Ted Cruz’s speech and ensuing controversy jumps me back to two moments in political party convention history…
Nelson Rockefeller. 1964. Here sayseth Patrick Buchanan, a man loyal to the Republican nominee:
At the Cow Palace in San Francisco in July of 1964, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, having been defeated by Barry Goldwater, took the podium to introduce a platform plank denouncing “extremism.”
Implication: Goldwater’s campaign is saturated with extremists.
Purpose: Advertise Rocky’s superior morality.
Smug and self-righteous, Rocky brayed at the curses and insults, “It’s a free country, ladies and gentlemen.”
Rocky was finished. He would never win the nomination.
All right. And check this one out.
Richard Nixon took another road, endorsed Goldwater, spoke for him in San Francisco, campaigned for him across America. And in 1968, with Goldwater’s backing, Nixon would rout Govs. George Romney and Rockefeller, and win the presidency, twice.
Sure. But Nixon also stuck his hand out to made sure his wife didn’t stand up or cheer when the Republican nominee, Goldwater, made that “Extremism in Defense of” remark.
And who the hell is supposed to be the Nixon at this Republican convention?
So sayseth everyone:
Mr. Cruz wants to be the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan, but the party is likely to regard him now as a reincarnation of Nelson Rockefeller, who threw a similar tantrum against the nomination of Barry Goldwater at the Republican convention in 1964. Mr. Rockefeller paid for it by becoming Jerry Ford’s vice president.
Snide final remark… Of course, with Rockefeller and Goldwater, we had a battle between the liberal and conservative wings of the Republican Party. I don’t know what you call Cruz versus Trump — the Conservative and Reality TV show wings?
Of course, counter to this is 1952 and the anti-Eisenhower pro-Tafties… but then again, this is an era (at the end of that era) when nominations went beyond one ballot.
And then Ted Kennedy, 1980.
Carter desperately needed a show of unity at the DNC that year to take on popular GOP challenger Ronald Reagan. Kennedy received a prime time speaking role at the convention. But if Carter wanted a warm embrace to unify the party, he didn’t get it. Kennedy’s speech barely mentioned Carter. And the Massachusetts Senator deliberately ducked Carter, who followed him around the stage but failed to get hands raised together. Carter’s reelection chances, and the rest, were history. Carter is still bitter about that snub, blaming Kennedy for his loss.
Reportedly, Reagan — who did his show for party unity at the 1976 (a little more Nixon-esque in terms of its deliberate fudging) was watching and marveling at the display.
We’ll find out later in November whether Cruz did the same damage that Kennedy was able to do 36 years ago.
(Sigh). Odd statement, as causation and correlation and multiple factors in play. Hell… Didn’t Carter lose because Reagan stopped the hostages from being freed from Iran? (Or maybe it was because he, you know, had a term of office where his approval rating tended to be in the 30s)?
Either a good point or a not good point is made that all the Republican presidential candidates not up now supporting Trump — including Jeb Bush who is reportedly flirting with a possible endorsement of the libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, or maybe it’s Johnson’s wishful thinking— signed a pledge, forged out of Trump’s famous “Art of the Deal” thinking to allow some “fair play” so the Republican Party would be hampered to stop his nomination — that everyone would support the eventual nominee. I think this doesn’t state “enthusiastically”, so maybe the better bet for Ted Cruz in his nominating speech would have been to skip it altogether — the snub would have been as noticeable without violating the clause.
And then this floats into the realm of our election year “Did that happen or didn’t it?“…
But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
“Making America great again” was the casual reply.Ultimately, Trump chose Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, not Kasich, to be his running mate. (Neither Donald Jr. nor Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, replied to multiple requests on Tuesday for comment for this article. After the article was posted, Donald Jr. disputed the Kasich adviser’s account.
It does remind me of some “Capital Hill Blues” stories from the Bush administration, which were always good to gives outlandish stories that stoked your political bias … But, here it’s a “He said / he said”… Though… um… reality is bending in odd directions all around us.
Trump responded to Cruz’s rationale for denying him an endorsement at the convention — specifically that he had said during the primary campaign that Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, had associated with Lee Harvey Oswald before President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
“There was a picture on the front page of the National Enquirer, which does have credibility,” Trump said to a room of volunteers and staffers in Cleveland, adding that the tabloid “should be very respected.”
Yeah, I know. They broke John Edwards’s affair. And — ?