Report: Rove is warming to Trump

Now that Donald Trump looks to be sweeping up delegates in New York and other eastern states, Republican establishment figures are starting to reconcile themselves the possibility of his becoming their standard bearer.  Kenneth P. Vogel and Eli Stokols of Politico cite unnamed sources to contend that the very embodiment of GOPe, Karl Rove, is privately telling big donors that his PAC American Crossroads could do good work on behalf of candidate Trump.

The apparent warming of the American Crossroads super PAC and its sister groups to Trump has become evident in its recent communications with donors, including a Tuesday afternoon “investor conference call,” according to multiple sources familiar with the outreach.

The phone call — which featured Rove, Crossroads officials and a pollster — laid out swing state polling and electoral map analysis done by the group showing circumstances in which Trump could beat Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, in a general election, according to three sources briefed on the call.

One source, a high-level operative with the Koch brothers’ conservative advocacy network, characterized the conversation as heralding “a softening of the anti-Trump position” within the big-money GOP establishment. The source added of Crossroads’ stance on Trump, “It's not that they support him, only that if he's the guy, we can do something to stop Hillary.”

I suspect it will be much harder for anti-Trump forces on the intellectual right (yes, that means you, National Review and Weekly Standard) to reconcile themselves to a Trump nomination, if it happens, as seems increasingly likely. Bill Kristol of TWS is even talking up a third party nominee for him to vote for to avoid voting for that icky Trump, and thereby soiling himself.  But for guys like Rove, who need to stay engaged with the levers of power, it is a nobrainer.