There was grizzled RNC committeeman Ron Kaufman likening Trump to Reagan. There was Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s half-hearted endorsement of Ted Cruz. There was former House Speaker John Boehner’s confession that he and Trump are texting buddies and golfing partners. There’s the slew of endorsements (and a prediction by Trump campaign officials that another wave is coming after Indiana votes next week). It’s adding up to a slow but steady coalescing around the man once considered so vile to the GOP base that he’d rip the party to shreds.
“We’ve had enough intraparty fighting. Now’s the time to stitch together a winning coalition,” said Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah. “And it’s been clear almost from the beginning that Donald Trump has the ability to assemble a nontraditional bloc of supporters. … The ability to cut across traditional party boundaries — like ’80, ’92 and 2008 — will be key, and Trump is much better positioned to achieve that.”
Huntsman isn’t alone. He’s the latest in a long list of party stalwarts and defenders of the GOP establishment that have accepted Trump as the best remaining option in the field — and are encouraging Trump’s opponents to wind down…
Trump’s top adviser, Paul Manafort, is doing more than appealing for unity. He and his team are now making the case to lawmakers that Trump will seal the nomination before the national convention with a combination of bound delegates and roughly 40 unbound delegates from Pennsylvania who they consider solid Trump supporters, according to two Capitol Hill allies of Trump.