After both political parties were caught flat-footed by the success of insurgent candidates, Republican party leaders are scrambling to find a last-minute substitute to put forward at the national convention in Cleveland from July 18 through 21.

The entrenched Washington elite badly underestimated the anger of the voters, frustrated with the acquiescence of Congressmen who failed to contain the runaway spending and executive over-reach of the Obama administration, and now finds itself with the rogue candidate Donald Trump headed for the nomination.

The primary process saw an unprecedented field of 17 hopefuls – governors and senators, from the south to the Midwest, from Texas and New Jersey, ranging from 44 to 70 years of age and including a woman business executive and an African-American neurosurgeon – winnowed down through debates and Twitter wars to the man who was given zero chance of success when he announced his run less than a year ago.

Trump virtually captured the nomination when his final competitors, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, dropped out from the race after losing in Indiana, but old-school Republicans refused to jump on the “Trump Train,” forming the “Anything But Trump” club, instead.

The failed 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, has joined with journalist William Kristol, commentator Erick Erickson and other party strategists to recruit willing prospects from all corners including politics, the military and sports.

Inexperienced Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Kasich, who won only his home state in the primaries, have been approached, as have retired generals from the Army and Marine Corps.

Even former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (with candidate appeal as a woman and minority) and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban (a billionaire and reality TV star like Trump), have been touted by the Romney group, although they have both said that they are not interested.

It is doubtful any attempt to supplant the choice of the voters as expressed during the primaries will be well-received by an electorate already well past caring what the establishment has to say.

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