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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Trump tips hand on Court picks, #NeverTrump not impressed

Foremost of the concerns for many conservatives in considering the possibility of Donald Trump actually winning the presidency is the undefined nature of who he’d bring in to run his administration – or appoint to the Supreme Court.

Trump moved to assuage those fears on Wednesday, at least in terms of his Court picks.

Nick Gass of Politico reports, “Donald Trump on Wednesday released a list of 11 judges he would consider Trump Supreme Court picksappointing to the Supreme Court, offering up a group of relatively tame conservative jurists apparently curated with the help of GOP leaders.

“In an unusually restrained statement, Trump’s campaign offered up short bios of the judges and described the list as one assembled ‘first and foremost, based on constitutional principles, with input from highly respected conservatives and Republican Party leadership.’”

The list was generally well received in conservative circles, even by those in the #NeverTrump group. But after acknowledging the quality of the names from top to bottom, some of them launched into more of their typical anti-Trump diatribes.

#NeverTrumper Josh Hammer of The Resurgent writes, “That the ‘alt-right’ dear leader has finally produced such a quality list will inevitably become a pressure point for many in the #NeverTrump camp.  It should not be.  While the orange-hued clown’s list is objectively good, it is also objectively irrelevant.”

Hammer then wrote a lengthy dissertation reiterating that Trump is a pathological liar, etc… In short, they don’t trust Trump to come through on his word (putting it mildly).

Fair enough. But we know Hillary Clinton will carry through on hers and appoint dedicated agenda-driven leftists (like Obama) who will be all too happy to rubber-stamp liberal laws on the Court for a generation.

The fact is, Trump would face enormous pressure to pick names from this list once in office. If anything, pre-releasing a list of names takes tension off of him when the time comes. No surprises, right? And it should not be discounted that any radical deviation would generate significant opposition on confirmation, even from within his own party members in the Senate.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but #NeverTrump people crowing over this matter just looks like opposition for the sake of opposition. At this stage, I’m at a loss to see exactly what they want or what would assuage them, other than undoing the past three and a half months of voting and having Trump safely back in Trump Tower as a defeated man.

That’s not reality, folks. Trump won. He’s produced a solid list of potential Justices. Be happy, even if temporarily.

I understand the #NeverTrump fears and agree with many of them. Trump is indeed unpredictable and no one’s sure about what he believes. But a list is a list is a list. He put it in writing. With the alternative being Hillary Clinton, it’s best to go with a good possibility of getting what we want rather than the certainty of NOT getting what we want.

There’s too much at stake to think otherwise.

With time passing quickly, both parties are facing big-time opposition to their own candidates

As we head into the latter part of May, it’s interesting to note that although we’re pretty certain who the Republican and Democrat nominees will be in November, neither party seems to be settling down to the difficult work of unifying behind their candidate for the all-important general election push.

It didn’t receive much coverage in the media, but Donald Trump moved closer to securing the 1237 delegates needed to win the Republican nod on the first ballot on Tuesday night with another convincing win in Oregon.

Ben Kamisar of The Hill reports, “[Trump’s] victory in Oregon will give him another 17 delegates to add to his coffers, which brings him to 1,160, according to Associated Press estimates. That's just 77 delegates shy of the 1,237 threshold, which he will almost assuredly eclipse during the final round of primaries on June 7.

“As the only active candidate in the GOP, Trump is all but a lock to win the 347 delegates yet to be awarded, meaning he'll end the race with more than 1,400 delegates.”

It’s a little hard to believe that just a few weeks ago nearly everyone was busy crunching the numbers to see whether Trump could actually win enough delegates to avoid a certain to be contentious floor fight at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Now with Trump as the only game in town for the remaining GOP primaries, there’s zero commotion for Republicans – or at least drama that involves who will win which states and how many delegates will be apportioned accordingly.

All the theatrics are over on the Democrat side these days, where Bernie Sanders notched another impressive win over Hillary Clinton in Oregon and nearly kept his state win-streak alive by beating her in Kentucky as well.

As of this writing, Clinton edged Sanders in Kentucky by about a half percentage point (less than 2000 votes). Judging by the volume of crowing from the Clinton camp, you’d think the margin was much, much larger.

Hillary’s campaign triumphantly Tweeted out on Tuesday night, “We just won Kentucky! Thanks to everyone who turned out. We’re always stronger united.”

Are they serious? United? For months, the hypocritical media talked endlessly about the problems Republicans were having in warming up to Donald Trump’s frontrunner status. While deep divisions still exist on the Republican side even today, the real hurt is over with the leftists in the Democrat Party now.

Stephen Collinson of CNN reports on Clinton’s vulnerabilities. “Despite the former secretary of state's status as the almost certain Democratic nominee, tens of thousands of Democratic voters still prefer another candidate — Sanders. It's a scenario that will do little to ease questions about enthusiasm for her candidacy, message to blue collar workers and personal campaigning skills that could resurface in a general election campaign against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.”

As if a close call in Kentucky wasn’t embarrassing enough, the results in Oregon were even worse for Clinton, where Sanders pummeled her by over nine points. Trump “only” took two-thirds of the Republican vote there as well (in a one-man race, by the way), which also indicates that many conservatives and Republicans are still wary of The Donald.
 
But after the intra-party violence that went down last weekend in Nevada, how can the Democrats continue to insist they’ll unite behind Hillary for the general election?

As is well-known by now, Trump’s protests against the “rigged system” caught voters’ attention after his crushing defeat in Wisconsin. What’s happening now with the Democrats parallels closely to what occurred with Trump about a month ago when he started beating up the nominating process itself rather than just his opponents.

His candidacy caught fire, he reeled off seven state wins in a row with well over 50 percent of the vote and the rest is history. Now everyone’s calling Trump the “presumptive” nominee and journalists are talking about strife among the Democrats.

Bernie Sanders is also following Trump’s lead in ranting against the nominating system…and with only three weeks left in the primary season, here’s betting Sanders’ protests will make a difference on June 7 in New Jersey and California. If he wins convincingly there, watch out.

Clinton will almost certainly obtain the delegates necessary to secure the party nomination before the Democrat convention, but there’s no sign Sanders plans to go away quietly.

Not only that, but Trump appears to be benefitting from the Democrats’ woes, too.

Niall Stanage of The Hill reports, “An NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll released Tuesday morning showed Trump and Clinton performing at exactly the same level within their respective parties. Each commanded 87 percent support.

“The poll also suggested that hopes among Democrats of an easy win over Trump are misplaced. Tuesday’s poll had Clinton with an edge of just 3 points in a hypothetical match-up: The former secretary of State led Trump 48 percent to 45 percent.

“The numbers track close to polls near this point in the 2012 presidential election.”

Poor Hillary. She must be beside herself with worry. First there was losing to Barack Obama in 2008, a race where she was not only the party establishment candidate but also the clear frontrunner in the polls until just before the voting started.

Now she’s stuck in a protracted nomination battle again, this time with a tremendously weak ideologically obtuse nutcase with a bad accent who’s winning state after state and making her look foolish – again – because she’s being forced to rely on the Democrats’ “super delegate” system for her nomination.

Talk about a “rigged” election. 2016 has been one heck of a ride for both parties and we haven’t even reached the general election campaign yet.

Mark your calendars for the Republican convention, Trump will make it must-see TV

One aspect of Donald Trump’s rise to being the presumed Republican presidential nominee that hasn’t received a whole lot of media coverage is the effect he’ll have on the “show” element of the campaign. As a professional entertainer as well as successful businessman over the course of decades, The Donald knows how to manage a production.

As the nominee going into the Republican convention, Trump not only wants a say in what goes on there, he’s apparently looking at ways to jazz up the program so people will actually want to watch this year.

Eli Stokols and Hadas Gold of Politico report, “Donald Trump has shoved just about every tradition in modern presidential politics out the window, and now he’s preparing to trash one more – the dog-and-pony show known as the Republican National Convention.

“From speaking slots to prime-time moments reserved for himself, the television celebrity and Manhattan billionaire is dealing directly in the details of his coronation as Republican nominee to maximize the drama and spectacle of the party’s four-night convention.”

In recent years the major television networks have drastically cut back on coverage of the party conventions because they’ve devolved into over-produced glitzy schmaltz with little news value. Complete with oversized video screens, truckloads of confetti and a non-stop parade of establishment politicians making speeches, most people have come to realize a trip to the ballpark or even reruns of the home shopping network constitutes a much better use for their time.

Party conventions don’t offer much of anything these days, least of all entertainment appeal. Simply put, they’re boring.

Trump apparently aims to change all of it. He’ll be the focal point of the festivities, of course, but he wants to increase the news value of the convention agenda to virtually force the networks to cover the entire primetime performance.

The party will spend millions on putting on a good “show” for the cameras, but the exposure value from high ratings and interest will justify the investment.

Trump has proven to be a big draw for TV viewership throughout the primaries and especially for the Republican debates. People want to watch. Some will do so out of morbid curiosity, but there’s little doubt having Trump shine the spotlight on himself will generate interest.

Candidates almost always get a bump from their party conventions. I’m guessing Trump’s will be substantial, especially since the Democrats must come up with something of their own to follow up on the Trump “show” (note: The Democrat convention is a week after the GOP event in Cleveland, taking place from July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

With a hideous and unlikable candidate like Hillary and a bunch of disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters still up in arms over the “rigged” primaries, I wouldn’t bet the Democrats will be able to do much to one-up Trump on entertainment value.

Another potential #NeverTrump candidate rules himself out

Finally today, while the planning continues in Donald Trump’s mind for the Cleveland convention in two months, the main conservative Republican group opposing him, #NeverTrump, is still searching for a possible candidate to run as an independent against him.

Another one of their prominent possible alternatives took himself out of the running this week.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner writes, “Hours after a new poll found that 65 percent of Americans would support an independent candidate entering the presidential race, former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, the subject of such chatter, removed himself as a possible contender.

“’I am not in that race and won't be,’ Coburn said in a statement to the Daily Caller.”

For the poll referred to above, click here.

To my knowledge, Coburn has never expressed any interest in running for president either against Trump or anyone else. The former Oklahoma senator is probably best known for his work in exposing the vast amount of waste in the federal budget, but has not actively opposed the leadership in any meaningful way.

Coburn is a good man, for sure, but the voters are looking for something different this cycle. The somewhat less than charismatic Coburn would be kind of an odd figure to rally around, to say the least.

Further, state ballot filing deadlines are fast approaching and #NeverTrump is running out of time. If any of their potential candidates are going to come forward, they’d better do so real soon. But any such person would be thrown into a process that isn’t geared towards latecomers. Who could possibly have a high enough profile for name recognition and be able to raise the money necessary to compete?

#NeverTrump is looking more and more like a pipedream – at least for those searching for a “consensus” candidate to run against Hillary and Trump as an independent.

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#NEVERRUMP!

I have been, am, and always will be NEVERRUMP! I am also NEVERCLINTON and NEVERSANDERS. Actually NEVERANYSOCIALIST! Whenever the Rump's lips move - all you hear are lies. He will nominate trash as bad as Clinton. If you can't see that - perhaps you are not the conservative stalwart you claim to be!

NeverTrump or Always Hillary

The Never Trumper people are committing political suicide, and all in the name of conviction? I voted Cruz in the Oregon Primary to make a statement to Trump that I am in alignment with Ted Cruz's Pro Life views, and his stand against Transgender bathroom laws. I will vote Trump in the General but felt he needs to know some of us would like him to be stronger against direct abortion in all circumstances. The Transgender Law is nuts, and needs to be repealed or ignored.

Never Trump or Always Hillary

Hold your nose while voting for Trump. I also supported Senator Cruz not because of his stand against abortion but because he stood against the aristocratic political elite in Congress especially mcconnell.
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And by the way there IS NO transgender law, it is a suggestion by obama with a threat of withholding money, hope more states tell obama to stick the money and file law suites against the suggestion and withholding of the money.