ELDER PATRIOT – Ted Cruz began this campaign as the conservative standard-bearer of the Republican Party.  After months of campaigning, Cruz’s decision to unleash a barrage of dirty tricks on his opponents appears to be backfiring and he finds himself trailing Donald Trump by 34 points in the poll most recently released.  CNN/ORC finds Cruz (15%) virtually tied with Rubio (16%.)  And so Cruz has begun jockeying for position when he finally admits his campaign has failed.

The problem for Cruz is that he’s pissed off so many people that the backchannel negotiations that he’s authorized on his behalf are being exposed by those who dislike him and seeking to undermine him. 

Using intermediaries Cruz has approach both Donald Trump’s camp and Marco Rubio’s camp about the possibility of being their first Supreme Court nominee.  Suspending his campaign is the last chip Cruz has to play and he’s using it to leverage his position, not to defend his conservative base.

For Rubio the offer was that he’d get out and endorse Marco.  This has exposed Cruz as another establishment player that can’t be trusted.  Between his campaign’s embrace of dirty tricks and this offer of party comity in exchange for a SCOTUS nomination, Cruz has done immeasurable damage to himself.

The offer to Trump was negotiable.  If Trump wanted him to stay in the race to split votes with Rubio he would.  If Trump wanted him out he’d get out as well.  The sad aspect of Trump’s rejection is that had Cruz not been such a nasty campaigner Trump was seriously considering him to be his Vice President.

Cruz’s stock has dropped dramatically in only a couple of months and his internal polls must show it’s only going to get worse for him.  This is Cruz’s last desperate attempt to come away with a better position for himself and may explain why Cruz launched an unsubstantiated and grossly irresponsible charge that Trump has ties to the mafia over the weekend, in the process doing the work of the Elites that he has spent a career campaigning against.  Once he “suspends” his campaign he’ll be viewed as just another failed politician.