I am in the camp that thinks Trump will not be the nominee. But I also do not think the GOP should be surprised by Trump’s rise. They compressed their primary schedule, they limited the number of debates, and they agreed to caps on the number of people on stage. None of those things are really objectionable. But it necessitated the candidates find Super PACs and mega-donors to fund their bids and drive up their name ID.
It should surprise none of us that one of those potential donors decided to run himself. And why not — the GOP has courted Donald Trump for years. If they really objected to Trump, they should not have taken his money. But they were happy to do that.
Now they will, from their perspective, pay the price. Trump probably hurt himself in Iowa with both his comments on McCain and his comments on his faith. We may have reached peak Trump as a result. But let’s not kid ourselves. The establishment’s wooing of Trump going back to 2010 advanced Donald Trump within the Republican Party.