Looking forward to the floor fight

Despite mistaking 9-11 for 7-11, Trump still handily won the New York primary this week, taking all 90 delegates.

Carolyn Grant

So the other night, at a campaign rally in New York, Donald Trump referred to the events of September 11, 2001, most often referred to as 9/11, as 7/11.

The quote: “I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center [in New York City], right after it came down, and I saw the greatest people I have ever seen in action.”

I’m sure the Slurpees were yooooge!

I guess this would be right after he watched people in New Jersey cheering the events of the same day. Trump has said he witnessed that several times, a statement that most debunked as an outright lie.

Donald Trump gets around. At least in his mind.

This is the same mind that made up a government agency called the Department of Environmental, or DEP. Yup, Trump can’t even get an acronym right as he nimbly makes up facts to suit whatever narrative he may be pursuing on a given day.

But, despite mistaking 9-11 for 7-11, Trump still handily won the New York primary this week, taking all 90 delegates. Interestingly, he took every country and borough except for Manhattan, where he lives. Apparently familiarity does breed contempt.

But as Trump spins his tales and gathers the popular vote in Republican primaries, a second contest is taking place and it perhaps demonstrates the off-the-cuff nature of the Trump campaign that he is failing this contest. Trump is a populist. He says things — sometimes without a lot of deep thought behind them — that are absolute red meat to the angry, economically worried voters who attend his rallies. But the run for president is a deeper game, and a candidate needs to be well organized. Because it’s not just popular votes, it’s delegates.

This is something Ted Cruz, who remains in the running despite the full-body shudder he engenders in many, picked up on early. The Cruz campaign has a big ground game and he is securing actual delegates.

As explained by the New York Times, “And if Mr. Trump falls short of clinching the nomination after all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories have held their contests, those delegates could make their own decisions after the first ballot in Cleveland.”

Trump says this proves the system is rigged against him. He maintains that the guy with the most vote wins. Simple he says. But the Byzantine rules governing the Republican nominating process have been in place for quite some time, says the party establishment and Trump should have been well aware of this. Incidentally, there are also bizarre rules on the Democrat side as well, including ‘super-delegates’, so it’s not just narrowed down to the world hates Trump, as he would have you believe.

All this will be moot if Trump reaches 1,237 delegates by June 7, the last day of primary voting. And he may not even have to do that. Speculation is that he could be 50 to 100 delegates shy and still sew it up because there will some 200 unbound, free agent delegates who can support anyone they wish at the convention. And if Trump is close enough, the Republican Party denies the wishes of the majority of voters at its peril.

But it could come down to a floor fight at the convention this summer in Cleveland. Hopefully that will not be as ugly as it sounds. I can actually see in my mind a great melee on the floor of the convention centre, as delegates whack each other over the heads with chairs. Considering all that has come before in this strangest of election campaigns, it really wouldn’t be all that surprising.

Carolyn Grant is Editor of the Kimberley Daily Bulletin