The New York Times reports that Trump’s team, fearing a convention coup, is cracking down on wayward delegates. “They are employing hard-nosed tactics, warning delegates that attempting to undermine Donald J. Trump’s claim to the nomination violates party rules, and threatening to deny speaking slots to Republicans they deem disloyal for not backing him.”
It remains to be seen what Trump’s version of Goldwater’s buddy system will be. But there’s more than a little irony in Trump’s staff telling Trump skeptics that they won’t be allowed to speak at the convention if they continue to criticize him: No one, it seems, really wants to speak at the RNC anyway.
According to Politico, which surveyed 50 top Republicans, many are planning on skipping the convention outright, reflecting “the growing consensus that it’s best to steer clear of Trump.” Trump’s RNC was already expected to be more than a little different, but this means that it could veer even further into the strange: The speakers are likely to be obscure, hardcore Trump loyalists who have little to lose by backing him. He can deny speaking slots all he wants, but it won’t make a difference if no one wants to speak anyway.