The Republican Party may reluctantly be backing Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, but as time goes on, it’s clear that their rank and file would prefer not to. The latest sign of G.O.P. mutiny? Virtually no major party figure wants to speak at the Republican National Convention on the billionaire’s behalf.
The elves at Politico called more than 50 high-profile Republicans—governors, senators, congressmen, even up-and-comers with not much of a national profile yet—and found that virtually none of them had plans to speak at the convention.
Among the high-profile people in the “no” camp: Trey Gowdy, Mark Sanford, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley, Several young up-and-comers, whose political careers would ordinarily get a huge boost by speaking at the convention, also said they wouldn’t be attending. Even Representative Sean Duffy,__ who also got his start in public life on reality TV, said he “[hadn’t] thought about it.”
Prominent Ohio Republicans, who are hosting the convention in Cleveland, have stayed uncomfortably quiet about their convention plans at a time when they should be playing up the G.O.P.’s presence in their state. Senator Rob Portman currently has no plans to speak, and Governor [John Kasich,](http://www.vanityfair.com/people/john-kasich] who has not endorsed his former presidential rival, has not announced plans, either.
To turn down a prime speaking slot at a presidential convention, an opportunity that transformed an unknown Senate candidate into President Barack Obama in four short years, highlights the party’sbroken marriage with their own candidate. To not attend the convention is an even worse omen for that relationship, which has not been helped over the past several weeks by Trump’s racially tinged remarks about the Hispanic judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit and his not-so-subtle suggestion that Obama is a secret ISIS sympathizer, among other disqualifying comments. (His recent reaction to the Brexit vote and the subsequent collapse of the British pound—“When the pound goes down more people come to Turnberry,” he said—will do little to assuage the concerns of party leaders who are not even fund-raising for him.)
Trump, however, has suggested he has no problem ditching the usual string of boring politicians for more TV-friendly entertainment, like sports stars or his own children (Ivanka Trump chief among them) at the convention. Presumably, his political surrogates, like Newt Gingrich, Ben Carson, and Chris Christieare open to speaking at the convention. And in the worst-case scenario, he could invite Clint Eastwood to pull up a chair.