Well, Republicans, you've done it. From a field of 17 terrible candidates, you have selected the absolute fucking worst as your nominee. After a commanding victory in Indiana, that smirking scoundrel is the new standard-bearer of your reprehensible party.
John Kasich still remains in the race, presumably because no one has yet woken him up from his nap to inform him it's drop-out time, but Ted Cruz suspended his campaign last night (that must have been a fun few days for Carly Fiorina!), and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus tweeted: "@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton."
Which is exactly what they're going to do. It's what they were always going to do.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders won in Indiana. It was, however, close enough he won't gain much ground in delegates, as they're still proportionally awarded to Democrats. Which means there's still no path to victory for Sanders.
At this point, even if Sanders won 100% of the remaining pledged delegates, he still couldn't win, unless superdelegates start abandoning Clinton en masse, which is highly unlikely.
After winning Indiana, Sanders has 1,399 pledged delegates and superdelegates to his name, according to the Associated Press' count. That means he needs 984 more to reach the threshold of 2,383 needed to win.Clinton is not going to win zero delegates from here forward and lose hundreds of superdelegates. Sanders simply has no viable path to the nomination.
The remaining contests, however—Guam, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia—only have 933 pledged delegates to offer.
Naturally, that did not stop him from declaring otherwise. In a brief presser last night, he vowed to keep fighting, saying: "We feel great about gaining the momentum to take us to the finish line." And then, incredibly: "I think we can pull off one of the greatest political upsets in the history of the United States." Okay.
So now as Trump looks to general, Clinton will have to fight on two fronts: Start taking on Trump; keep fighting Sanders. As long as Sanders keeps attacking Clinton, the media will keep reporting it, and she'll be obliged to respond, to some extent.
It's not that she can't handle it; of course she can. It's that, at this point, given the math, she shouldn't have to.
Which isn't to say Sanders must drop out. It's only to say he doesn't need to keep attacking her. He, too, could pivot to Trump. He hasn't.
So Sanders is going to keep making it tough on Clinton. He's going to keep attacking her, which means he's going to keep generating negative press for her and keep handing talking points to Trump.
All the same, Clinton is going to be the nominee. Her road will just be unnecessarily more difficult. But what else is new?
Given that reality, my colleague and friend Peter Daou wrote what is possibly the greatest post ever written last night: "This Is the Face of the Woman Who Will Save the World from Donald Trump."
"Take a look, and act accordingly." LOLOLOLOLOLOL A+
If you're wondering whether I will definitely be shouting ACT ACCORDINGLY! for the next several decades, the answer is a resounding YES.
Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for the United States presidency. A terrible man who would oversee a ruinous administration defined by abject bigotry and reckless governance.
He is rude. He is offensive. He is intemperate. He is incompetent. He is unprepared. He is vainglorious. He is brittle. He is unethical. He is dishonest. He is cruel. He is terrifying. And he has a legitimate shot at becoming the next president.