The Wall Street Journal reports that the Republican National Convention may become an open convention after all. At least 18 members of the Rules Committee are for a so-called “conscience clause” that will allow delegates to vote for the candidate of their choice and not necessarily the one they are pledged to, according to RNC member Randy Evans of Georgia, a Donald Trump supporter. Another 15 are leaning toward voting for the clause. An anti-Trump member of the committee suggests that 30 members are in favor but will not say so publicaly.

If 28 members of the Rules Committee for a conscience clause, the matter will be put before the delegates. The question would need 1237 votes to pass.

Evens believes that 890 delegates support Trump while 680 oppose him. That means that 900 delegates are “in play” though the anti-Trump forces would need two-thirds of them to pass the conscience clause.

Noting that most of the people attempting to derail Trump are Ted Cruz supporters, the question arises, what if any role is the senator taking in the effort.

Thus far, Cruz is declining to endorse Trump. Cruz is rumored to be negotiating with the Trump people for a prime speaking spot at the convention, something that the Cruz people are denying. Ordinarily having a primary candidate on the speakers’ list is a no brainer. What Cruz is offering in return for a speaking slot, if he is negotiating for one at all, is unknown outside the formally smoke filled rooms.

The idea of an anti-Trump revolt succeeding is still considered a low probability event, but it is not no probability. The question arises, if the conscience clause passes and Trump is denied the nomination, what happens next?

Cruz cannot be seen as being directly involved in the dump Trump effort. But he has to be available to step in if his former rival’s candidacy goes down in flames. A conservative, tea party favorite, Cruz would have to stave off any establishment gambit to insert its preferred candidate, Mitt Romney for example.

Then he will have to sooth Donald Trump’s incandescent rage at being denied the prize at the brink of obtaining it. Perhaps Cruz can offer the Donald a spot in his administration, that of Immigration and Trade Czar, for example. Afterward, the work of defeating Hillary Clinton will await.

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