- The Washington Times - Friday, April 15, 2016

Ted Cruz had a rough night at the annual New York State Republican gala Thursday — and that’s putting it nicely.

While the Texas senator gave his speech, attendees spoke over it, walked around, and grew increasingly loud — clinking their cutlery — all the while Mr. Cruz was onstage.

“Several minutes into Cruz’s speech to the NY GOP, many in the audience are flat out ignoring him, conversing loudly at their tables,” wrote Bloomberg political reporter Jennifer Jacobs on Twitter while covering the event.

Olivia Nuzzi, a reporter from the Daily Beast, concurred.

“The only time the whole crowd paid attention to Cruz was when he ended his speech,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s sort of painful to watch someone speak passionately to a crowd who wouldn’t even notice if he killed himself onstage.”

The reception was familiar to the one Sarah Palin, acting as a surrogate to Donald Trump, received in Wisconsin only a few weeks ago.

The Washington Post wrote of that speech: “Palin got applause three times: 1. When she was introduced 2. When she mentioned Hillary Clinton and Benghazi and 3. When she finished.”

At the time, Mrs. Palin’s speech was used by the press as a harbinger for what was coming — a Trump blowout in the Badger State. Most of the mainstream media, and all of the anti-Trump forces, concluded the Trump train was nearing an end — his campaign wasn’t so inevitable after all.

Maybe not.

The Cruz campaign and the anti-Trump forces lauded their double-digit win in Wisconsin as the turning point for the Republican contest — that the Texas senator was gaining momentum and was ready to poise a real challenge to the real estate businessman.

Really, what it might have been was just a speed bump in Mr. Trump’s road to the White House.

None of Mr. Cruz’s Wisconsin momentum has followed him into New York, where residents have denounced his comment about their “New York values,” and he trails even Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the polling.

Mr. Trump, who was warmly received at Thursday night’s dinner, made it a point to riff off Mr. Cruz’s value comment to much applause. He also read off prepared remarks — showing discipline and restraint in what has so far been a fairly wild campaign.

So what’s the takeaway? Maybe nothing. But, perhaps, just maybe, Mr. Trump’s campaign is anything but dead and Mr. Cruz’s perceived momentum was nothing but a mirage.

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