I admit it. I was wrong about Trump’s staying power as a candidate. Not only is he winning primaries, but he has a real path to winning the nomination. Why has he succeeded when I thought he would fail? Trump himself deserves some of the credit. He’s read the mood of the electorate and understands the 21st century media better than any other candidate on the GOP side. He is the living, breathing embodiment of the divided and diffused modern GOP: an angry outsider who’s also well-connected and influential; a wealthy crony capitalist who embraces a populist, anti-establishment message; an uncompromising figure who boasts of making great deals. But, Trump didn’t get into first place on his skills alone. In fact, what shocks me as much – or more - than Trump’s durability has been the persistent passivity of his rivals - an issue I raised back in October. If you want to understand Trump’s dominance you can look to his three most important enablers: reluctance, rationalization and resignation.


I’ve been covering campaigns for 15 years. And, while a

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