Here’s why some GOP leaders such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are hesitating to endorse the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee-apparent Donald Trump: They are political careerists who are not sure what their big donors want them to do.
They’re also conservative careerists, in the sense that they often dip their campaign buckets into the money stream that comes from the right.
There’s nothing wrong with that per se, because while it leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths to know their leaders may be beholden to a relatively small class of wealthy people, or those who are sympathetic to them, there’s no reason to believe wealthy conservatives are any less patriotic than the rest of us.
But Trump, himself a multibillionaire, didn’t need their money to campaign for president.
Jeb Bush started out as the anointed one last fall in the present presidential campaign, as far as the GOP supporters were concerned, and they put their money where their mouths were. But Bush broke their hearts by not putting the 10s of millions they gave his campaign to good use, and by not being able to gather enough support to keep his campaign going.
And so it went with the other 15 GOP candidates who have given up.
But getting back to Rep. Paul Ryan, he has never been anything but a conservative politician beholden to big contributors, and while he may be speaker of the House, and considered a capable leader, he nevertheless knows where the butter for his bread comes from, and he doesn’t want it to suddenly get taken away.
Because Trump is no professional politician, it’s hard for him to understand why Ryan, or any Republican, would snub him now that he has the nomination seemingly in the bag.
But here is what he has to understand: Win or lose, those politicians remain paid surrogates for their donors. That isn’t necessarily bad, but it is the system, and until they hear from those donors what to do next, they’re not going to jump to Trump.