“There’s Nobody Who Can Get Him Out of the Race”

Robert Costa’s WaPo piece based on an interview with Donald Trump has lots of useful information–or for all we know, propaganda–about The Donald’s future plans. We learn that his original paid media budget for 2015 was $20 million, which he still plans to spend in a more abbreviated time-span. We learn that he’s got a campaign book–entitled “Crippled America”–coming out later this month. We learn that he is indeed planning a “pivot” from immigration to China–presumably encompassing his already-established opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership–in his litany of complaints about the sell-out losers running both major parties.

But if I were involved in a competing campaign, here’s the news from Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski that would make my blood run cold:

Asked if he had discussed an exit plan with Trump should the candidate slip in the polls, Lewandowski said he had not: “We’re going to the convention — that’s it. One delegate or 2,000 and change, we’re going to the convention, and there’s nobody who can get him out of the race.”

Maybe that’s just bravado talking, but more and more the Trump thing is looking like a viable if unconventional campaign rather than a Herman Cain-ish flash in the pan or some entertainer’s vanity project aimed at improving his brand. The idea of Trump rolling into Cleveland with a sizable number of delegates and a guaranteed super-prime-time speaking role is pretty disturbing for GOPers even if Rubio or Jebbie eventually subdues him in the late primaries.

UPDATE: The Costa piece isn’t the only source of heartburn for those who have been trying to wish or will Trump away. There’s a new PPP survey with the headling: “Trump Holding Steady Nationally.” It’s not all good news for The Donald; his favorability ratio among Republicans, though still positive, has deteriorated some, and Jebbie’s the only rival he’s still trouncing in head-to-head trial heats. But there’s just no way to read this as a “collapse” unless you’re just spinning.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.