An intriguing possibility: a brokered convention, and a dark horse for the GOP

Interesting post-South Carolina article by John Hudek of the Brookings Institution in which he goes a step further than I have in recent posts about the Republican race. Hudek comes right out and says  that however well Donald Trump may do in the primaries, as long as Rubio and Cruz- and yes, Kasich- are waging serious campaigns he may not be able to clinch a majority of the delegates before the convention meets in July in Cleveland. Getting a third of the vote in primary after primary may not be enough.

In which case we'll have an old-fashioned, brokered convention- and in all probability a compromise nominee, a "dark horse-" somebody who didn't even run this year but whom everybody (but the hard-core Trumpbots) will be able to agree on.

Seems to me that Hudek's logic is unassailable. If the GOP nominates Trump, defeat is certain. If it ignores Trump and nominates, say, John Thune or Kelly Ayotte or Nikki Haley or Mitt Romney, even if the Trump people freak out, the party still has a chance,

This has the makings of one of the most fascinating election years in our history. It could also be one of the most disastrous.  It could be the year that American Exceptionalism is disproven once and for all and we prove that the American voter has no unique wisdom after all, and can screw up as badly as any European. Or it could be the year that, once again, our native genius pulls triumph from the jaws of disaster.

The closest parallel I can think of is 1880, when a bitterly divided Republican party that couldn't decide between former President Ulysses S. Grant,  James G. Blaine and Ohio Gov. John Sherman instead chose Ohio's James Garfield, an able, humble, respected but somewhat obscure congressman who spent the entire night before the decisive ballot begging influential Republicans not to pick him- but who won in November.

Although he was assassinated early in his term, he was also one of the ablest presidents we've ever had, and if he'd lived might well be remembered as one of the greatest.


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