A Note From Rod

Dear Friends,

We have a lot for you at RodMartin.org and in the articles below my note — including a guest piece by Senator Ted Cruz on President Obama’s Cuba trip — so don’t miss those: they’re important. But now, to it.

Rod D. MartinFirst off, our hero of the week is none other than Michael Savage. Savage has been an ardent Donald Trump supporter since before the beginning: he’s had him on the show countless times through the years, and they’ve gotten to be close friends.

Moments ago, Savage took to the airwaves to denounce the ludicrous, ugly attacks on Ted Cruz by (of course) the National Enquirer, claiming he’s “supposedly” (they couldn’t even say more than “supposedly”!) had affairs with five women, including Trump’s own spokeswoman (who vociferously denies it).

Savage, despite his strong support for Trump, called the “report” what it is: an assassination by innuendo. Trump and the Enquirer’s owner are close friends, says Savage, who goes on to say the piece was planted (and made up) by Roger Stone, the “dirty tricks” maestro with Richard Nixon’s face tattooed on his back (literally). Stone, who loathes social conservatives, is known for saying that he’s not gay, he just enjoys having sex with men. And women. In large groups.

He’s also Trump’s longtime political guru, going back to Trump’s Reform Party candidacy in 2000. It’s Stone who talked The Donald into this race.

Savage says if Trump won’t denounce the Enquirer’s character assassination against Ted, he’ll be forced to withdraw his support. That’s a very strong and principled stand, the sort that will actually probably cost him a lot to make. And for that, Michael Savage is our hero of the week.


In the race itself, Cruz still lags behind. This week he took all 40 delegates in Utah, while Trump took all 58 in Arizona. Not the best result for the Texas Senator.

Still, Cruz is far from out. The latest Fox News poll has Cruz cutting Trump’s lead nationally to just three points, 41-38. To some degree this says Ted’s message is getting through; but mostly, it says Trump is offending more people by the day, something he simply must control better if he wishes to avoid a bloodbath at the Convention.

The Cruz surge, combined with the growing #NeverTrump movement, is doing more and more of what politics does: making strange bedfellows. Lindsey Graham is now raising money for Ted, despite calling for his murder three weeks ago. So is Neil Bush, and brother Jeb! endorsed Ted on Wednesday. Mitt Romney actually campaigned for Cruz in Utah. And the list goes on.

None of these people like Ted Cruz, mind you. But they dislike Donald Trump more. As we move into more closed primaries, that could make the difference. And no matter what you do or don’t think of these folks, the fact is that a nominee has to unite his party. As improbable as we all assumed that to be, Ted Cruz is doing it. Donald Trump is not.


Nominees are determined by the number of delegates who vote for them at the Convention. On the first ballot, most of the delegates are bound by the votes of their respective states. But if no one reaches a majority on that first ballot, the delegates are free to vote for whomever they please.

I cannot stress enough: that is not the outcome we want. A clean majority going into the Convention may be the only thing standing between us and a shattered Republican Party, plus the Hillary-appointed Supreme Court majority that follows, regardless of who the nominee turns out to be.

Still, as Ronald Reagan taught us, the strategy has to be peace through strength. And Ted Cruz is just a lot better at this than The Donald.

Take Louisiana. Trump won it by 3.6%. But today’s Wall Street Journal reports that Cruz will probably end up with 10 more delegates there than The Donald, despite media counts to the contrary. He’s also secured five of the state’s six slots on the RNC Rules and Platform Committees.

And then there’s that possible second (or third, or 43rd) ballot. The Cruz campaign is proving especially adept, in state after state, of getting its people selected as the actual delegates. So on the first ballot, they will vote for Trump as their duty (and the rules) require. But they’ll be Ted’s people after that.

This isn’t backroom anything: this is how the process works. It’s pretty open and transparent, actually, unless you’re lazy and don’t do your homework. And in this case, Trump hasn’t.

So much for The Art of the Deal.


Would a scenario like the one I just described shatter the party? Very possibly. But didn’t I just mention Reagan? You don’t build nukes to use them.

Ted’s mastery of the process has gotten him all the way to second place in a race where he was supposed to finish 17th. I personally hope he makes it all the way. But the real issue is power: if you have it, you can make a deal, and if you don’t, you can’t.

Republicans are going to have to find a way to unify. The best way right this minute might be a Cruz-Rubio ticket (although that would have made a lot more sense before Rubio blew Florida). But it might be Trump-Cruz. And since Cruz would never join Trump without some pretty heavy-duty assurances on policy, that might just be the ticket to beat (as much as it pains me to say it).

Still, that will never happen — just like none of these Establishment endorsements would be happening — if Ted doesn’t put together a force sufficiently formidable to make people deal with him.


So who gets to be VP?

If you’re Trump, you have some choices. John Kasich, for instance, could make a lot of sense if you think he could carry Ohio in the general (primary results notwithstanding, he probably couldn’t). But the bigger problem with Kasich is that conservatives hate him almost as much as they’d hate Roger Stone if they knew who he is.

Trump could also go completely outside the party, or even outside politics. Mark Cuban keeps getting mentioned: it’s not the world’s worst idea, but it’s probably not the best (see above).

Remember: the aim is unity. If Trump can’t draw in a pretty large percentage of the #NeverTrump folks, it won’t matter how many union guys cross over. It’ll be a Hillary landslide.

Now my rule of thumb on VP has always been pretty simple: it’s the last guy the candidate thinks of on the day he makes his decision. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, and geographical considerations are generally non-existent in the modern era. Rubio could have broken that pattern, but alas.

So who could help Trump pull it together?

I’ve already made the case for Ted: that could be a whiz-bang team (although it’s at least possible that it might ruin Ted’s standing with his own supporters, so he better think that through really carefully).

But the other big unity play could be Ben Carson. Carson is seen as more socially conservative than he actually is, and is generally loved by most people on our side. What’s more, primary results notwithstanding, Carson is way popular, particularly in Florida (there’s that geography again). A new poll finds Carson would win the Florida GOP Senate primary by 52%, with his closest competitor (of several) at just 4%.

Either way, we’re probably going to see more of Dr. Ben.


Oh, and Ted’s VP picks? With all of the above caveats intact, Carson makes sense, and Rubio could make a lot of sense too. But drawing Trump’s people back might prove even harder than Trump wooing the #NeverTrump folks. Solving that problem will be very, very tricky.


We’ll look more at the Democrats next week. It would be easy at this point to count Bernie out. Right this minute he’s at 920 to Hillary’s 1,223. He’s going into better territory, but he’s lost a lot of momentum. There may be no stopping that.

However, it’s worth mentioning that Bill Clinton did something rather extraordinary this week. The former President, addressing a crowd in Spokane, Washington said:

“If you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that…then you should vote for [Hillary].”


The only thing standing between Hillary Clinton and an indictment is Barack Obama. Bill Clinton proved in 2008 his enormous capacity to go off-script and skewer his wife’s chances. Every time he pulls a stunt like this, he raises the probability that Obama will pull the trigger.

It’s almost as though Bill’s had one too many lamps thrown at him.


Yes, there are things other than politics, and yes, we’ll spend more time on them once this most important of elections is a memory (more before then too). Lots of those things are below in the articles section; more are at RodMartin.org.

But a couple things leap to mind. There’s a new brain scan that can detect Alzheimer’s up to 20 years before you have symptoms. A company I’m launching will offer it. Richard Branson is about to introduce a supersonic airliner that will fly you from New York to London in 3.4 hours, or San Francisco to Tokyo in 4.7, all for just $5,000, less than the price of a lot of First Class tickets today. If Elon has his way, we could be living on the Moon in less than 10 years. If it’s left to NASA, China’s going to beat us there. And on and on.

You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it. Do your friends a favor and pass it along; and remember, there’s a lot more we publish each week that doesn’t make the newsletter.

Best wishes,


P.S. Don’t forget: we need your input on Obama’s Cuba trip: a new beginning, or a shameful sellout? Vote now! And see our guest piece about that trip by Senator Ted Cruz, immediately below.

A Radical Chic President in Communist Cuba

by Senator Ted Cruz

Obama and Che

Long before anyone else, I told you why Donald Trump was anything but a joke, and indeed, why he was likely to be a strong contender for the nomination. But despite that, I strongly support Ted Cruz. Here’s why; and it has nothing to do with The Donald’s antics.

Read more….

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Read more….


You can read about the world anywhere. You come to RodMartin.org to understand it.


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