Underestimating Trump, Shrum/Christie/Green prognosticate again post-primaries: Will great persona + viral message be ticket for future presidents? Will reactionary GOP reconstitute after realigning loss? Will Trump put bully Christie in VP pulpit or go nuclear with Knight? Should no-drama Hillary choose a guy to help with guys or win with Warren?
Presumptive Trump? Bob and Ron agree that unless Cruz thinks of something even more head-turning than Fiorina -- maybe nominating a successor to Scalia's seat? -- the GOP race and #nevertrump are effectively over. It's kneel Zod time.
Can Trump be "sooo presidential," as he promised? Based on his foreign policy address this week, the panel doubts it. They agree with Charles Krauthammer that his scripted, tele-prompted speech was as wandering, hollow and confused as his off-the-cuff rants.
Can his repeated technique of "assertion" that persuades credulous people by creating reality -- we'll destroy ISIS! Obama-Clinton a weak disaster! great trade deals! -- convince not only 40 percent of Republican primary voters but also some Independents and Democrats in the Fall? Bob and Ron laugh. "He thinks being unpredictable is a good way to work with our allies? And how'd that work for Nixon in Vietnam after 1968?"
His Veep? Might he just "go it alone" as Gene Robinson joked? Ron predicts that choosing Kasich would be smart but his friend the Governor would never do it. Then he speculates about Rubio, Haley, CChristie. Shrum says most credible Rs would shun him knowing s/he would be on a ticket to nowhere.
Last, would this time the GOP seriously reevaluate its strategies after losing the popular vote for the 6th out of seven tries? Ron hopes so because the party's survival depends on it, but he doubts it. "The had eight years under Obama to reach out to minorities and woman and didn't. He wants his party to start dealing again with Democrats to get things done but can't suggest how since today any compromise assures a Tea Party primary opponent.
Shrum concurs that the GOP is sharply divided into ideologues and realists, with the former having the upper hand. How'd that happen -- Obama Derangement Syndrome, Right-Wing Talk Radio, a party weighed down by Southern 'lost causists'? He explains all that with JFK's famous Inaugural metaphor, "He who rides the back of tiger ends up inside." Party leaders rode the Tea Party to off-year wins in 20 and 2014 but are now being devoured by them.
Host: This is a party with the fringe on the bottom. For a longer analysis what that means for November and the next decade, see last chapter of BrightInfiniteFuture.net -- "Economy & Democracy: The Progressive Majority vs. The Fringe Fourth" -- coming out the first week of May.
Presumptive Clinton? Why did Clinton end up prevailing only 55-45 over Sanders in voters and delegates when the opening line was more like 75-25? There's agreement again -- that his message really penetrated and she made unforced errors, like her email server and Wall Street speeches.
Bob lauds her primary night remarks in turn lauding Sanders and his voters as a smart way of getting 90 percent of her party to support her ticket. But given Trump's campaign of insults and apostasy, Bob doubts that the GOP will even get to 80 percent of Republicans.
We discuss how Clinton would be smart to combine her victory with much of Sanders's program. Bob assumes that she could choose Senator Warren as VP but it's unlikely given he need to shrink the opposition of angry white men. Where will Millennials -- who are more numerous than Boomers and who voted for Sanders 80-20 and for Obama 75-25 in 2012 -- go? Christie praises a Paul Ryan town hall of Millennials at his school Georgetown and thinks they're open to a GOP message on entitlements and spending. But Shrum is confidant that they'll swing hard to the Democratic ticket when faced with Trump's craziness and party's anti-gay stance.
Host: Earlier election cycles lead to new strategies and candidates, like McGovern's mailing list, Carter's border southern appeal, Dean's use of the internet. But the astounding success of Trump's personality in his party and Sanders's viral message raising scores of millions may re-shape POTUS politics for a generation. Can say some dynamic professor, author, athlete, TV broadcaster with a sticky message leap over the usual cadre of governors and senators to compete and win? Maddow vs. Scarborough in 2024?