Trump and the Republican Conundrum

Donald Trump struts about and provokes left and right. He relegates his rivals to anonymity by monopolizing the media with outrageous comments. From this angle, just a few weeks from the start of the primaries in the United States, the Republican Party has something to worry about. Because if Trump is dominating the conservative campaign, he owes that as much to the power he projects as he does to the shortcomings of his rivals.

Ted Cruz, the distant runner-up in the polls, is disliked and even despised by his party colleagues in the Senate because of his extreme positions. Marco Rubio, the establishment Republican candidate, plays the charisma and youth card, which is similar to the one that carried Barrack Obama to power in 2008; but for the moment, he is just a poor copy of the president. And Jeb Bush, George W. Bush’s younger brother, has become almost invisible.

From now on, Republicans have to hope for a “French-style” scenario — that is to say, a scenario where the candidate of the extremes will finally be overwhelmed by a moderate wave during the vote, as was the case for the National Front in the second round of regional voting. Otherwise, a desperate resort to Mitt Romney, a candidate who didn’t really stimulate much passion during the 2012 campaign, is still being evoked in order to create a stumbling block for Trump during the Republican Convention next July: not ideal when in all likelihood, the rival facing him will be called Hillary Clinton.

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