At WaPo, "GOP establishment warms to Trump — and remains cool toward Cruz":
The Republican establishment — once seen as the force that would destroy Donald Trump’s outsider candidacy — is now learning to live with it, with some elected and unelected leaders saying they see an upside to Trump as the nominee.More.
In the past few days, Trump has received unlikely public praise from GOP luminaries who said they would prefer him to his main rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
In private, some veteran conservative Republicans have been reaching out to Trump. And Trump himself called the ultimate establishment figure in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, for a talk late last year.
“If it came down to Trump or Cruz, there is no question I’d vote for Trump,” said former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has not endorsed a candidate. “As a party, we’d have a better chance of winning with him, and I think a lot of Republicans look at it that way.”
This warming toward Trump comes after establishment favorites such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush have failed to reach the top tier. It signals that, among the party’s entrenched elites, there is a growing fear that none of those candidates may be able to beat both Trump and Cruz...