Monday, June 20, 2016

(Review) The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard's Path to the White House

Win or lose--and I definitely want the former to occur--presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has altered the way national campaigns are run. The billionaire's skeletal campaign staff--who would expect that from a rich man?--is one way, but what put Trump at the head of the pack is outlined in Geoff Blades' new book, The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard's Path to the White House.

Once Blades gets past the introductions he starts with the initial favorite for the GOP nomination, Jeb Bush.

Blades makes it clear that he is not a "Trump groupie."

Early in the campaign Trump used his messaging skills to label Bush as "low energy." And we was. And despite a massive campaign treasury and an office block full of political "experts," Jeb failed. He probably would have anyway, in my opinion. but Trump hastened his demise. Call it a mercy killing.

Because among other things, Blades points out, Trump has mastered messaging. Even if you hate him, and most people apparently do, you know the real estate mogul's campaign slogan, which of course is Make America Great Again. Do you remember John Kasich's slogan? Kasish for Us. Yawn. Marco Rubio, or "Little Marco" as Trump dubbed him, gave us Marcomentum Is Real (awful) as well as the slightly better, A New American Century, which might have worked in 2000. Cruz, who was my back up choice for the GOP nod, gave us Join the Movement of Courageous Conservatives. "What does that even mean," Blades opines, "does it take courage to vote for Cruz? Courage to be a conservative?" No it doesn't. Brains yes, but that's a topic for another post and another book.

But everyone knows what Make America Great Again means. And when Trump says, "we don't win anymore," disengaged voters--who make up the majority of the electorate--will realize that we are losing to nations like China and Mexico. Which brings us back to Make America Great Again. Who will do that? Trump will. Get it?

I'm getting ahead of myself, especially since when this book was published neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton had clinched their party's nomination, but Hillary is burdened with a slogan of I'm with Her. Boring.

But as Blades notes, Trump has a message for her. "Hillary Clinton was the worse secretary of state in the history of our country," Trump has said. "The worst." That's how you properly define an opponent. Jeb Bush is incapable of saying that.

For years Republican presidential candidates have railed about border security. How does one picture that? Border security, that is. Trump doesn't have that problem. He has his wall. Everyone knows what a wall looks like. Not only does he attack border security clearly--with that wall--he even embraces the Mexican people while doing so.
I will build a better wall. And I will build it for the way I love the Mexican people. Many Mexican people work for me. Many Mexican people I do business with...I have great relationships with Mexico. I love their spirit.
And Trump tells us his wall will be beautiful.

But as Blades notes, Trump also delivers his words well.
Donald spoke much the same way in the 1980s and over decades of outmaneuvering the best, Trump has been practicing these skills for a very, very long time.
Trump's rise to the top of the heap of the Republican Party--sorry #NeverTrumpers, he's the nominee--makes a lot more sense after reading Blades' The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard's Path to the White House.

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