Thousands of miles apart and having never met to the best of our knowledge (but certainly having mutual Moscow biznismen acquaintances), the former KGB officer President of the Russian Federation and the brash New York real estate mogul appear to have accomplished a 'mind meld' when it comes to trolling an Anglo-American mainstream media that hates them both. Regardless of how you feel about it, this is something new in world politics...
The love between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin appears to be mutual.
According to an Interfax report of his annual year-end news conference, Putin called the Republican presidential candidate “a very bright and talented man,” as well as an “absolute leader” in the race for the presidency. (Another account, from Reuters, translated Putin as saying Trump is “a very flamboyant man.”)
“He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it,” Putin said, according to Reuters’ report.
The Russian president also said that it is none of his business “to assess tricks Donald Trump [is] using to boost his popularity,” according to Interfax.
Trump has repeatedly praised Putin's toughness and said he would be able to cut deals with him.
And Thursday afternoon, Trump expressed gratitude for the kind words.
"It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond," Trump said in a statement. "I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect."
Stablemates gonna stablemate. https://t.co/IYU3kWzSCz
— Casey Michel (@cjcmichel) December 17, 2015
You mad neocon bro?
Putin suggests somebody in Turkey wanted to lick...some part of Washington's anatomy as a possible motivation for shooting down Russia's SU-24
"They thought we'd run away? Russia is not the country to do that. Previously, they were flying in Syrian airspace — now let's see them fly there" (again about Turkey, next to which Russia has deployed air defense). Come on into Syrian airspace, and get greased by an S-400 missile at Mach 8 you punks
Just when you think it can’t get worse: A leading American candidate for President praising Putin.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 17, 2015
South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey .01% I call myself a presidential candidate Graham, ladies and gentlemen
Getting in bed with Iran and Russia to save Assad... is inconceivable! https://t.co/IsXuKtHeUo
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 17, 2015
More like 'getting bed with' Russia to save Syria from the terrorists you thought would topple Assad, Senator
There's something happening here...what it is ain't exactly clear. Politics is being 'globalized' beyond borders now more than ever thanks to the Internet much more than declining 24 hour cable news, yet what's 'trending' is renewed nationalism, of the Russian and old line American variety. Despite spending a tiny fraction of what the leading Establishment candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida have poured into their thus far failing campaigns, Donald Trump has managed to maintain himself as, indeed according to Vladimir Putin's well informed advisers, the 'leader' in a very crowded Republican presidential field. This despite or because of his larger than life (but in a peculiarly American way likeable jerk) persona, vague and Constitutionally dubious policy prescriptions, and really thin comb over. Did we mention all the bad press that only seems to help him with his increasingly devoted political base?
Trump and 4th Generation War: https://t.co/Tg3yWa6TW7
— Supreme Dark Lord (@voxday) December 17, 2015
My friend Charles Bausman describes how the lying, terminally declining MSM's 'pernicious' effect is so much bigger than Russia coverage...
We continue to be surprised as the mainstream media attacks Trump, only to fall into Trump's clever trap of 'if the lying bastards of the MSM who hailed the false Messiah Zero are attacking him, he must not be all that bad'. Similarly, Vladimir Putin knows Russia is facing difficult times economically -- he even made a typically Russian joke 'black and white stripes' joke about the situation during his over three hour televised 'call in' end of the year press conference. But so long as the Western media that lavished praise on Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin demonizes him, millions of Russians will continue to believe Putin is 'one of them'. Even the truckers who protested by briefly blocking traffic on the MKAD highway that rings Moscow to oppose a new toll hike that would benefit some of Putin's oligarch friends profess their respect for him and sport St. George's ribbons or occasionally, flags of the pro-Russian Donetsk People's Republic.
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) December 16, 2015
If the corpulent U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft is counting on these guys to start a colored revolution and march on the Kremlin for him, he like Soros-funded Bolshevik hipster Jim Kovpak are likely to be disappointed. Problems of corruption and economic pain for ordinary people in modern Russia remain defined, as they were for decades if not centuries prior to Soviet era, as 'if only the Tsar knew' and in terms of the age-old good Tsar punishing the perpetually scheming, foreign-influenced boyars. Here in the good ole' US of A too, it's so much easier to rail against political correctness and talk about radical Muslims and illegal alien Mexicans pouring into the country, without mentioning the powerful forces that have deliberately left the borders wide open and hired masses of Democrat or mainline Republican-voting incompetents to run 'Homeland Security'.
As Austria's @Lehermayr correctly points out, Putin has spent more time on trucker protests than Syria, Ukraine or Turkey.
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) December 17, 2015
How Kondratiev Cycles Predict a Global Right Wing Surge of Nationalism
As much as some would like to attribute such tactics to the KGB's doctrine of reflexive control, even Agent 'W' the Intelligence Insider would probably admit Trump's PR strategies are more reminiscent of Richard Milhous Nixon and his invoking of the 'silent majority' to win by a huge landslide in 1972 (documented ably by numerous political scientists, including Patrick J. Buchanan in his book The Greatest Comeback).
As many authors in the alternative media have pointed out, cliodynamics theories suggest the Western world if not intersecting global 'civilizations' are on the verge of the most serious socio-economic upheaval since the late 1960s if not World War II. That history operates in cycles rather than marching ever forward in a Marxist or Hegelian worldview toward Francis Fukuyama's 'end of history' is of course, a concept not alien to Vladimir Putin, who would've surely studied early Soviet economist Nikolai Kondratiev's ground breaking work in the 1920s. Kondratieff ideas (another spelling) strongly influenced Joseph Schumpeter and the Austrian economists people like myself, Dr. Ron Paul and the Guerrilla tend to favor. Just as central banks cannot define the laws of human nature and economics by delivering perpetual, steady credit expansion without running into periods of inflation/deflation or high unemployment (eg Great Depression 1.0, early 1980s recession, 1990s recession, and the present Great Depression 2.0 which began in 2008), neither can societies defy the laws of nature and nature's God via rampant immorality and the loss of their social moorings.
'Purist' libertarians tend to acknowledge the former when it comes to the limits of credit expansion and the inevitable abuse of world reserve currency status until the super-debt cycle bubble pops, but are often far less comfortable discussing whether there are limits to how much globalization and cultural revolutions (eg Bruce Jender and 'trans-normality') human beings and nation states can tolerate. This is in no small part due to the fallacy that the free movement of labor is just like the movement of goods, forgetting that human beings are more than the sum of their economic outputs. Not even most Any Rand believers imagine that if, for example, Singapore or Switzerland as economically prosperous and rule of law respecting societies opened the floodgates to migrants from Pakistan or Somalia that they would remain prosperous. In other words, all systems based on soulless materialism, whether 'Communist' or 'Capitalist', are doomed to failure. It's just that Communism due to the central planning aspect tends to fail faster than mixed or so-called social market economies like those of the present United States or Germany wherein only the money supply appears to be centrally planned.
Just as economic Marxism spectacularly failed with the demise of the Soviet Union and its satellite states a generation ago, cultural Marxism (a force many on the so-called Left insist doesn't exist) of the Frankfurter school and behind this social engineering globalist schemes of open borders also engender an inevitable backlash. One that even the highest ranking globalists with their hyper-advanced predictive supercomputer algorithms of the type Operation Jade Helm 'road tested' in a virtual battlefield exercise last summer could anticipate. Even SkyNet if not its creators, it seems, have their limits when aiming for god-like Prometheanism and total information awareness. From a spiritual perspective, as Psalm 2 states, He that sits in the heavens laughs at the Tower of Babels man tries to construct in his hubris, and only the technologies (but perhaps not all of them) are new when it comes to Nimrod's 'New World Order'.
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn ultimately had it right in his famous 1977 Harvard commencement address: the Soviet system that forced him into exile was doomed, but so on a longer trajectory was the Western order that the dissident famously dissected as already tending towards cowardice, deadening legalism, and loss of sustaining faith, first in God, and then in 'the system' that aspired to replace Him. And what is a vote for Trump, according to many voters who are well informed about his history of professing to be a Democrat and donating to the Clintons (even schmoozing with them at Chelsea's wedding), but a giant 'f--- you' to the two party (one party two wings) 'system'?
Vladimir Putin speaking about the decline of Christian-based morality in Western nations at the 2013 Valdai discussion group conference
EU-funded Euronews must be delighted at how this poll is going for them... pic.twitter.com/cyRfUB0sel
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) December 16, 2015
Trump and Putin's 'Nixon Strategy' -- and Is Trump's Surge a Sign Obama's Détente with Russia Can Survive the 2016 Elections?
Returning to the subject at hand, we've documented in our posts here at Rogue Money, Putin is increasingly advised by Sergey Glazyev, a friend of 25 years to American economist Lyndon LaRouche and a strong proponent of the theory that modern 'capitalism' (actually central bank-driven corporatism slouching towards fascism) is in crisis. Glazyev, along with other Russian analysts like Mikhail Khazin and Ukrainian-exile Rotislav Ischenko, believe that a significant part of the Anglo-American elite seek to solve this crisis through war or at least, risking a world war to force the collapse of Russia and China (something Stalin's advisers also believed as the USSR prepared for a seemingly inevitable showdown with Nazi Germany in the late Thirties).
1972 -- Nixon goes to the USSR and opens China to world trade after years of secret talks by his envoy (and Rockefeller employee) Henry Kissinger
In our previous RogueMoney post, we analyzed an article published in November by Ischenko in which the anti-Kiev regime theorist declares that a certain portion of the Anglo-American elite may have decided détente along the lines Nixon pursued with the Soviets after the dollar crisis of 1971 and American defeat in Vietnam is more profitable than continued confrontation with Russia and China. This is most interesting due to the historic parallels, whereby Moscow is gaining allies or new bases in the world while American diplomatic if not economic power is in retreat. In the 70s and early 80s it was called the 'Vietnam syndrome', today it's 'Iraq/Afghanistan' or 'Obama' syndrome even though to some extent the first Russian pushback against continued NATO expansion (other than the forlorn dash for the Pristina airport after the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia) occurred in George W. Bush's last year in office, with the 08/08/08 war.
Quicktake. Usually Putin presser big deal. Recently too much Putin. Usually speaks rarely. Cause of crises it's every week. Total overload.
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) December 17, 2015
Know When to Hold Em', Know When to Fold Em' -- What Washington is Offering Putin Through January 2017
The cards Washington still has to play for this diplomatic push include:
Saudi and Jordanian influenced Sunnis that Putin wishes to reconcile or at least acquiesce into a peace agreement with the Assad government after Russia secures its military and geo-economic position (blocking a Qatari gas pipeline) in the war-shattered country
The prospect of relaxing or lifting some European Union if not U.S. sanctions against Russia, particularly since Washington realizes it will only be able to sustain support by the French, Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Greeks and Austrians for the sanctions through threats or intimidation and even those will only damage its reputation if continued for years (think back to Kerry's admission that the dollar itself would be threatened if Washington tried to maintain a near-embargo by its European and Asian allies against Iran)
The U.S. turning a blind eye to non-Chinese sources of dollar liquidity for sanction squeezed Russian banks and enterprises, eg Kuwait/UAE
Washington's European allies willingness to play along with more NATO war games theater, while not actually tolerating a major ramp up of American military might or a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons on hypersonic missiles (ala the 1980s Pershing II deployment) Europe
The Kiev regime's pressure on the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, even though a Ukrainian military victory over the DNR/LNR is impossible
Low oil price which Washington can temporarily make even lower by lifting the ban on raw crude exports that has been in place since the 1970s
Russia's 'high cards' on the table include:
Military success -- despite all the propaganda about the Saudi, Qatari and Turkish-backed rebels holding their positions indefinitely -- in Syria, contrasted with the Obama administration's half-assed and now exposed as phony war against the Islamic State. Putin can do what Obama can't -- destroy many of the terrorist groups that have operated alongside ISIS and been supported by the same patrons whose powerful lobbies and funding of the neoconservatives have put enormous pressure on the President and Secretary of State
Low oil price that is causing the Saudi regime severe pain, but which most Washington analysts remain blithely ignorant of posing a danger to U.S. friendly petrostate regimes in Riyadh and Doha and therefore the petrodollar
Continued dollar dumping by Russia, China and members of the BRICS, particularly Brazil which is under severe economic and political strain
What isn't negotiable or going to happen, contrary to the fears of Russian nationalists about the ever-present '5th column' in Moscow are:
Russia abandoning Assad, the U.S. has now been forced for the first time to finally agree with Moscow's position that Assad stays at least until national elections are held in mid-2016 if not later
Russia ditching the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, even if the Kiev regime nibbles away at the edges of their territories. The deadline for meeting the Minsk agreement of January 1st will come and go without much changing, barring another spectacularly failed Ukrainian offensive
Russia abandoning its deepening economic ties with China, even as the Western press gloats about the slow pace of construction for the Power of Siberia mega-gas pipeline and Gazprom having to fund it out of falling profits, while the Chinese have haggled for a lower natural gas price
Russia won't and in its present financial state probably cannot offer the Greeks some sort of loan in tandem with the Chinese to leave the eurozone. That issue was settled in the spring of 2015 via negotiations between Putin and Merkel
As We Predicted, the Neocons Turkish Card is Only Making Them Look Like Hypocrites Willing to Get in Bed with an ISIS Oil Smuggling, Kurdish Repressing Regime (Did We Mention Neocons Are Big on a Free Kurdistan But Still Defend Turkey as a Staunch Frontline Ally?)
There are of course key areas or 'tests' for whether this rapprochement if not reset with Russia can last through the end of Obama's term in office. It is hard to believe given Putin's evident fury at the Turkish government that he is going to take any more cr-p from Ankara, and during his three hour presser Putin taunted the Turkish Air Force about daring to fly in Syrian skies again, now that Moscow's hypersonic S-400 air defense system is in place. Whether the Turks will try to expand their presence in northern Iraq after beating a temporary retreat with Vice President Joe Biden admonishing them to respect Iraqi sovereignty is an interesting question. For now, Turkey's utility as an attack dog for the neocon faction to provoke Russia appears limited both by military constraints (any sorties in force into Syria would quickly end in a Turkey shoot, pun intended, of Turkish F-16s by Russian Sukhois or more likely Syrian S-300 SAMs) and the risks of blowback to Erdogan from closing the Bosporus to the Russians. And unfortunately for team neocon, Moscow won't retreat from Syria if the Straits get closed.
Neocons & @EUvsDisinfo: Turkey didn't do nuttin', don't believe Trump, retired U.S. generals, or the evil Kremlin propaganda that Ankara backs ISIS
At worst, Russia would have to suspend its air campaign and arms deliveries to the Syrian Arab Army for three weeks until enough commercial vessels (including those with Greek Cypriot registration) could be pressed into service to divert the 'Syrian Express' to the ice free year round Baltic Sea. In addition to whatever the Northern Fleet can scrape together with a nuclear-powered icebreaker escort from Murmansk, the Russians would probably bring a few vessels over the long way from Vladivostok via the Indian Ocean and the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal. The bottom line for neocons hopes of the neo-Ottomans bailing out their failed Syria policy: If Turkey thought it could save its jihadist proxies from Russian bombs by tearing up the 1936 Montreux Convention and international law, it would've done it already.
As it is the Turkish economy and lira are already in the process of being ground down. The last thing Erdogan needs this winter is a 'technical problem' with the gas flow from Iran occurring simultaneously with a Russian gas cutoff, even if the disruptions prove temporary, when he's already fighting a low intensity insurgency by the Kurds.
I wrote a bit about the deafening silence of Russia's nominal allies since the Turkish shoot-down: https://t.co/EfLttjzkDR
— Casey Michel (@cjcmichel) December 16, 2015
Attention neocon hipster Casey Michel: while you were tweeting Putin has no allies against Turkey, the Turks were forced to withdraw some of their troops illegally occupying northern Iraq and continue to face threats from the Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi'a militias to fight them. Even VP Joe Biden told the Turks to respect Iraqi sovereignty after Kerry and Nuland's 3 1/2 hour 'talk' with Vlad and Lavrov. But Russia is weak and has no allies :)
Without the competent Turkish Army spearheading the creation of a so-called 'safe zone' (what the Asia Times/RT contributor Pepe Escobar calls 'Sunnistan') straddling the territory of Syria and Iraq, the much ballyhooed 'Sunni boots on the ground' that neocons like Sen. John McCain or Lindsey Graham pretend are coming to liberate ISIS held territory won't materialize. And the Turks realize that if they attempted a forceful entry rather than a sly 'anti-ISIS mission' like what they're promoting outside Mosul with a conveniently timed Daesh rocket attack on their troops, the Syrian Arab Army and Iranians if not the Russians will attack their invading force and destroy it. So much for McInsane and Ms. McCain's fantasies that Zerohedge reported were conveyed to the Iraqis as a 'done deal' just a week ago.
Meanwhile, Washington's neocons are furious that a GOP presidential candidate not only defies their dictates, but actually rubs their noses in his respect for their hate figure, Vladimir Putin.
— David Patrikarakos (@dpatrikarakos) December 17, 2015
Trump's neocon bashing has become so successful, it's spawned imitators -- Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who flaunts his non-aggression pact with The Donald to the point of refusing to respond to Trump's ribbing about his father being an Evangelical Christian from Communist Cuba or the complete non-issue outside of Iowa of ethanol subsidies. Cruz is the latest but probably not the last GOP presidential contender to use the 'n' word (neocon) in policy discussions. Eliot Abrams and the other Israel-Gulf Cooperation Council alliance proponents who still think they run the GOP because they control The Wall Street Journal editorial board are predictably not amused.
I suggest Mr. Trump visit the Ukraine and Syrian refugee camps to see if Putin is really respected and deserves praise.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 17, 2015
Plenty of places to meet refugees in Yemen or Donbass who fled your Saudi and Kiev buddies, Senator
These folks are whining to the editors of National Review that 'neocon' is just a 'far left or far right' euphemism for 'hawkish Jew' (just two months after NR's own writer used the term 'neocon' as in 'the neocons are back'). David P. Goldman, a staunchly pro-Israel Zionist Orthodox Jew who left the LaRouche movement for the Reagan Administration in the early 80s, is having none of that. The Asia Times columnist 'Spengler' sees the writing on the wall for the neocons. Trump is bashing them while praising their alleged new Hitler in the Kremlin, and Ted Cruz is piling on:
Hillary Clinton has no record to run on. Family income is lower and the world is more dangerous. Donald Trump nailed it when he told Chris Wallace, "Hillary calls me 'dangerous'? She's killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity." Trump was referring to the Obama administration's campaign to overthrow Arab dictators like Libya's Qaddafi and Egypt's Mubarak, which contributed to the chaos in the Middle East after the so-called "Arab Spring." Marco Rubio can't attack Hillary's disastrous foreign policy record because--as Ted Cruz observes--Rubio supported all the same stupid policies. Picture a Cruz-Clinton presidential debate: Cruz denounces Hillary's incompetence in promoting chaos in the Middle East. Hillary remonstrates, "But most Republicans supported me!" Cruz counters: "That's right--I'm running against you and against the Establishment in my own party." Game, set, match.
Here's a word of consolation for my neocon friends: It's not personal, just business. I'm a neocon too, an ex-lefty who went rightward with Reagan and carried my spear in the final phase of the Cold War. I was chief economist at Jude Wanniski's supply-side consulting firm Polyconomics, which is as neocon as you can get, and I give the neocons all the credit for Reaganomics. I've published in Commentary Magazine and Irving Kristol's Public Interest. I traveled the world promoting the Reagan model between 1988 and 1993--Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, and most of all Russia--and learned firsthand how Quixotic was the conceit that our model could be exported.
Every ideology has a use-by date and you're long past yours. Henry Kissinger did great service to this country by opening relations to China, a necessary if not sufficient condition for winning the Cold War. But Kissinger couldn't see past the dull calculus of detente, while Reagan foresaw unconditional American victory over Communism--and without you neocons, he never could have done it. You made a Gargantuan error, though, when you assumed that the Reagan Revolution could be exported to the Middle East, Russia and China, and you misplayed the strongest hand that any world power ever held. America went from only-hyperpower status when George W. Bush took office to a playing second fiddle to Vladimir Putin today. No-one wants to hear your claim that we really won in Iraq in 2008 and lost it all because Obama wouldn't leave a few divisions there. And when the "Arab Spring" came along, you mistook the oncoming express for the light at the end of the tunnel. You and the Obama crowd played "Dumb and Dumber." You both bought into the idea that Muslim democracy would arise from Islamist opposition to the old dictatorships.
So Ted Cruz has thrown you under the bus, just as you threw Henry Kissinger under the bus when Reagan came to office in 1981.
So when Ted Cruz, on the campaign trail in Iowa and again in an interview with Bloomberg News, recently pointed the finger at “neocons” in an attempt to defend his own understanding of American interests abroad, the response among some conservative foreign-policy experts — many of whom the term has been used to disparage — was of shock, anger, and dismay. “He knows that the term in the usual far-left and far-right parlance means warmonger, if not warmongering Jewish advisers, so it is not something he should’ve done,” says Elliott Abrams, a former Bush administration National Security Council official and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
That's chutzpah (like the man who murdered his parents asking the judge for clemency because he's an orphan). "Neocon" became a term of opprobrium because it represented a coherent and well-defined body of thought that produced bad results. To suggest that Ted Cruz is stirring up bigotry against Jews is just nasty.
No, Cruz is doing the right thing: Just as Reagan sacrificed Henry Kissinger, Cruz will sacrifice you. It's all for the greater good. For the past eight years the Republican Party has worn the sins of the George W. Bush administration like the chains on Marley's Ghost. The American public doesn't easily forget that it was stirred to sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan and has nothing to show for it. A break with the Bush past vastly increases the odds for a Republican victory. Rubio can't do this, but Cruz can. Like Kissinger, you should glory in your past contributions and let other people take charge. Go with God. But go.
"Gondola, signore. Gondola..."
The familiar basso from a thousand Italian (and American) films boomed out across the painted cloudy sky and ersatz canals at Las Vegas' Venetian Tuesday night as the faithful streamed into yet another Republican debate at the hotel's theatre that looks built for a roadshow version of La Traviata.
As we all know, the Venetian's gondolas are phonies. But what about the originals?La Serenissima may be among the most beautiful cities in the world but everything there seems to be done "for affect" as well. It's all a stage set.
As was the debate Tuesday night, because, for all the back and forth, the chills and semi-thrills, the Rubio-Cruz-Paul contretemps, the desperate pleadings of Jeb Bush, the reminder by Chris Christie of what might have been if he hadn't kowtowed to Lord Obama, Carly Fiorina telling us again that she has met Putin, Frank Luntz and all his focus groups and all the thumb-sucking wise men and women in all the ships at sea and CNBC, as they say about a mile up the Strip from the Venetian at the Monte Carlo, "les jeux sont faits."
No more bets, ladies and gentlemen. The game is over. Donald Trump has won the nomination.
Everyone acknowledged as much, heads nodding around me in the press room, when, nearly at the end of the debate, Hugh Hewitt served up by far the most serious, in the sense of fateful, question of the night by asking Trump to answer finally whether he will support the Republican candidate under any circumstances.
The Donald smiled, stared straight into the camera with the practiced skill of a Cronkite or a Murrow, though more playful and, one reluctantly admits, winning, and acknowledged that, yes, he will. He has been treated well by all concerned and even come to like and admire many of the candidates on the stage with him. Murmurs of approval all around.
And then he administered the coup de television. Looking square into the lens at America he promised to beat Hillary Clinton in November. And he did so in full recognition by all concerned, barring force majeure, he already was the nominee and everybody knew it. He was taking a graceful bow.
Game, set, match, tournament and whatever they say in bocce.