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Monday, April 04, 2016

Running for president from poolside

Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine has a great story on the Trump political machine, illustrated with a wonderful Photoshop that reveals the billionaire puppeteer behind The Donald.


From the article:
On the afternoon of March 15, as voters across five states streamed to the polls, Donald Trump’s campaign advisers gathered by the pool at Mar-a-Lago, the billionaire’s private club in Palm Beach. Hope Hicks, Trump’s 27-year-old press secretary, wearing a cover-up over bikini bottoms, her hair still wet from the pool, scanned headlines on her iPhone next to Trump’s square-jawed campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. That morning, Politico had reported that Trump allies wanted Lewandowski to be fired for roughly grabbing a female reporter while she tried to ask Trump a question at a press conference (an incident for which he has since been charged with battery). Lewandowski didn’t appear to be worried about his job. He was kicking back in a Trump-brand golf shirt, drinking a 16-ounce Monster energy drink, and chatting with deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner, a former Bob Dole adviser, who at age 52 has been seen as the campaign’s grown-up. Dan Scavino, who first earned Trump’s trust as his golf caddie at the Briar Hall club in Westchester and now handles the campaign’s social media, sauntered over in baggy mesh shorts and a baseball cap. “We go to bed and we’re winning, and we wake up and we’re winning!” Scavino said with a cocky smile.
This is the kind of inside story that one reads about a campaign after the election.

Trump is doing it during his campaign.

And he is doing it after a similar article in Rolling Stone revealed he made fun of Carly Fiorina's face.

But Trump takes risks. Calculated ones. He developed Manhattan when it was down and out in the 1970s. However, he also does his homework. This campaign is not a lark and he has been planning it for decades. Next January, he will be the oldest president ever inaugurated.

So what are the quotes in this article that could cause him trouble?
“I’m the strategist,” Trump told me. Which would make him, no matter what your feelings about his beliefs or his qualifications to govern a country, one of the greatest political savants of the modern era.
“I’m a closer,” he told me. “I want to close. I have to beat the leftovers. Okay? These are leftovers.”
“So much for the face of the Republican Party — that’s the end of that!” he said of Rubio. “He was going to be president. By the way, Jeb Bush was going to be president. Walker was going to be president. They were all going to be president, except for the fact I got in their way!”

Donald Trump says things that the press thinks will kill his campaign, but they don't. His supporters want America to be great again. No one else promises that. He boasts? He feuds? He makes a mistake?


From the article:
As much as his campaign appears off the cuff, Trump diligently laid the groundwork for his 2016 run over the course of several years, cultivating relationships with powerful allies in the conservative firmament and in the media, inviting them to private meetings at Trump Tower and golf outings in Florida, all the while collecting intelligence that he has deployed to devastating effect.
As early as 1987, Trump talked publicly about his desire to run for president. He toyed with mounting a campaign in 2000 on the Reform Party ticket, and again in 2012 as a Republican (this was at the height of his Obama birtherism). Two years later, Trump briefly explored running for governor of New York as a springboard to the White House. “I have much bigger plans in mind — stay tuned,” he tweeted in March 2014.
Spontaneity in politics is the hardest thing to pull off because it requires so much rehearsal.

Sherman however, says Trump has the goods on Roger Ailes who runs Fox News:
It was also thanks to some information he had gathered that Trump was able to do something that no other Republican has done before: take on Fox News. An odd bit of coincidence had given him a card to play against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2014, I published a biography of Ailes, which upset the famously paranoid executive. Several months before it landed in stores, Ailes fired his longtime PR adviser Brian Lewis, accusing him of being a source. During Lewis’s severance negotiations, Lewis hired Judd Burstein, a powerhouse litigator, and claimed he had “bombs” that would destroy Ailes and Fox News. That’s when Trump got involved.
“When Roger was having problems, he didn’t call 97 people, he called me,” Trump said. Burstein, it turned out, had worked for Trump briefly in the ’90s, and Ailes asked Trump to mediate. Trump ran the negotiations out of his office at Trump Tower. “Roger had lawyers, very expensive lawyers, and they couldn’t do anything. I solved the problem.” Fox paid Lewis millions to go away quietly, and Trump, I’m told, learned everything Lewis had planned to leak. If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.

I am puzzled at how a scandal would bring Ailes down.

At any rate, Trump is his own man. That I like.


  1. Great, great article, and it must capture Trump exactly

  2. This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

  3. The Donald is no Johnny-come-lately country bumpkin. - Elric