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Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Trump reform

If you are wondering why all these nasty people like Liz Mair, Frank Luntz, and Rick Wilson keep trashing Donald Trump, it comes down to money. He is putting their ilk out of business.

He is not wasting tens of millions on the political consultant class. And they are angry as hell. His campaign is not run by focus groups. He is not wasting donor money on polls or ads.

(No offense but I am tired of looking at The Donald.)

The New York Times reported before the results were in last night:
As hapless as the news media and the Washington establishment have at times appeared as they flail about in the political tempest wrought by Donald Trump, there is another group in the 2016 election cycle that has come off looking at least as bewildered: the campaign gurus of Trump’s Republican opponents.
Since Watergate, each new president has been ushered in by his own personal Rasputin. Jimmy Carter had Hamilton Jordan, whose 80-page memorandum laid out the electoral pathway for the obscure Georgia governor. Ronald Reagan had Michael Deaver, whose acute understanding of campaign atmospherics would cause Reagan to be viewed as the father of the photo-op. George Bush had his alley-fighting operative, Lee Atwater; Bill Clinton had James Carville, the jut-jawed Cajun campaign veteran; George W. Bush had the ingenious and sharp-elbowed adviser, Karl Rove; Barack Obama had his digitally savvy campaign manager, David Plouffe. The Beltway has come to expect such savants and to confer on them a princely status.
Trump has laid to waste this tradition. If, as expected, he prevails in most of the primary elections tonight, the billionaire developer will most likely be the Republican Party’s nominee — and will have shredded a number of strategic master plans drawn up by his opponents’ well-paid advisers. And Trump will have accomplished this feat with a skeleton crew of largely unknown hired hands whose stated operating principle is “Let Trump Be Trump.” (His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, last worked with Americans For Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, and before that, the losing 2002 re-election race of Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire. His 26-year-old spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, had never worked on a political campaign.)

The Washington Wunderkinds have complained for decades about big money buying elections.

Trump spent one-tenth what Jeb spent. And won. Trump is the reformer.


  1. Trump should ask to address coming left wing riots and ask their participants who has taken more Wall Street Gold, him or his barking female opponent, or who has wasted more of their own money, him or his impotent male opponent. Let them shout him down. He will look rational and unafraid, they will appear angry, violent and weak. Maybe he can borrow the bullet proof Pope mobile from his recent short lived opponent for his appearance .

  2. Frank Luntz is an odd duck (lifelong bachelor, melancholic). I'm not aware he's ever had the reputation of being disagreeable or unscrupulous or a bad boss. What's with calling him 'nasty'?

  3. Good riddance to these consultant class remoras. - Elric

  4. One other thing. I think you're confusing the role of Hamilton Jordan (Carter's chief of staff) with that of Patrick Caddell and Gerald Rafshoon (respectively his pollster and media advisor). Jordan's equivalents were Marvin Watson (Johnson), H.R. Haldeman (Nixon), Richard Cheney (Ford), James Baker (Reagan), John Sununu (Bush I), and Andrew Card (Bush II). Jordan differed from these others in that he held that post for Carter both in Atlanta and in Washington and no one else ever did.

    Interestingly, Rafshoon got out of politics and was subsequently critical of what he'd been up to there and Caddell's has a long history as a critic of the Washington insider nexus.

  5. Trump doesn't need anyone to tell him his opinions -- refreshingly, he thinks for himself!

    1. And he tells people what HE thinks, not what consultants tell him people want to hear.

  6. Donald Trump is already a master salesman and marketer. He has been marketing "Trump" and "The Donald" for over thirty years. With that in mind who is going to be better at selling "Trump: The Campaign" to the American people? Donald Trump or some outside hired media consultant?

    That question sort of answers itself, doesn't it?

    This is, pace Obama, an actual situation where the candidate is a better media consultant than anyone else he could hire.

    - Mikey NTH

  7. Tell me again how dumb the guy is.

  8. Q1: Is that his daughter or his wife?
    Q2: Does the NYT really care that he doesn't have a political consultant?

    7, now 8, comments early on! Sign of a good post! (And readership.)

  9. It's not just those guys. The entire notion that we can't do anything without a class of experts guiding our every step is under threat. The credentialed class is threatened. While I'm at it, consider abolishing occupational licensing, starting with my field.