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article imageOp-Ed: Trump eclipses GOP, gives PR lesson to media

By Paul Wallis     Aug 4, 2015 in Politics
Washington - The best known Donald since Donald Duck may be an infuriating SOB, but talk about getting a sales pitch across. He’s loud, he’s egocentric, he’s all over the shop on specifics….And a lot of people like the way he’s rattling the Washington cages.
He’s also producing pages of media on news searches. An elected president wouldn’t get this much coverage. He’s stolen the Tea Party’s thunder on some issues, notably immigration, and if they’re expecting him to give it back, it may be a long wait.
Everything this guy does turns in to a position, provided it sells. This is like holding a national focus group and cherry picking what works. The other thing he’s done exceptionally well is to draw attention away from other candidates. He looks strong, they look like it’s Show and Tell time.
You may or may not like Trump, but you have to respect this massive PR hit to the media and his opponents. This looks disorganized, can’t be taken seriously, it’s ridiculous… Then he’s polling twice the numbers of his opponents. The sleepy “Oh, how I wish Ronnie was here” world of the GOP has just been hijacked.
In GOP history, two other guys, both elected presidents, have done that. One was Abraham Lincoln; the other was Teddy Roosevelt. The party cordially hated both of them, but note — Roosevelt was a showman. He was the one who delivered a truly great show, from Yellowstone to the Panama Canal. In fact, he was incredibly popular with the electorate.
The showmanship extends to managing some media shots taken at him, too. The personally charming, spiritually refreshing, and effervescent (the alleged website for those who find FOX News too upmarket and intellectual) published his phone number in response to Trump’s giving away an opponent’s number. Trump turned his phone in to an ad campaign, thanked Gawker on Twitter, and sailed merrily on.
(Don’t you hate it when people you don’t like take out people you despise? They made it look so easy it could have been a stunt, but it does look good.)
Removal of passing chicken feces notwithstanding, Trump is now getting taken seriously by the more experienced political commentators. The New York Times centrist Republican David Brooks gives a wry but penetrant nod to Trump’s reading of the market. He points out that Trump is bringing a new element in to the equation, perfectly timing his confrontation with the sources of frustration for many Americans. In a very stale American political scene where lack of originality and group think have basically buried democracy, he’s a loud noise in the graveyard.
The Washington Post, not particularly a monument to GOP values, published a piece by Chris Cilliza retracting a “Why Trump can’t win” piece he wrote earlier. Cilliza points out that Trump is getting a lot of traction in the GOP constituency.
This is a marketing exercise, and the market is just now figuring out that a lot of market share has already been taken by Trump. Like the Tea Party, the machine didn’t really understand the product it was making and thought it was harmless. Now it does understand, and again, the product is running the machinery.
Trump also has one good wrestling hold in his arsenal — a Kimura lock arm breaker on a sizeable proportion of voters. They either give him time and traction, or he breaks their voter base.
Unlike climate change, education, health, welfare, and public spending, Trump isn’t going to go away. It’ll be interesting to see if the old GOP machinery can handle the stress loads Trump is hitting it with.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Donald trump, Presidential election 2016, I wish Ronnie was here, Gawker, Abraham Lincoln
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