The most plausible path to a Trump-free, Republican-controlled White House is consolidation around Cruz.
The so-called Republican establishment is coming to the painful realization that Texas senator Ted Cruz may be its only hope to block Donald Trump from winning the nomination and Hillary Clinton from winning the White House. It’s not assured, of course. There are as many theories on how to emerge from this year’s Republican convention with an acceptable nominee as there are interpretations of what was going on in the TV show Lost.
So that leaves Cruz.
Cruz is simply one of the smartest people in Washington.
And to that point, it’s worth noting that his theory of 2016 was correct. Cruz concentrated on making the right friends and, just as important, making the right enemies. He understood that the populist and working-class elements of the Republican coalition were ticked off at the establishment, and that capturing that anger would be the key to winning the primaries. In fairness, Cruz helped to rile up those constituencies in the first place. But that’s politics. He missed one thing: the black swan known as Donald Trump. Cruz brilliantly made his bed, and Trump leapt into it when Cruz wasn’t looking.