The mainstream media is descending on The Donald like buzzards on carrion—and their instincts for a fresh kill are rarely wrong. But don’t discount Donald Trump.
Erick Erickson offered sage advice for the tempestuous-tempered billionaire-cum-politician to stay on offense, but I expect that Trump will rebound very soon.
The “stay on offense” advice works best for politicians, but Donald Trump isn’t one. He’s a unique personality that cuts through American culture like a chainsaw—rough, noisy, and with lots of flying pieces.
Trump’s at his best when he’s talking, and fortunately for him, it’s probably his favorite pastime, other than writing one-page “get off my lawn” letters to media CEOs.
Without attempting to extol the virtues of a potential Trump presidency, mostly because it hurts when I try, The Donald brings some heavy firepower to the race, and could be formidable if he figures out how to deploy them properly.
First, the man has incredible name recognition. Nobody other than Hillary Clinton, who’s got the personality of Maleficent, and Jeb Bush, who with every step becomes a human splinter, even comes close. Remember that we (“we” being the readers of political blogs, who actually use the Internet for more than Facebook, SnapChat and cat videos) are rather informed citizens. If I were to ask RedState readers to name the 28* declared Republican candidates for president, most would get the top 10 right.
We’d even get the Democrats right.
But most of America can’t even name their own Senators. 77% in fact, according to the Benenson Strategy Group, which powered, among other brands, Obama for America. Democrats and their media in orbit around the Clinton Death Star count on this. They don’t need to fight [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee and [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] (et al). They only need to fight The Donald, who makes an excellent stand-in for “Republicans” to the great low-information voter pool.
Second, Donald Trump has money. Not just 1%, old-line, Bush money. Not even Teresa Heinz (as in ketchup) Kerry money, and way beyond dirt-poor Clinton money. The Donald is worth somewhere north of $4.1 billion, meaning if he wanted to, he could fund his entire presidential run, from primary to general (should he make it), with his own cash.
Sure, it would leave him 25% poorer, but who couldn’t live comfortably on $3 billion. Plus, Trump is 69 years old and his kids are grown, so it’s not like he’s got to plan for a long retirement.
Third, Trump has cojones. Big, honkin’, make Chris Christie’s Jersey bluster look like a crying kid whose lunch money was stolen, cojones. He says whatever the hell he wants, and has no regrets saying it. It’s like hopey-changey crack for people who distrust government.
And fourth, the biggest point: Trump wants to run the government and he hates the government. If you can’t make political hay these days by hating the government with a billion dollars to spend saying how much you hate it, you deserve to hide your head in a bag.
The other main line conservative candidates don’t hate the government. They are in the government. Governors, senators, congressmen, all partake in the Kabuki dance of lawmaking. They all know how the sausage is made and pretend that it’s not ugly and filled with pig guts.
Democrats see the masses connecting with Trump and they fear it. They don’t fear the immigrant vote or the Hispanic vote, or even the black vote going Republican. Even if that happens, it’s not enough to win an election—at least if you believe Ann Coulter.
“If Romney had gotten 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, he still loses,” Coulter recently said to Bill O’Reilly. “If he got 4 points more of the white vote, he would have won.”
Trump is going to stay in the race, and hopefully avoid really painful missteps like the birther movement (he will leave that to [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] supporters and their anti-Canadian campaign). If he does, he’s going to be the magnet for liberal pot-shots. And that’s not a bad thing.
Perhaps the other Republican candidates shouldn’t be so quick to ignore and marginalize Trump. Instead maybe they should build him up a bit, because if the Democrats can successfully take down Trump with his cash, name, and message, it won’t be hard for them to tie the rest of the GOP field to that millstone.
Instead of an embarrassment, Donald might just be the great white hope the GOP is looking for.
*Wait, what? 28 declared candidates, that’s right. But nobody’s ever heard of 10 of them, and another 5 or so are jokes.