The road to wonderland is a tough road. It is for the hard-skinned individual who can take all of the sleepless nights and the constant barbs of the opposition in preparation for the biggest political battle in the world. It is filled with candidate’s staff members pulling and pushing opinions and thoughts, suggestions and ideas constantly. There are family considerations, financial considerations…and then there is travel, travel and more travel.
Today there are only five who remain as the Senator from Florida suspended his campaign on Tuesday after losing his home State primary. A poignant speech upon his leaving the campaign battle was highlighted with the story of immigrant parents who struggled as most immigrants do and yet his aging Mother had the opportunity to vote for her son who was running for the President of the United States.
Where was that message during these past months of constant battle? Some say it was always there…always being said, but was dumbed down and overwhelmed by the constant drone over the combative nature of the leading candidate’s allegations, accuzations and brow beating and name calling. The leading candidate even called the Pope not a Christian but an angel of darkness in white clothing. There goes the Catholic vote.
Yep. This is the one side where there remains three…that combative business man from New York, the Pope slayer, who won the primary in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri on Tuesday; the Governor of Ohio who won the primary in his home State and the Senator from Texas who coincidently said there were only two candidates in the race even though he didn’t win on Tuesday.
On the other side, there is the former Secretary of State, who won the primaries in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina and the Senator from Vermont with the trail of non-voting younger people supporting him but with few victories to show for his efforts.
On the GOP side, there is a slight possibility that no one candidate will go to the Party’s convention with the nomination locked up. The boisterous businessman from New York has only a 59% chance of winning the nomination before the convention. And the establishment, the guardians of the Riponian philosophies with money to spare, are gaining in confidence that they can once again control their own party and snatch the victory away from the man with the floppy hair. As has been said, the Road To Wonderland has many twists and turns. It is about to make the turn and head for the home stretch. Ahead is still Wisconsin, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and California. This is where the money lies. This is where the Party is at its establishment strength. This is a battle for the Party as much as it is for the Presidency.
Can you hear the rush of dollars flowing into the Governor of Ohio’s campaign?
There is nothing like a political convention where there is no single candidate with enough first ballot votes to secure the nomination. There, a second group comes into play. It is the ground force who work each and every State as they have since the primaries. They have become acquaintences of the delegates. They know each delegate backwards and forwards. They know where their kids are, who their friends are and who their bankers are. They know and will use every tool in their tool kit to persuade the delegate to vote for their candidate. This is where the Presidential Candidate is made. The establishment is praying for such a format. Then they have a chance to mold their Party’s Presidential Candidate’s path to the November election.
On the Democratic side, the former Secretary of State, continues to pile up the delegates and can lock up the nomination before their convention.
To paraphrase Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s brilliant dialog delivered by Bette Davis in the 1950 film, ‘All About Eve’, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy … ride.” Since the year was 1950, she was alluding to buckling up during a bumpy flight on an airplane. Cars didn’t have seatbelts back then. But today it is all about the political campaign and we haven’t quite seen a battle like this since that time when a hero General took on a senior Senator from Ohio.
The road is getting rougher. Only the strongest make it to the end.