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Monday, May 30, 2016

Another attempted media smear of Trump backfires

Unable to slow down Donald Trump down, much less stop him, the Washington Post decided, through reporters Sean Sullivan and Robert Costa, to spread the rumor that Trump's campaign is in chaos.

The copy desk slapped their story with the headline: "In campaign chaos, Donald Trump shows his management style."

The story began:
For the past two months, Donald Trump has presided over a political team riddled with turf wars, staff reshuffling and dueling power centers.
But the tensions are more than typical campaign chaos: They illustrate how Trump likes to run an organization, whether it’s a real estate venture or his presidential bid. Interviews with current and former Trump associates reveal an executive who is fond of promoting rivalries among subordinates, wary of delegating major decisions, scornful of convention and fiercely insistent on a culture of loyalty around him.
Whether the drama of recent weeks has been cathartic or calamitous is an open question — and one that is increasingly important as the general election phase of the campaign unfolds. The tumult has often dominated news coverage, stepping on Trump’s own campaign message and averting the spotlight from missteps by leading Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.
“It is definitely dysfunctional compared to, say, Ace Hardware Store,” said David Carney, a veteran Republican political strategist. But, he added, “it is not fatal in and of itself.”
Promising expose -- but the article showed nothing to back up the claim by Sullivan and Costa that: the tensions are more than typical campaign chaos.

No one else says that. Neither reporter appears to have been a part of many (or even one) presidential campaign. So how do Sullivan and Costa know this? In fact far from chaotic, the campaign has one person in charge at all times. From the story:
“He’s always the man in charge,” said Edward Rollins, the veteran Republican strategist who is working for a pro-Trump super PAC. “From his people, he gets what he needs. He makes them compete. Sometimes it gets the juices flowing, sometimes it spurs conflict. If he needs to, he steps in to settle it.”
Rollins pointed to the relationship between Trump’s 42-year-old campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and his 67-year-old campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as a prime example of how Trump handles people. While they have worked just steps from each other in recent weeks at Trump Tower in New York, the pair — contrasts in age, experience and personality — have a simmering rivalry over stature and responsibilities within the candidate’s orbit. And Trump doesn’t seem to mind.
“One day, Manafort goes up and Corey gets set back. The next day, Corey can move up to the forefront. Trump is at the center, watching it all and seeing it all,” Rollins said.
I don't think chaos is the right word.

The apparent inaccuracy aside, because the truth is secondary to the narrative at that newspaper, how does a chaotic campaign push storyline that Trump is this fascist strongman surrounded by zombie-like sycophants who mindlessly carry out his evil orders without question?

As the article unfolds, you get a sense of Trump acting as a normal CEO would. He delegates authority for smaller tasks, while making the calls on bigger items. I also like his adherence to Management By Walking Around. I am sure Fred Trump taught him this. If not, Wharton.

You knock out the unsubstantiated chaos references, and you have a pretty good story. And if you compare it to the figurehead leadership of Barack Obama, you get an idea of what Americans find attractive in Donald Trump -- leadership. Out of the chaos comes someone in charge.


  1. OK, he vanquished 16 competitors and is leading Hillary, Yeah, he's real disorganized.

    "One day, Manafort goes up and Corey gets set back. The next day, Corey can move up to the forefront. Trump is at the center, watching it all and seeing it all"

    MacArthur did the same thing. I seem to recall he won the war in the Pacific doing that.

  2. Boycott The Weekly Standard and the Washington Free Beacon (Kristol properties)

    ...for all eternity!

    1. I did not know that the Washington Free Beacon is a Kristol property. No more viewing their news stories without a large dose of salt.

    2. Both have never had commenting. That is a tell.

  3. Rollins' description of Trump's political mgmt style sounds just like FDR's well-known mgmt style, for which Saint Franklin was lionized. And btw, FDR too was considered an intellectual lightweight (as was Reagan) until he was in office.

  4. Trump's doing what any good executive would do: find the right people and get the hell out of their way while they do their job. They look and see chaos without realizing that business thrives on chaos, and that leadership in business can be a fluid thing. Just because there's chaos doesn't mean Trump doesn't see what's going on, and he's there to make the decisions when necessary.

    Someone tried to make Henry Ford look like an idiot and asked him a question they were sure he couldn't answer. He answered "I don't know, but I can find someone who does." Trump sounds the same. It'll be refreshing to have a President who's not the smartest guy in the room.

  5. It'll be refreshing to have a President [who doesn't always claim to be] the smartest guy in the room.

    FIFY. I've seen no evidence to confirm Obama is as intelligent as he keeps telling us he is.

  6. "Chaos inside the Trump campaign organization." Horrors, the apocalypse draws nigh. Sorry, it's an Inside the Beltway story and voters don't care one whit.

    Here's a clue the people who wrote this are clueless: you don't build a huge hotel costing hundreds of millions of dollars without having a good organization behind you. In an expensive, complex construction project, a lot of confusion leads to delays and inefficiencies and ultimately huge cost overruns that can bankrupt a private company. Only governments like ours can afford to fail in everything they do because in government no one loses his job for being incompetent or lazy or stupid, and most importantly governments have nothing to lose doing a poor job because they always use other people's money, not their own.

  7. When Trump secured the nomination, the NYT claimed he couldn't win on account of having "too much baggage" to beat "highflyer" Clinton.

    Pity for them and Clinton that they didn't take a closer look at Trump's "baggage" :

  8. People and organizations keep claiming Trump can't do something or another. Then he does it and drives them nuts.

  9. The only words one should believe in a Washington Post or New York Times political story are conjunctions and prepositions. And suspect even them.

  10. If they truly believe that Trump is a fascist ... if they really and truly believe that the likely next President is a revenge-driven fascist ... why are they still yanking his chain?