Ted Cruz's appearance at the #GOP Convention and his speech in which he failed to endorse #Donald Trump, was set up and planned by Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager. The circumstances behind the address by Cruz were not what they appeared to be. As it seemed, Cruz was allowed the honor of speaking at the convention by kind-hearted Trump and then he totally betrayed him by not endorsing him. But things are not always what they appear to be and this is a case in point.

Manafort's sneaky plan and set-up.

Before Cruz's speech, the Trump campaign was in dire straights because of Cruz and his followers. The campaign feared that Cruz's followers would not vote in the presidential election and thereby deprive Trump of their desperately needed votes.

The campaign had to find a way to discredit Cruz among his supporters in one fell swoop. What better way for the Trump campaign to do this than to invite Cruz to speak and get booed and make a fool of himself? That's exactly what Paul Manafort did and he was very successful. Manafort had a copy of Cruz's speech beforehand and knew what he was going to say. He knew that Cruz would alleviate the convention delegates, get booed and marginalize himself.

Heidi Cruz escorted out of building.

Cruz was so discredited by the boos and the negative reaction from the audience that his political career was put into jeopardy. Cruz's wife Heidi had to be escorted off the convention floor by security and reportedly was in tears as she left. The entire litany of events from start to finish fit right into Manafort's plan.

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Cruz followers are now "disappointed" in Cruz, do not "understand" why he did not endorse the Republican Party's nominee, and now are voting for Trump. Not only has Cruz been discredited, but so has the more conservative faction of the Republican Party. In one brilliantly planned and executed move, Manafort has given Cruz supporters and conservative Republicans nowhere else to turn but to Trump.

The swing states.

The votes from the Cruz supporters and conservative Republicans will be of crucial importance to Trump in the swing states. Those votes can make a huge difference in the general election in November. The swing states include the following: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. If Trump is able to hold onto his supporters and acquire more from among the Cruz supporters and conservatives, then he has more of a chance of winning in November, (or so he thinks). Manafort skillfully arranged for Trump to acquire the Cruz votes and conservative votes with Cruz's speech.

And it worked, at least temporarily anyway. Of course, the general election still is three and half months away, and a week is an eternity in politics; but chances are that Trump has won the Cruz voters and conservative voters over and will be very competitive in the November 2016 election.

Clinton's competitiveness.

Of course, it goes without saying that Hillary Clinton also will be very competitive. Clinton does not give up and is a very skilled campaigner. The fact of the matter is that Clinton is smarter, better informed and prodigiously more skillful than is Donald Trump. The creme always rises to the top and the smarter candidate usually wins. Slimy strategists like Manafort can help candidates to a limited extent and even score some points for their candidate; but in the final analysis it is up to the candidates to win. And that requires intelligence, cunning and planning that nobody can manifest better than does Hillary Clinton. #Election 2016