Why are GOP candidates seeking out Trump for meetings?

“I don’t get it. Just because Trump has the biggest ring, doesn’t mean it deserves to be kissed,” said Republican strategist Mark McKinnon. “Voters don’t care about Trump. Just the opposite. I think most Republicans find the Trump ritual confusing and off-putting.”

The balancing act of seeking Trump’s blessing — or evading his wrath, at least — while avoiding the potentially detrimental optics of doing so was on full display Monday when Romney was ushered into Trump’s midtown Manhattan headquarters through a side door, while an aide led waiting news photographers and reporters to believe that he was running late, according to reports.

For its part, the Romney campaign has yet to acknowledge the meeting even took place, and multiple aides to the former Massachusetts governor ignored requests for comment about why it was scheduled…

“Interestingly enough, none of the candidates coming to see Mr. Trump have asked him for any money,” [Trump aide Michael] Cohen told RCP. “They are all seeking his endorsement as the billionaire real estate mogul, who I’ve recently coined as the godfather of politics.”