Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, July 6, 2015

Donald Trump is on Jeb Bush's Case

An unfortunate re-tweet by Donald Trump regarding fellow 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush's spouse caught a bit of attention before being taken down, after standing for about 24 hours. Talking about a politician's spouse in that way is unusual and a little tacky--it's not the kind of thing professional politicians do, but then again, Trump is not a professional politician. I'm hovering between still treating him as having acquired an awkward rich man's hobby in running for president which he may get bored of eventually, or actually (why not?) taking him a little seriously.

It seems to me that he seems a bit more pointed in issuing criticisms about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. It makes a kind of sense though--punching the person perceived as the biggest guy in a room earns respect. That's where I start to think he has some kind of instincts.  (But still--the guy who said he would restore America's national brand, has now lost deals with Serta, NBC, Univision, etc. If this is how he manages his own brand--yeesh!)

There are different ways of looking at what seems to me to be a bit of a Trump/Bush beef.

Theory #1--It kind of makes Jeb Bush appear in a more sympathetic light. Think about it: the man attacked his family! Some people commenting on it have speculated if it was intentional but I don't see it. I think Trump is genuinely underwhelmed with Bush at the moment. But it definitely gives Bush a chance to be a "bigger man" and strike a sort of "compassionate conservative" note.

Theory #2--Donald Trump is not a politician. He doesn't have the same sense of what will get the outrage flowing, or he knows what does, but thinks he can harness the outrage on his behalf without being cast in a permanent bad light. (Early polling counts for nothing, but I don't think his numbers are based on name recognition alone. I think he touched a nerve with some people.)

Theory #3--He's a yutz who has been so insulated by money he doesn't know or care, he just does stuff. Like his "Birther" kick that didn't really go anywhere. Or doing a wrestling stunt. He likes attention.

What is interesting is seeing how the other candidates respond to him--does he trigger a substantive immigration conversation in his noisy wake? (Sigh. I expect ridiculous things.) Or does it just sink further into the unhelpful racial territory that Trump's broad brush comments imply?


Formerly Amhert said...

Hi Vixen, I won't speculate on Donald Trump's motives. I've heard everything from he's a Democratic operative blackmailed to poison the Republican brand to the idea that he is the only one who can get anything done.

I will say one thing about his remarkable ascension in the polls. For many years now we are accustomed to hearing politicians conditioned by political correctness, who feel they must artfully tiptoe around every issue. Basically they are elected to manage the decline.

People are responding to Trump because they hear the voice of a leader, not a politically correct manager. And speaking from the point of view of one who lives in a border state, I can promise that his artless rhetoric is true despite its lack of finesse. A lot of people both on the right and in labor are completely disgusted by our political class. So when a real leader emerges they instinctively appreciate it.

Naturally, what he's really up to or his level of sincerity is something I'm not qualified to assess.

Vixen Strangely said...

That's it--Trump is an ass, but he comes off as a genuine one. He's mentioning the perception of crime (which is real, as we've discussed before--and I'm kind of shocked at the idea of these "sanctuary cities" actually, as having a pretty big flaw in that some of these people really need to be processed and deported by INS because they are up to no good here--although the example he states reminds that where there's a will, there's a way back). Because he's addressing these things viscerally, as opposed to thoughtfully, it seems like regular politicians don't have the "map" of how to soundly respond so that they can sound leader-like. I thought the tweet referencing Jeb Bush's wife gave Bush an opening to try for outrage--to basically defend his family from being slighted as ethnically Mexican while still making a clear position on immigration in a statesmanlike way; it should theoretically be in his skillset to do that.

But instead, Bush didn't make a clear statement enough to counter Trump, and has gone on to make some thuddingly awkward gaffe about how people should work longer hours--which doesn't sound great to an overstretched middle class ear or to people who realize they might have to work a handful of years past their previous retirement target. Which kind of gets back to one of Trump's observations about Bush--he isn't focused. Or as I've said, he doesn't seem like he wants to president that much.

I still consider Trump to be a flighty personality and don't agree especially with some of his racially-tinged remarks--but the GOP field can't pretend he isn't there: he isn't letting them. He's got a long record of inartful and even odd positions, bad business decisions, weird things like Trump University and his idea that golf should be an aspirational game. There is so much there to take a whack at. If someone gets a harpoon in the whale, it's worth at least a day and a half of press for them. With a field that seems like it's regularly growing, what's it hurting any of them to take a swing?

Formerly Amhert said...

Hi Vixen, as you know I absolutely repudiate Bush and Clinton. There is no way that I want another Bush or another Clinton in the White House. I therefore am not concerned about Bush looking bad.

I wouldn't call Trump an ass as much as a curmudgeon or a maverick, and since I cannot bring myself to imagine that he would actually be elected, I have no personal feelings about him. I will mention that it is true he has failed in some businesses, but he has been astoundingly successful in others. And that is the advice given to entrepreneurs. The successful entrepreneur gets shot down a hundred time, but rises again to eventually make a success. (That's why I'm not an entrepreneur. I prefer a conservative approach to the financial markets... I'll let others do the heavy lifting, and I will buy shares in their companies.)

What Donald Trump is doing is speaking over the heads of the political class and talking directly to the electorate in language that they understand.

Our political process has become constipated by apparatchiks We regard statements that ordinary people make to each other as extreme if a political says them. Politicians have to tap dance around all their contributors. They have to anticipate their critics. And as apparatchiks naturally start to gather and stack up around political power, soon it becomes impossible to address serious issues.

Well, one thing that Donald Trump realizes is that you have to make the customer happy if you want repeat business. He doesn't worry about the apparatchik class. He goes directly to the customer and speaks boldly to concerns that the customers have.

He doesn't' care how many bad reviews the movie is getting; he looks at the ticket sales. And he's rich enough to be unconcerned with how all this is going to bounce off a donors' list. He is a weird guy in today's political market, but already he has weathered the attempts to destroy him and puts it right back in the critics' faces. He has managed to change the conversation from how we are being so insensitive to illegal aliens including the criminal class to how are we going to stop being victimized by our timid political measures.

At least I thank him for that, as I pounded my head against that flat rock and was not able to budge anything an inch. Where all this will go, I don't know. I will be shocked if Trump becomes president, but right now he's the guy winning all the battles.