The political campaigns are entering a new phase where campaigns need to be cognizant of and, essentially, compliant with political party requirements. The conventions of both major parties have differing rules and the rules may be changed from time to time. That can either be a good thing or a not-so-good thing simply depending upon which candidate is benefitted and which candidate feels denied.
The rule changes elicit feelings on the part of the campaigns involved. We have seen the Trump campaign staking out positions of just what changes it believes it can tolerate and what changes it cannot tolerate. Trump has liberally used the word ‘fair’ to describe change and its meaning, in his usage, is that whatever happens has to be of benefit to him. If it isn’t, the party has to be prepared for his usual bombastic and accusatory response.
This is a phase of the competition that does not lend itself to a campaign such as Trump has been running. This is the place where subtleties and nuances are important, where a candidate sometimes simply has to suck it up if he or she does not wish to be seen as a whiner or complainer.
Much of the time, a convention does not move in a straight line given all the maneuvering by a number of candidates each trying to gain the advantage over all the others. Trump’s typical responses may not play well in that world. He sees himself as the king of dealmakers, but he has not yet done the deal-making required many times in the convention setting. Up to this point, any time Trump hasn’t performed as he felt he would, he is quick to find fault with everyone but himself. Being the best there ever has been in everything he attempts, in his own mind, does not leave much room for the give and take necessary in a political convention where there are wins and losses.
We, the public, and Trump are moving into a new world where monetary wealth has much less meaning, and where ‘political’ wealth has significant meaning. Sen. Cruz may feel some wrath given his relationship with some of his fellow Senate members, for example. The Republican National Committee may not, in every decision, decide as Trump would’ve thought appropriate. If he resorts to his usual bombastic threats of this or that, he may find himself in metaphorical quicksand. His bullying tactics that have typically worked to this point may now be detrimental. His comments about this or that being “crooked” are not likely to play well.
Trump has already found out, the hard way, that his campaigning has missed some of the salient points about which it should’ve been aware. Cruz, for example, has been working the uncommitted delegates feverishly while Trump has largely ignored them thus causing Trump to declare that “crooked” on the part of Cruz.
The “smash mouth” football side of the campaign trip has now given way to the smart “inside strategic” game phase. Will Trump see that some change is necessary for him and his campaign or will that fact slip by him for days or weeks? This is potentially a tough thing for Trump to accommodate; it is contrary to his instincts and to his history. Subtlety has not been mentioned often in conjunction with the name Trump.