Jazz touched on this earlier but it’s worth posting the audio of Paul Manafort addressing the RNC yesterday, just a few hours after Trump reminded his socially conservative fans once again that he’s not nearly as conservative as they are. If Cruz’s campaign manager had said this about him to a bunch of establishment Republicans, he’d be done instantly. It would shatter his credibility among grassroots righties who prefer him because they trust him to be as conservative in governing as he claims to be on the stump. Manafort knows, though, that 90 percent of Trump’s appeal to his fans has to do with his persona, not with policy. You don’t vote for Trump because he’s promised you X, Y, and Z (Cruz has promised to build a wall too, after all), you vote for him because you’ve bought his BS that somehow he’s going to smash “the system” and redress every grievance that his white working-class base has with the left. He’s a superhero. All you need to do is hand him power and trust him. If the path to power requires playing a “part,” hey.
“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Manafort said in a private briefing.
“You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy,” he said…
“He gets it,” Manafort said of Trump’s need to moderate his personality. “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.”
We heard a lot this week about how he was in the process of changing, e.g., referring to Cruz as “Senator Cruz” in his victory speech on Tuesday, right before Trump went back out on the trail and started attacking “Lyin’ Ted” again. The best spin you can put on what Manafort said, I think, is that he’s scamming the RNC here, not Trump’s base. Trump won’t be a “real different guy” in the general election campaign because he can’t afford to be. He simply doesn’t have the policy chops to fill the enormous vacuum that would be left if he toned done his shtick. His core fans wouldn’t want him to tone it down anyway — they love him because “he fights!”, and they’re expecting plenty of street-fighting with the Clintons — and the fat-walleted establishmentarians who do won’t believe that a more subdued Trump is the “real” Trump after watching his tabloid exploits over the last 30 years. (It’s because there’s 30 years’ worth of material, in fact, that Trump’s negatives aren’t going to come down. He can try but Hillary’s ad people will try harder.) Even if he wanted to tone himself down, he’ll have no choice but to perform for the media to try to offset Hillary’s fundraising advantage. Manafort’s simply telling the RNC what they want to hear to make them a bit more amenable to the idea of nominating Trump in Cleveland. If I had to bet, I’d bet that Trump spends August trying to project a more “presidential” demeanor and then, when he sees his polls aren’t moving, he’ll give up and decide to let it rip again. If you’re going to lose, you might as well be yourself.
The most interesting thing Manafort said yesterday, incidentally, wasn’t the bit about Trump playing a part. I think it was this:
If Trump has been playing a part, then what are his core beliefs? Paul Manafort has a solid resume in Republican circles as a senior campaign advisor and manager. It would be safe to assume Manafort would not make this kind of an assertion without his candidate’s approval. Trump has said he will do this, he will do that. The real question is, what will he really do? Until he answers that question, he should not hold himself to be a nominee of anything – whether he meets the 1,237 standard or not.
Manafort is a lobbyist, pure and simple. And his partner in his lobbying firm is none other than John Kasich’s campaign manager.
I suggest you do a little research on Manafort. It ain’t pretty.
As to Trump’s core beliefs; it all depends on what time of day it is and they are subject to change without a moment’s notice: IOWs, he doesn’t have any.
Well, I wasn’t vouching for his integrity, just commenting he’s been around in various Republican campaigns. In those circles, it’s a solid resume. Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough.
Politics is a dirty occupation. My first impression of Trump’s hiring of Manafort was that it ranks right up there in hypocrisy. Trump talked about breaking away from influence peddlers like Manafort but hires one to help him out.
As I said on another thread; if Trump is hiring the “best”, he most certainly scraped the bottom of the barrel to find Manafort. And you are correct in thinking Manafort is nothing more than an influence peddler who is now making frantic phones calls to Chris Wallace to claim that what was said, on audio, about Trump and his dishonest image was not really what was said, as if we can’t believe our own ears.
Trump has pretty much had a free ride when it comes to opposition research but that is all about to come to an end and those who support Trump will just deny what comes out.
While I was visiting with my Mom today, she was watching Neal Cavuto. He had a woman on there who was a political historian of some sort (can’t remember her name). When discussing contested conventions, naturally she talked about Lincoln in 1860. But she really talked about how contested conventions in the past have also laid the groundwork for a party’s future gains citing 1924 for the dems and 1976 for the Republicans. Both times the party with the contested convention lost that election but the future leader of the party emerged by making a strong and lasting presence, FDR in 1924 and of course Reagan in 1976. She said it was a case of sacrificing a short term gain, i.e the election at the time, for a future long term gain.
Her analysis sparked some thought as to another possible motive behind a contested convention. The Clinton-Bush-Obama trifecta of three consecutively elected two term Presidents was a first since Jefferson-Madison-Monroe. We’ve never had four straight two termers, so history is not on the side of another two-term President regardless of who wins- ‘D’ or ‘R’. Perhaps the thought behind a contested convention is that a future leader will emerge even though Trump gets the nod knowing there is a good chance he will lose the General. That sets the stage for a long term gain in 2020 when a much stronger and less flawed candidate will be put forth, i.e. “another”Reagan”. It may seem a little stupid or cut throat, but these are politicians we are talking about.
@another vet –
Henry Olsen, a well-respected GOP political strategist, over the past 3-4 months has been saying that it may be necessary for the GOP to suffer a catastrophic loss to reset itself and rediscover what it takes to build a winning coalition. As it stands now, Olsen’s opinion is that if Trump is the standard bearer, he will have an effect down ballot – and it will not be a good one. The Cruz effect is similar, but the catastrophic loss may not be as severe. Presently, much of the conservative thought is every issue is a battleground and that finding the common ground on certain issues are a concession of some kind. Whether one subscribes to this assessment depends upon one’s political point of view. (I think it is okay to have differing opinions and yet remain conservative. If we are lockstep in thinking, then why have a process to discern which candidate would make for a good officeholder.)
The conservative base needs to be broadened. Hispanics and Asians are conservative within their own families, valuing hard work and education to have a better future. While McCain and Romney talked about it the last two cycles, they did absolutely nothing to earn their vote. And, this cycle, very little has been done to earn their support. The only recent GOP nominee to do well with these groups was GWB.
A book you may be interested in is “How The Stupid Party Earned Its Name” by Matt K. Lewis. Lewis talks about how the conservative movement can regain its electoral footing. Part of it is making a concerted to find good but intelligent candidates, and fleshing out conservative ideas. It sounds a little what Jeb did, but it makes sense. The angry man approach can only go so far. You’ll need solutions.
On a personal note, I hope your visit with your mom went well. My mom passed away about seven weeks ago from natural causes (old age). I’m still in the “counting the weeks” stage. Though we were preparing ourselves with her frailty becoming more evident every week, it was still a shock when she passed. My dad, he’s doing well. Being of a different generation, a few more things are internalized. Continue to have good visits with your mom. And, if she tells you to do something, you better do it. 🙂
@David: I agree with the need to expand the conservative base. I was a minority in a company I worked at a long time ago so I know what you are talking about with reference to Asians and Hispanics. The Filipinos were staunch Republicans who loved their guns and thought the world of Reagan. On the Hispanic side, the Mexicans all had strong family values and a number of them were pretty die hard Republicans and fond of Reagan. The Cubans were staunch conservatives given that many of them either escaped from or had relatives who escaped from, the left’s beloved Castro so they obviously experienced first hand what the left in this country aspires the country to be like. The funny part were the blacks. The older ones had pretty conservative values but they still supported the dems even though their views were more in line with the Republican side of the house.
Trying to expand the conservative base will be necessary but very difficult. We are competing against the left who promises lots of free stuff and the educational system which indoctrinates the youth in leftist beliefs. Trying to convince someone, especially the younger generation, that education and hard work are the way to go will be a hard task because taking the easy way out is more appealing.
Sorry to hear about your Mom. How old was she if you don’t mind me asking? Glad to see your Dad is doing well. I lost mine a couple of years ago. The Korean War generation is rapidly going the way of the WWII generation.
@another vet –
Thank you. My mom was 85, and would have turned 86 in July. My dad is also 85 and will be 86 in August. My wife and I live a couple blocks away in the same sub-division, so we’re keeping an eye on him. Fortunately, the paper chase hasn’t been a big one – just making a few adjustments in his Army and OPM retirement pay. If only Social Security would improve and learn something from the Army or OPM regarding their pay and benefits operation, the world will be better. The interview with SS for the $255 death benefit is about a month away.
@David: She lived a long life then. My dad was going on 82 and was one of the first two to be buried in the part of the cemetery he is in. Almost all of his new “neighbors” were a lot younger. I feel sorry for those families. People dying in their 50’s and 60’s is way too young. Even 70’s is a little too soon. As a suggestion, you may want to talk to a lawyer who specializes in elder law, if you haven’t done so already, regarding your Dad’s assets. I don’t know what Medicaid is like in your state, but in mine in order for someone to go on it, they can only have $2,000 in their name. The state will go back 5 years and collect any money that was paid out in gifts or whatever from the person it was given to before Medicaid kicks in.
@another vet –
My niece is an attorney and specializes in elder law and estate planning. Regarding Medicaid, she says there are caveats in the federal Medicaid law that allows a person to retain all of their assets in the event long term care is required. She says its important to have a financial POA, medical POA and living will in place before hand. All three pieces would work together and prevent (or minimize) the state and federal governments from confiscating assets.
@David: The attorney we hired is moving all of my Mom’s assets under me as a disabled Vet that way the state won’t touch it. It’s very disgusting that my parents were responsible with their money and my Dad worked all those years only to have to lose it all at the end while others in this country get a free ride their whole life no questions asked. Then again, that goes back to my previous point about how hard it is going to be to combat the “free stuff” left in order to convince people that hard work and education are the way to go.
@retire05 – #4
Seems like Trump has grown weary of his influence peddler, Paul Manafort:
Trump also says he was troubled by Manafort’s work in foreign countries and a group being a front for Pakistani intelligence. So much for hiring the best, and that being one of his best instincts.