In the Year of the Outsiders, when self-avowed socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came out of the blue to challenge the long-anticipated coronation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as heir apparent to Barack Obama, nothing has surprised the political elite like the powerhouse that came roaring out of Trump Tower and stands ready to accept the Republican nomination at its convention next month.

The political class – politicians and pundits, alike, dismissed Donald Trump’s candidacy as little more than the self-serving publicity stunt of a ego maniacal 21st century P.T. Barnum that would implode at the first debate.

When the predicted collapse failed to occur, and as Trump not only held his own, but owned the debate stage against a field of seasoned senators and governors, including a Bush, establishment Republican began to take notice.

Through the fall and winter, Trump drew large, wildly enthusiastic crowds to rallies, reaping an estimated $1 billion in the free media, while traditional candidates struggled to raise crowds and money.

Trump’s primary wins edged the delegate count rose closer to the magic number – 1,237, forcing opponents out of the race, and when Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich suspended their campaigns, Trump was the last man standing.

Establishment Republicans, horrified at the usurpation of their party by a crass, thrice-married, politically incorrect lout who dubbed his opponents with nicknames worthy of a middle-school playground, attempted a coup to “Stop Trump” and overrule the will of the primary voters.

Even Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the nine-term Wisconsin Congressman who served as Gov. Mitt Romney’s running mate in the failed bid for the presidency in 2012, announced he was “just not ready” to back his party's presumptive nominee.

Now, in the final month before the Republican convention, the #NeverTrump movement has stalled, if not failed, and Ryan finally announced that he will vote for Trump.

Ryan noted that even after a series of talks, he and Trump still have differences, “but on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”

Trump responded instantly, tweeting: “So great to have the endorsement and support of Paul Ryan. We will both be working very hard to Make America Great Again!”

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