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Where's Donald?

              Maybe I’m looking at the wrong media, but all of a sudden I get the clear impression that Donald Trump’s 2024 Presidential campaign has slowed down, if not stopped altogether. In February, Trump appeared at 9 public events. In March he appeared at 3 events, one of which was an event in Dayton, OH which didn’t promote him at all and so far in April he’s listed one event.

              Now, granted, February was still primary season which Trump managed to wrap up in strong terms. The presumptive GOP nominee needed to secure 1,215 delegates from primary and caucus events and Trump ended up with 1,686 delegates who are more or less pledged to vote for his nomination when the GOP holds its 2024 convention in July.      

              On the other hand, Trump’s ‘hush money’ criminal case is set to open in New York on April 15 and the Florida trial of Trump for stealing the classified documents and stashing them in a Mar-a-Lago toilet is still set to begin on July 8th, which is a week before the GOP convention in Milwaukee kicks off.

              Both of these trials, incidentally, involve criminal charges against Trump. And if he is found guilty, the penalties cannot be satisfied just by paying some fine. So, if the Supreme Court doesn’t give Trump an immunity against all the legal slings and arrows that he’s trying to duck, the GOP convention delegates could find themselves nominating a candidate who’s on his way to jail.

              The pic above isn’t a Trump rally. It’s the crowd which gathered last night in Iowa to hear Liz Cheney denounce Trump and basically push the voters to pull the lever for Joe. If Trump shows up in Milwaukee wearing an ankle bracelet or being escorted by the U.S. Marshalls alongside the Secret Service, I can guarantee you that the ‘let’s stop Trump’ forces will be there as well.

              Believe it or not, the whole process of choosing delegates committed to one Presidential candidate or another in statewide primaries is a fairly recent thing. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that enough states began holding primary elections which would ultimately determine who would fill the slots on that party’s ballot when the general election was held.

              Now, here’s where things get sticky, because delegates who come to both conventions are sometimes required to vote for a certain candidate, but this requirement often only holds for the first roll-call vote.

              And even on the initial rollcall, if enough ‘unbound’ (uncommitted) delegates refuse to vote for the individual who won the primary or caucus in their states, then the whole process of choosing a slate for the general election becomes something of a horse race with no limit on the number of candidates who can get nominated to show up at the starting gate.

              In 1924, the Democrats opened their convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 24. The convention finally ended on July 9 after – ready? – 103 ballots were cast. The ultimate Democratic Presidential candidate, John Davis, then lost to Calvin Coolidge in the general election by a whopping 25%.

              I have always believed, by the way, that Nikki Haley put herself into the 2024 race as a surrogate candidate in case Trump was forced to drop out. And while most of the so-called electoral experts continue to hold to the idea that Trump will be around for the general election, it’s not as if there’s any precedent for someone to head up a national party Presidential slate who is facing more than 90 criminal charges in multiple states.

              If the Supreme Court doesn’t buy into Trump’s pitch that he’s entitled to be immunized against any and all crimes, then such a decision could become a face-saving device use by Trump to drop out of the race.

              Which brings me to the real question I’ve been meaning to ask: What will happen to the $400 Trump sneaker and the $60 Trump bible if the owner of both products finds himself facing the Bureau of Prisons regulation which prohibits inmates from engaging in sales and marketing activities while they’re inside the prison gates?





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