The cynical truth is that a lot of politics is playacting, and a lot of the players view attacks by other players as just part of the script. That is particularly true of intra-party politics, where today’s hated enemies are tomorrow’s allies against the even more hated opponents across the vast wasteland that separates donkeys from elephants.
So this news is only surprising if you thought Donald Trump’s attacks on “Lying Ted” Cruz were unforgivable:
Jeff Roe, a prominent Republican Party strategist who managed Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, has been seeking a job in the Trump administration – possibly as political director, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
Roe, a hard-charging, Missouri-based operative who has also worked for a number of congressional Republicans, was spotted in Trump Tower on Wednesday. Several of his friends said that in recent weeks he had expressed serious interest in joining Trump’s team, and two sources close to the transition said that Roe had embarked on an aggressive push for the political director job.
Now Cruz himself, of course, came around to endorsing Trump in September after conspicuously refusing to do so at the Republican National Convention. And before that happened Roe was thought to be someone urging his boss in the “party unity” direction. Even before the convention, in an interview Roe seemed less upset at Trump than at the other candidates who denied Cruz a one-on-one shot at the mogul until it was too late. He did, however, allow as to how he was concerned Clinton might win a “blowout” (though he judged a smaller Clinton win as more likely).
It’s all a reminder that the main beef a lot of Republicans — even #NeverTrump Republicans — had with the man is that they thought he couldn’t win, and might lose catastrophically. Well, he did win, and for a lot of them that’s all that matters. So sure, “Lying Ted”’s campaign manager would be happy to take over the White House political operation and defend him to the death. Trump’s not a “loser” after all! And isn’t winning what politics is all about?