Nobody really knows what the GOP convention in Cleveland next week will look like, or even if the delegates there will vote for Donald Trump as expected. Joining us today on The BradCast to offer perspective on all of it is Doug Wead, Presidential historian, author, advisor to two Republican Presidents and a number of campaigns, and an expert on GOP political conventions and rules. [Audio link to show is posted below.]
But first, briefly, corporate media are reporting today that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be Trump's Veep nominee and that the list of star-studded speakers Trump had promised for the convention may not be studded with quite so many stars after all. But, BENGHAZI! Also, following on the heels of yesterday's disturbing polls for Hillary Clinton, both nationally and in several key swing-states, another new poll out today, this one showing her tied with Trump nationally, confirms her falling support in the wake of the recent closure of the FBI investigation (and often-misleading reporting on it) into her use of a private email server as Secretary of State.
Next, Wead joins us to answer a lot of my questions of what can and can't happen under Republican rules in Cleveland next week, and to offer his thoughts on whether the "Never Trump" movement still has a chance in hell --- legally or otherwise --- at blocking Trump's nomination.
"They say, 'release these delegates to vote their conscience!' It's not like these are people who have a conscience!," he tells me with a hearty laugh. "It's insider-establishment people who want to be free to use the power they have as a vote, to get money and to get things in exchange." Wead also confirms that, yes, it is perfectly legal for the various campaigns to offer gifts, even cash if done carefully, to delegates in exchange for their vote at the convention.
He goes on to lament what he believes has come of his party: "I was astonished when I went into the White House to have some of these conservatives come into my office and say, 'Now you gotta get us federal dollars for this and for that, and all these companies', and I said, 'Hey, wait a minute, I thought we're the conservatives, I thought the liberal Democrats did that?' They said, 'Well, we gotta to do it when we're in power, just like they do it when they're in power. That's the way it works.' So you've got all of these people feeding at the pig trough, that are part of the Republican establishment."
Wead offers an historical perspective on all of this (the 1880 election may have been as insane); reports what both the Bush and Paul families (he has worked for both) currently think of Trump's rise to become the standard bearer of the Republican Party; what effect, if any, Vice Presidential nominees have on Presidential races; and how, he believes, establishment power brokers (in control of both the Republican and Democratic parties, he says) will come out of the election as the winner, one way or another.
As to Trump's chances of becoming the next President of the United States, the historian offers a chilling warning for Democrats: "Yeah, he could win. It could happen, very much so. Don't underestimate this guy. Ronald Reagan was seen as a warmonger and a racist and no way he could get elected. But he defied the prognosticators and won."
Finally today: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, including coverage of the one ridiculous word added to the Republican Party platform this week to undermine the environment and for what may be the funniest 'snarky comment' ever on a GNR (this one, courtesy of Sen. Al Franken)...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)