What a difference a month makes. Just a few weeks ago many were asking “Is this IT for Trump?”  That was after a particularly rough stretch The Donald had, and there was no shortage of pundits saying it was all over. He was toast.

At the time I said it was not accurate to count him out. On KUSI News Allen Denton asked why I believed that. “Because he’s Trump”, I said (reminding all that I’m not endorsing anyone during the primaries).  But the Art of the Deal Man had constantly defied the laws of gravity and would likely do it again.

And so goes this year’s crazy political season. Sometimes it’s like a carnival ride that never ends … you love it, then it goes on too long, you’re feeling queasy, but then part of you yearns for more. Even if you lose your lunch in the process, you keep coming back.

This time, I don’t think we return to normal. It is what it is, and what is now standard political process may be like this for a generation.

Tuesday morning, Election Day in Indiana, the news cycle included Mr. Trump making a wild comment (based on a  National Enquirer story) that Ted Cruz’ father had met with JFK killer Lee Harvey Oswald days before Dallas.

Everyone, right and left, seemed to cry foul on that one, but hours later Trump had mopped the floor with Cruz. The Hoosier State yawned, voted in record numbers and the head of the GOP pronounced the Billionaire as “the Presumptive Nominee”.

Ted Cruz is a very smart, decent man who may one day make a terrific U.S. Supreme Court Justice, but in these topsy turvy, tilt-a-whirl times, nothing is “normal” or even predictable. Qualifications don’t matter, but “delivery” of message … any message … is more crucial than actual content (or accuracy) of message.  The whole nation has become reality TV.  And we seem to enjoy it.

Now in a mere 48 hours since Tuesday (while there’s still loads of anti-Trump energy to go around) we are witnessing many who vowed “Never Trump” softening their stance, getting into position, tossing aside principles and warming to the new The One. The debate is also heating up over who would make the best GOP VP pick (NOTE: Please, don’t choose a Kardashian.)

Hillary Clinton, the only Presidential candidate currently under FBI investigation, is now spending excess energy talking about how she doesn’t worry about Trump (or the FBI, emails, etc), doing her best Alfred E. Newman impersonation.

Translation: She is worried, and plenty worried about Trump. Democrats don’t know how to campaign against someone like him.

Bernie Sanders keeps winning, too, but the former Secretary of State has an auditorium full of “super delegates”. So Bernie’s right about it (in the DNC’s case) being “rigged”. And he’s seeing money drying up when he needs it for a strong California campaign.

Until the surprising departure of Cruz and not surprising bow of Kasich, the June 7th primary here in our state meant so much, more than any time since 1976.  While Sanders stays in it, not much drama left.

But our Primary Election is still important. Not the least of reasons is the race to replace Barbara “Just Call Me Senator” Boxer.  And most of our fellow Californians have no idea who is running.

Kamala Harris (also our state Attorney General), Rep. Loretta Sanchez … the Democrats … face leading Republicans Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim in the Primary. But unlike the old days where the winning Dem and GOP stars would then go on to face off in November, now the top two candidates go at it in the General Election. With heavier voter registration in our state, the Democrats could face each other then.

Unless the Trump factor turns it all upside down again.

And it might.  

Categories: Political Analyst Mark Larson