Friday, October 28, 2016

Trump: Worst Presidential Candidate or Worst Campaign Ever?

Fareed Zakaria of the Washington Post pens a column examines the Donald Trump campaign and concludes that is the worst presidential campaign in modern political history.  This is the concluding paragraph:
One important test for the White House is the ability to run a modern presidential campaign, a 50-state start-up that requires hundreds of millions of dollars, a clear strategy, great talent and consistent, high-quality execution — all while being scrutinized daily by hundreds of reporters. By now it is indisputable that Trump has run the most poorly resourced, undisciplined, chaotic campaign in modern political history. He has embodied the quality that he regards as the worst failing for a leader: all talk and no action.
Remember when Trump was talking about how he was much more competent than the other GOP
candidates? That he would hire the "best people" who would propel his campaign to an "easy" victory in the general election?   Unlike "loser" Mitt Romney who dropped the 2012 election, Trump proclaimed he would "win" in 2016 because, well, he is a "winner."

Eleven days out, Trump is not only is polling behind in virtually every state Romney lost in 2012, he has also put formerly red states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, and Utah into play.   He will sink in the worst electoral defeat for Republicans maybe since 1996.  He quite likely will be a major factor in handing the Democrats control of the U.S. Senate as well.

Trump losing the election is quite an accomplishment.  He is running in a year when the country is clamoring for a change.  The tone deaf Democrats instead nominated the ultimate status quo candidate, a nominee who is the second most unpopular presidential candidate in American history.  (Trump, of course, is No. 1 in that category)   Issues relating to Clinton's use of a private email server and the family foundation have exposed, again, the Clintons' secretive and corrupt nature.

The Trumpkins (I have settled on this term to describe those who blindly and unquestionably worship all things Donald J. Trump) keep shouting about how dishonest Hillary Clinton is and how she believes she is above the law.  Yet they vigorously backed Trump, a man who is every bit as dishonest as Hillary and who also believes he is above the law that mere mortals have to follow.

But even if Trump were a paragon of virtue, which he clearly is not, Republicans can't win an election, even against a "crook,"  with nothing and Donald Trump is much less than nothing. Even overlooking as possibly disqualifying his obvious sexism and allegedly sexual predatory behavior (is he really any different on that score than Bill Clinton?), the man has zero interest in and understanding of public policy.  Combine that with the maturity and temperament of a petulant six year old child, and you have a man who is completely unfit for the Office of the Presidency.  Don't think Americans haven't noticed. They have.  

Trump is at his heart a con man.  By putting his name on buildings, he convinced many Americans that he is a "great businessman."  Six bankruptcies, numerous failed businesses, and a lack of cash assets at 70 years old speak otherwise.  Trump jumped into the GOP nomination contest, pretending to be a conservative, to run another con, this time on Republican voters.  People inside the campaign during its early days say Trump never expected to actually win the nomination.  Rather he ran to regain the spotlight as his TV show, the Apprentice, (one of his few ventures that was making money) was fading in popularity.  Trump never expected to win and, thus, be thrust into the position of having to run a modern American presidential political campaign.  Handed the challenge, Trump has failed...miserably.

Come November 9th, will Donald Trump be known as the worst presidential candidate of all time or someone who ran the worst presidential campaign of all time?  My guess is both.  Nonetheless, it is clear that Donald Trump will have one label he can't escape from:  Loser.


Eric Morris said...

But what is the Republican Party itself? Israel-firtism and the concomitant Middle East wars and saying Russia is going to attack (it is cutting its defense budget 12%, btw)? TARP bailouts? Balance the budget in 20 years vs. never? Nominate rock-ribbed conservatives like Souter, Kennedy, Obamacare Roberts to the Supreme Court?

Paul, what is your vision of the Party? Never ending socialism like Medicare and Social Security? Never ending the foreign policy that has the military around the world but not being able to defend its own headquarters on 9/11, much less the WTC?

Paul K. Ogden said...


I don't see Donald Trump a life-long liberal who has espoused big government solutions (such as universal health care and government funded day care) as offering any solutions to the problems you point out.

I am totally in favor of cutting back our interventionist foreign policy. But you don't do that by electing someone who talks about how he likes war, who has suggested nuclear proliferation is okay, and wants to engage in military combat over the dissing of American sailors on the high seas.

If you want to elect a leader who would take on those things, it probably would have been better to nominate someone like Rand Paul. Donald Trump is the worst on all of the issues you point out, correctly, as being important.

Eric Morris said...

I agree with your assessment of Trump. I just don't see a real constituency for a Rand Paul-type, but I also think the active interventionists like Lindsey Graham or McCain are done as well. I'm having the same discussion with my longtime Republican friends: What does the Party actually stand for, and is there an electoral college majority coalition that agrees?

My view is no, and if Dems were not dumb enough to nominate Her they would have been set up to slowly re-take legislative majorities by time of census re-drawing of Districts. If/when that happens, Rs are really dead--unless they come up with actual governing principles and follow them.

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