I spent Friday's radio show explaining to incredulous guests that of course I'd support Donald Trump if he is the GOP nominee.
"But after he just insulted you and your radio show in front of 15 million people?" came the question.
When I reminded Trump at Thursday's debate that it was the first anniversary of his promise — made on my radio show — to release his tax returns, Donald told the world "very few people listen to your show, it is a very low rated show," which is neither true nor responsive. It was indeed entertaining, momentarily effective, and made for my third "Trump tattoo" in 12 months. He had delivered another on MSNBC, and the third in his book.
I'm either jaded or used to it. Doesn't matter. "This is the business we have chosen" said Hyman Roth in "The Godfather Part II."
Trump can insult me three times or thirty times in front of 30 million people. (I'll be back on stage for the final CNN-Salem Media Group debate in Miami on March 10, so who knows?) Bottom line: Insults of journalists don't matter. Short of insulting my family, it simply doesn't matter what Donald says to me or any reporters and pundits.
What matters is what he would do vis-a-vis Hillary Clinton in a November showdown. To get to that answer, journalists have to be willing to take some flack while asking pointed questions, from all sides, even when the journalist is an avowed conservative of long standing.
Would that some MSMer allowed within 15 feet of Clinton would ask her about hostile foreign intelligence services hacking her "home brew" server.
I'm not endorsing Trump and I'm not endorsing any of his rivals. My show remains Switzerland for all five of the remaining would-be GOP nominees — all are welcome there and none are endorsed by being there.
Those who accept get tough questions in a respectful, even amiable, environment. We will know soon enough who is the standard bearer, so I think cries of foul or doom are premature. If Trump wins Texas, he knocks out Sen. Ted Cruz. If Trump wins Florida or Ohio, he knocks out Sen. Marco Rubio or Gov. John Kasich respectively. If Trump doesn't win all three, we go to an open convention as no one will have the necessary 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. That isn't punditry. It is math.
It is possible that Mitt Romney, the only party "elder" with enough swing and cash, could bring the three non-Trumps to Deer Valley or some undisclosed location and hammer out an anti-Trump deal. Romney is the only one who could pull that off. But it is unlikely. Time is very short. March 1 and March 15 will tell.
And if Trump is the nominee I will support him for six reasons.
The first three are the existing and probable two additional Supreme Court nominations he will get to make. Judges Diane Sykes and Bill Pryor are two fine judges that Trump has mentioned as possible nominees and he made the right commitment on religious liberty to me on stage Thursday night. He won't screw these up. More precisely, it is a lock that Clinton would screw them up and at least a fighting chance he wouldn't.
Fourth, Trump's an honest-to-God builder and he will rebuild the Navy, which must be done. Soon.
Fifth, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will at least think twice before crossing him.
And, finally, sixth: Donald's daughter and Svengali Ivanka is a smart, smart, smart lady with an extraordinary intellect and influence on her father. We get the GOP's own Valerie Jarrett, only this one with a sense of America's role in the world and the same resolve to succeed as Jarrett possesses.
If and when Donald takes the stage in Cleveland in July — and assuming he has repudiated the various racists trying to capture his flag — the anti-Donalds will have gotten over it, just as the anti-Cruz, anti-Kasich, or anti-Rubio folk will have gotten over it if one those three beats their guy. This year's election is about much bigger issues than the nominee. It is about beating Clinton and saving the country.
Donald had the worst week of his campaign, just as Super Tuesday arrives. Was Thursday "Peak Donald?" If you think so you haven't been following the bouncing ball. He could use the March 10 debate to repudiate the crazies attaching themselves to him, to recalibrate, or to reassure SCOTUS watchers that he will stand by his pledges to keep the Court from Hillary's Critical Legal Studies appointees.
Hugh Hewitt is a nationally syndicated talk radio host, law professor at Chapman University's Fowler School of Law, and author, most recently of The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of a Second "Clinton Era." He posts daily at HughHewitt.com and is on Twitter @hughhewitt.