.  Unlike the 42-year-old Lewandowski, the 67-year-old Manafort also has a better working relationship with the Republican National Committee.  His reputation is also somewhat less combative than Lewandowski's, whom many political insiders and media people felt picked unnecessary fights.

Manafort has been involved in most GOP presidential contests over the last 40 years. In the off years he has lobbied for overseas scum like Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych, Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency and Ferdinand Marcos.  How much real influence Manafort has had in recent presidential elections may be open to question. I have never been a fan of most of the DC based campaign consultant class.  I think they are charlatans who basically engage in extortion: their pitch all too often is hire me for some role in your campaign or I will go negative on your campaigns to all my media friends who host political talk shows. That said, Manafort does have a reputation for ruthlessness.

How the reputation of this long time insider will influence the delegates to this Republican National Convention remains to be seen.  In recent years, many local party organizations have been taken over by Tea Party insurgents who purely loathe people like Manafort.  The Tea Party will have a lot of delegates in Cleveland. 

Consider, too, the often-underestimated Paul Ryan, who will be the convention chair.  After his VP slot on the 2012 ticket, Ryan seemed resolved to return to his subsidiary role in House leadership. But who was the major beneficiary of the Summer of 2015 Freedom Caucus revolt against Speaker Boehner?  It was Paul Ryan, who apparently had be dragged against his will into accepting the Speakership.  I never believed that for a second. Ryan, age 46, is a nine-term veteran of the House. People as young as Ryan was when he first ran for office tend to be steeped in ambition. Nor should Ryan's expertise in dry budgetary manners be seen as meaning that he lacks facility when it comes to manipulating people rather than budgetary programs.  

Recently Speaker Ryan stated this about convention delegates

“The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience,”

In the battle conducted inside the House of Representatives in 2014-15, Ryan took a similar position.  Unlike many others in party leadership who were jostling to ultimately replace Boehner, Ryan never said the dissenting voices should violate core beliefs just to get along with the old guard.  In the end, because he had a reputation for always letting all the factions have their say, Ryan ended up being the only person all the sides could agree upon for Speaker.  One might almost think Ryan planned it that way when he refused to accept the far more openly partisan role of House Majority Leader after defeat of the presumptive Speaker in waiting, Eric Cantor, in the 2014 primary. As Majority Leader, Ryan would have been expected to actively guard Boehner's back.  As chairman of Ways and Means. Ryan could appear to stay above the fray. And in the end, become the consensus choice.

If the Cleveland Convention turns into a bloody floor fight seeming to fatally wound the presumptive nominee and the leader of the insurgents, there will be Ryan, above the fray, ready to be begged to take the nomination and prevent the party from handing the presidency to Hillary Clinton. It happened in the House of Representatives, more or less like that.  

Is the Republican Party anticipating a floor fight in Cleveland? That's how I read the Trump campaign's out of the blue firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.  It will be seen by many insiders to mean that the hoary, appallingly corrupt, veteran Washington DC insider Paul Manafort won the low level war that has been simmering inside the Trump campaign the last few months. Manafort likes to take credit for corralling the delegates needed for Jerry Ford to beat out Ronald Reagan in 1976, and earlier this year Trump hired him to line up convention delegates for his campaign.  Unlike the 42-year-old Lewandowski, the 67-year-old Manafort also has a better working relationship with the Republican National Committee.  His reputation is also somewhat less combative than Lewandowski's, whom many political insiders and media people felt picked unnecessary fights.

Manafort has been involved in most GOP presidential contests over the last 40 years. In the off years he has lobbied for overseas scum like Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych, Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency and Ferdinand Marcos.  How much real influence Manafort has had in recent presidential elections may be open to question. I have never been a fan of most of the DC based campaign consultant class.  I think they are charlatans who basically engage in extortion: their pitch all too often is hire me for some role in your campaign or I will go negative on your campaigns to all my media friends who host political talk shows. That said, Manafort does have a reputation for ruthlessness.

How the reputation of this long time insider will influence the delegates to this Republican National Convention remains to be seen.  In recent years, many local party organizations have been taken over by Tea Party insurgents who purely loathe people like Manafort.  The Tea Party will have a lot of delegates in Cleveland. 

Consider, too, the often-underestimated Paul Ryan, who will be the convention chair.  After his VP slot on the 2012 ticket, Ryan seemed resolved to return to his subsidiary role in House leadership. But who was the major beneficiary of the Summer of 2015 Freedom Caucus revolt against Speaker Boehner?  It was Paul Ryan, who apparently had be dragged against his will into accepting the Speakership.  I never believed that for a second. Ryan, age 46, is a nine-term veteran of the House. People as young as Ryan was when he first ran for office tend to be steeped in ambition. Nor should Ryan's expertise in dry budgetary manners be seen as meaning that he lacks facility when it comes to manipulating people rather than budgetary programs.  

Recently Speaker Ryan stated this about convention delegates

“The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience,”

In the battle conducted inside the House of Representatives in 2014-15, Ryan took a similar position.  Unlike many others in party leadership who were jostling to ultimately replace Boehner, Ryan never said the dissenting voices should violate core beliefs just to get along with the old guard.  In the end, because he had a reputation for always letting all the factions have their say, Ryan ended up being the only person all the sides could agree upon for Speaker.  One might almost think Ryan planned it that way when he refused to accept the far more openly partisan role of House Majority Leader after defeat of the presumptive Speaker in waiting, Eric Cantor, in the 2014 primary. As Majority Leader, Ryan would have been expected to actively guard Boehner's back.  As chairman of Ways and Means. Ryan could appear to stay above the fray. And in the end, become the consensus choice.

If the Cleveland Convention turns into a bloody floor fight seeming to fatally wound the presumptive nominee and the leader of the insurgents, there will be Ryan, above the fray, ready to be begged to take the nomination and prevent the party from handing the presidency to Hillary Clinton. It happened in the House of Representatives, more or less like that.