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Friday, April 13, 2018

Blankenship rising?

My West Virginia Feed is off to a great start. Those interested in state politics should sign up for it at because this will make sure you get every post (and hours before it is on the blog). Also, send me news tips.

Here is the latest installment.

In researching my three books about Trump and the press, I found magazines to have both the best observers of Trump and also his most fervid critics. Often the magazine writer was both.

But Donald "No Such Thing As Bad Publicity" Trump gave (and still gives) the press great access, and time after time, the magazine writers have proved themselves up to the challenge.

Remember that Rolling Stone cover story in September 2015 on Trump? Everyone jumped on Trump's "that face" comment about Carly Fiorina.

But far from a hit job, Paul Solotaroff's piece was insightful, sympathetic, and a great way to learn about Trump's modus operandi, as well as his relationship with his three children by Ivanka.

"In all the hysteria, however, what's often missed are the qualities that brought Trump here. You don't do a fraction of what he's done in life — dominate New York real estate for decades, build the next grand Xanadus for the super-rich on the far shores of Dubai and Istanbul, run the prime-time ratings table for more than 10 years and earn a third (or sixth) fortune at it – without being immensely cunning and deft, a top-of-the-food-chain killer. Over the course of 10 days and several close-in encounters, I got to peer behind the scrim of his bluster and self-mythos and get a very good look at the man. What I saw was enough to make me take him dead serious. If you're waiting for Trump to blow himself up in a Hindenburg of gaffes or hate speech, you're in for a long, cold fall and winter. Donald Trump is here for the duration — and gaining strength and traction by the hour," Solotaroff'wrote.

If that's a hit job, then do one on me.

While Paul Solotaroff' was telling people Trump was winning, Nate Silver of 538 fame -- the media darling who predicted 50 out of 50 states in the 2012 race -- gave Trump a 2% chance of winning the nomination.

"I don't think that Donald Trump is very likely to win the nomination in part because he's not really a Republican," Silver said the day after the Solotaroff story broke.

On Election Night, the media all listened to Nate Silver. No one had Paul Solotaroff on the air. We have the worst political media in the world because it is disinterested in the truth.

But the magazines score often, and maybe Ed Kilgore at New York magazine is onto something. He wrote a piece, "GOP Primary Competition to See Who Most Fanatically Supports Trump Could Backfire in November." He sees supporting Trump as a bad thing.

"Even in West Virginia, where Trump really is still popular, the competition to praise him is causing trouble. Ex-coal baron and ex-con Don Blankenship is depicting himself as Trump’s best friend in the state — and as a victim of a conspiracy by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that led to his imprisonment for complicity in a horrific mining disaster. The president recently helped out West Virginia Republicans (who fear that Blankenship would be a weak nominee against Democratic senator Joe Manchin) by appearing with both of his rivals, Representative Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. But with the May 8 primary rapidly approaching, the Trumpian intervention against hyper-Trumpian Blankenship could be too little, too late. Blankenship has outspent his rivals on television ads, and in a race with virtually no independent public polling, seems to be running at or near the top of the pack," Kilgore wrote.

A Blankenship nomination could be a disaster.

But I also remember people saying that if nominated, Trump would lose big and take the party with him.


  1. A Republican Super PAC is taking out ads against Don. Wonder if that is a good thing or bad for Blakenship? Meanwhile, Jenkins is running nasty ads (and I say effective) against Morrisey. Whoever emerges among the three will be rather beat up going into the general.

  2. "We have the worst political media in the world because it is disinterested in the truth."
    I disagree; the enemedia hates the truth passionately--it BURNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNS. They want the truth buried in a deep, DEEP hole.

  3. The political media is not disinterested in the truth, they’re uninterested in the truth. (Sorry - I was once told, “Goddamit, Bob, words have to *mean* something!”)