"Trump rejects new adviser’s push to make him ‘presidential’""
Donald Trump is bristling at efforts to implement a more conventional presidential campaign strategy, and has expressed misgivings about the political guru behind them, Paul Manafort, for overstepping his bounds, multiple sources close to the campaign tell POLITICO.
Just a week lasted with Trump being "advised". Flip flopping an advisor with no power than a thug, to a seasoned advisor who now knows he has no power.
Donald Trump understands real estate. An American president can't master all the disciplines required. Little stuff, you know, like our armed forces and economics. That's why presidents build teams, cabinet officers and advisors. It is impossible to NOT imagine a Trump presidency where every day, for the next four years, all of his human resource drama will become mentally exhaustive.
On Monday, as he again mocked the idea of behaving in a more “presidential” manner at two rallies in Pennsylvania, Trump called John Kasich a “slob” after calling attention to his penchant for eating too much on the campaign trail and blasted him and Cruz, whom he called “an ass,” for “colluding” to stop him — every broadside delivered in his trademark vernacular and an implicit rebuke to those handlers looking to rein him in.
Lovely words Donald. Lincoln would be so proud.
Kasich is a slob? When's the last time you looked at your waist in the mirror?
Cruz "an ass". I guess high praise coming from you.
April 26, 2016
The majority of Americans are disgusted by Trump's rhetoric. His racial slurs - even the Koch brothers have denounced them - are deeply offensive. The culture of fear he has perpetuated - leading supporters to threaten delegates lives - is both revolting and unprecedented in the American democracy.
But the biggest reason you should be afraid of Donald Trump is he is unmoored due to his lack of taking advice and making decisions by himself.
The reality of being president is two fold: head of state and head of the executive branch. Being head of state requires someone to understand diplomacy. Being head of the executive branch requires someone who accepts the checks and balances of the US Constitution.
The odds of Trump as head of state causing international crises is 100%. But the odds of him facing impeachment is also 100%. He can "pivot" all he wants. But his narcissism - at 70 years old if elected - will drive him and the country into trouble. He can't help it.
For all Republicans and Democrats that believe he can't be elected think again. HRC has just a little bit less of an un-favorability than Trump. And a potential HRC indictment - be it real or be it used against her with billions of advertising - makes Trump's chance of victory even greater.
Most worrisome is that the GOP is starting to resign itself to the reality of a Trump nomination. All of the anti-Trump movements within the Republican party haven't worked as of yet.
So it is incumbent on the GOP to unite against Trump to save the nation. And it is incumbent on the rest of the state primaries - Democrats and Republicans - to vote for Cruz or Kasich. Please do it for the country.
April 24, 2016
I believe the odds are becoming greater and greater that the GOP will ultimately have to nominate Donald Trump. He may not get to the exact delegate count, but the rest of the primaries - sans Indiana - are in blue states (in NY 868,987 votes were cast in the Republican primary while 1,817,552 were cast in the Democratic primary).
This will leave the GOP with two options: a contested nomination that will expose all of its fissures OR letting Trump run and taking their chances. More and more the latter seems to be a GOP resignation than a GOP endorsement. A Trump presidential nomination - and I don't think anyone has thought about it - would allow all factions of the GOP to do what they want in individual races rather than run under a single GOP platform that no one can agree on.
Europe is worried about a Trump presidency. Reasons cited usually fall under his dangerous rhetoric and/or his isolationism. But I don't think those are the real reasons Europe is worried about Trump.
Rather I believe their fears follow the following logic: If racial and economic disfranchisement can drive the US to vote on nationalism; surely the state of Europe - terrorism and depressive economics - will be driven toward nationalism.
While the US knows of nationalism in the abstract, Europe knows the dangers of nationalism as a realism a generation removed.
April 21, 2016
It is challenging for us to separate ideologies that threaten us, from the larger forces that make ideologies an effective organizing tool to fight more regional struggles.
It is with hindsight, that the lesson of the Vietnam War, was communism was simply an organizing force for Vietnam nationalism and anti-colonialism. We clearly see that now. The same "enemy" we were in fear of, and that we sought to destroy, is now a trading partner and a future military partner with naval bases.
And so, I think the lessons of our struggles in the Middle East, are not confined by a recognition that combat deployment was as doomed as it was in Vietnam. Rather we need to see religious fundamentalism as similar to communism in Vietnam; an effective organizing tool of self-determination to unshackle the vestiges of Western colonialism.
The fight for Vietnam independence went on for centuries. Certainly the fight between Islamic fundamentalism and dictatorships will go on for decades. Death will be too commonplace for us not to care about its human suffering. Both sides will be as brutal and as inhumane as Vietnam.
But the US and the West must disengage. Drone strikes and covert force only serve to inflame the passions that drive organizing forces to strike back with Western terrorism. If for no other reason, than to maintain the legitimacy of the organization.
The effects of Western influence/intervention and anti-Western attacks goes back through the Iranian Hostage Crisis, to the bombings in Beirut, through 9/11 and the many local acts of terror thereafter. The effects of imprisoning Iraqi insurgents at Abu Ghraib metastasized into ISIS.
While Western influence/intervention and anti-Western attacks have been significant, they pale and distort the magnitude of the violence within the region with us there or if we left.
All of this is a classic chicken-vs-egg argument. One that should be argued and debated.
Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. And I believe that the Vietnam pentameter shouldn't be ignored.
April 17, 2016
I was excited to announce this morning that Bob Woodward will be my newest company's keynote speaker at our user conference in October of this year.
April 15, 2016
In 2016, the US electorate will be made up of independents (42%), Democrats (29%) and Republicans (26%) - March 31, 2016.
The Grand Old Party - the party of Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt and the party of Reagan - has lost its identity.
Democrats are the party of laws and entitlements. The GOP is supposed to be the party of fairness and economic determinism. Lincoln ended slavery. Roosevelt broke up too-big-for-business trusts. Reagan freed up money from taxes. A level playing field for everyone and a self-determined economic quality of life.
Since the election of Clinton in 1992 - who moved the Democratic party to the center - every GOP move has been based less on principle and more on fighting an asymmetrical demographic war. Social moralism vs libertarianism. Protectionism vs. free trade. Anti-immigration vs pro-immigration. The GOP is supposed to inspire and lead; not to poll and pander.
1. Moderate independents - the largest voting bloc in the country - doesn't want social moralism. Social moralism works in primaries and fails in general elections because of independents and their sheer size.
2. Pro-business Republicans don't want to hear about protectionism. It's also a facile argument. As the old maxim goes ... "we all have a trade deficit with the person that cuts our hair". Trade deficit's simple numbers bely their benefit. A trade deficit with China doesn't mean money suddenly was sucked out of the economy. Rather it means that we were able to sell into a new market (think Apple, KFC, Caterpillar) and parts and means-of-production are low enough from the new market to drive down domestic prices/drive up domestic profits. Economies grow two ways: size of market and productivity. Free trade does both.
3. Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 were all pro-immigration presidents. They also performed well with Hispanic voters. A knee-jerk reaction by the party since 2008 to appeal to non-business, disenfranchised white voters, threw out a long-help Republican principle. Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than Bush. Isn't it time for the GOP to go back to its pro-immigration stance?
4. But the biggest opportunity, for the GOP in the long run, is a voting bloc they totally ignore: inner city African Americans. Any GOP presidential candidate that has the gumption to speak in American's inner cities; can win back the African American vote.
The first thing the GOP should ask an inner city assembly is "what has the Clintons and Obama done that has helped you?"
The second thing the GOP should do is remind the assembly of Jackie Robinson - who was a Republican - and supported entrepreneurship over welfare.
The third thing the GOP should do is tell the assembly that the war on drugs hasn't worked. Fathers and brothers should be coming home. The nuclear family needs to be restored.
And the fourth thing the GOP should tell the assembly - for as long as it takes - is to provide each block of the inner city neighborhood with American military assets to ensure its citizens the safety to go to school, walk in peace and begin working and buying in inner city businesses.
I can put up with most of the bull**** of American politics. But the plight of the inner cities is always ignored. And it sickens me. More people are dying in our own cities than in the wars we are supposed to be winning. Welfare and locking up drug addicts hasn't helped; rather is has made it worse.
The Democratic Party has been long on promises and short on any positive action. The GOP - the party of Lincoln and Jackie Robinson - has a chance to make history.
The economic and social re-enfranchisement of the inner cities should be THE 21st Century goal. And the inner city votes are quantumly more flippable than any expert has said.
April 11, 2016
Polls are saying Trump will lose to Cruz tonight. But Wisconsin holds an open primary (Democrats and Republicans can participate). So I can't place a bet on the outcome two-plus hours before the polls close.
But I can tell you that Trump is asset-poor -
Something sounds fishy.
April 5, 2016
For some reason, the baseball writer elite, have made the Chicago Cubs the favorite to win the 2016 World Series. They are wrong and I will tell you why.
But lets first talk about the baseball writer elite. There can be no better example of their thinking than Ken Burns's Baseball; over 10 hours of baseball history with at least 50% focused on the plight of New York and Boston teams. Stan "The Man" Musial - who most consider to be one of the five greatest players of all time - gets a short clip from the end of his career for god's sake.
The Burn's documentary - with "extra innings" to cover baseball up to 2010 - was dominated by two plot lines: The return of Yankee glory and the Red Sox finally winning a World Series since 1918.
Well, someone finally decided to look beyond I-75 and realize that the Chicago Cubs story - no World Series appearance since 1945 (replacement players so it doesn't count) and no World Series win since 1908 (the World Series started in 1900 as a gimmick and twice it was cancelled by whim of one of the two teams) - mixed with their 97 wins last year, made them a story in a sport that has very few stories.
The following are the reasons that predicting the Cubs as World Series champs isn't grounded in reality -
Having said all that, what I don't get is this: Do fans of baseball, including the pathological Cub fans, cheer for the players or for their uniforms? It doesn't make much sense for me to cheer someone I don't know and who doesn't know me. It doesn't make sense to me to cheer a team where players come and go.
The Chicago Cub reality is grounded by decades of national apathy. Grounded by odds that are not predictable. Grounded by a disconnect between fans with nothing better to hope for. And a ball park that tempts even single hitters - like Ryan Sandberg - to reach beyond the ivy walls.
Next year is here again. And "Groundhog Day" was filmed here. And that is Chicago Cub reality.
April 3, 2016
My parents had JFK pictures on walls. My children kid me all the time about all my Reagan pictures. I still like to go back and watch his farewell address. He spent a lot of it talking about jobs that were created after the early-80's recession.
So I just don't get today's GOP saying the last +7 years of Obama has been a disaster.
The unemployment rate is down from +10% to 5%. Over 5 million jobs have been created. Annual deficits are shrinking. Pump prices for cars are cheap. Interest rates are historically low. The stock market is up from the 7,000's to the 17,000's.
Immigration? Obama by far has deported more illegal immigrants than Bush 43 did.
Obama was elected by promising to wind down the Middle East wars. The country in 2008 was war-weary. Mission accomplished if you like presidents that stick to their promises.
ISIS? Forget that the mother of the problem was the invasion of Iraq; and tell me why Obama's approach isn't buttressed by Reagan's wisdom of disengaging from Beirut after 1983?
Sadly, I am not sure Reagan would be accepted by today's GOP. While having his own private morality; he didn't shove his social views down anyone's throat. His deficits as a percentage of GDP wouldn't be accepted by today's GOP congress. There was civility between the two parties governing.
So either Obama's problem is one of racial bigotry, today's GOP having to say how bad things are to have any narrative and/or Obama/Reagan are both persona non grata in the 2016 GOP.
April 1, 2016
Three new polls show Obama having a higher than 50% approval rating.
But polls distort unless you go beyond the headlines.
Obama has a 89% approval rating by Democrats, a 50% approval rating by independents and a 12% approval rating by Republicans.
Trump has a 62% approval rating by Republicans, 34% approval rating by independents and a 6% approval rating by Democrats.
In 2016, the US electorate is made up of independents (42%), Democrats (29%) and Republicans (26%). So you have to weight Obama and Trump's approval ratings.
Obama's weighted average is 51.5%. Trump's weighted average is 33.1%
Now that we have the math right and it is not distorted, lets take a look at HRC
HRC only has an independent approval rating of 23%; down from 54% at the start of the primaries. Forget her favorability with Democrats (we know it isn't close to Obama because of Sanders) and her favorability with Republicans (near or approaching zero). And forget national polls on head-to-head match ups.
If you think Trump is not electable, than HRC is less electable than Trump.
So what does all this mean? Obama on a relative basis has no equal today. Politics like nature abhors vacuums. Obama and McCain were favorable candidates. And so were Obama and Romney. But Trump vs. HRC? Something has to give.
GOP's best move? Contested convention nominating Paul Ryan. Popular politician. Solid conservative. Fits my generational history of presidential election model.
Democrats best move? None.
Democrats only chance? There is no sure thing. But Trump being the GOP nominee might save them. A third party candidate might save them.
Despite the prognosticators and GOP party infighting; the GOP owns the ticket to the White House. All they have to do is risk a brokered convention and pick the most favorable GOP candidate.
March 31, 2016