No doubt about it. It’s a shocker.
There is still a strong possibility that Jeb will be the nominee. My pick is Rubio, but Jeb is not weak (despite what Trump says, below) and has a lot of money. His record as governor is strong enough, and Florida is a key state. Also, though it infuriates hyper-conservatives and WHINOs (White House In Name Only), he speaks Spanish, which heightens his appeal to a large swathe of voters.
So what would Trump do if Jeb were the nominee? Let me build my case before my shocking prediction.
First, Trump said in the second debate in September 2015 he wouldn’t vote for Jeb:
With all of the problems we that we have, in so many instances — we have wonderful people coming in. But with all of the problems — this is not an act of love. He’s weak on immigration — by the way, in favor of Common Core, which is also a disaster, but weak on immigration.
He doesn’t get my vote.
Viewers may have missed the import, but it made me sit up. That’s Trump’s way of saying he would not support Jeb if he’s the nominee. To retaliate, Trump could not run as a third party candidate because of the logistical difficulties, but what would he do to draw voters away from Jeb?
Second, Trump has been connected to the Clintons and the Democrats for a long time (no. three). That means he’s a rootless, political wanderer, who self-identified as a Democrat.
Third, Trump does not have the right temperament to be president. This translates into his being opportunistic and in it for himself. To everyone but his devoted followers, he comes across as a spoiled, angry child who might take his marbles and go home, if denied the nomination, but not before kicking and scattering the other kids’ marbles.
Those three elements added up, here is my prediction:
During the GOP convention in June 2016, Trump will be denied the nomination because Jeb will have won it. After the convention, Trump will angrily stomp out and proclaim he can’t vote for Jeb. And then sometime between his stuerm und drang and November, he will meet with Hillary. (“I get along with everybody, for my business!”) If he doesn’t formally endorse her, his meeting will end up being a tacit or silent endorsement.
Thus the 2016 elections will be chaotic, but I believe Jeb could still pull it out.
This prediction might still come true, if Rubio gets the nomination.
You think the whole prediction is farfetched? We shall see. But I wanted to put it out there really, really early, to get the super-scoop, so to speak.