Why Bernie won’t quit?

April 28, 2016

Okay, those who read my blogs already know the answer to this question.  It is the answer to almost any other question.  Altogether now… in chorus, please…


That’s right. Money.

You will hear the most nonsensical, idiotic discussions on television coming from pundits who have never met a payroll. They will tell you why Bernie Sanders is still in the race.

He wants to get his message out, they will say. Okay, that’s a little bit true. But what is the key to getting your message out?


They say that Bernie Sanders is in denial. He wants something from Hillary. He has a big ego, okay but what is the ultimate ego booster?


Anyone who has run a company, an NGO, a charity, a think tank, a newsletter, a political campaign can tell you a very simple fact. 30% of all donors or subscribers come from California.

For Democrats it means $100 million a year, first in the nation. And while it is 10th in percentage of states population, the total is ginormous, far and away, the biggest part of the annual budget of the DNC.

This means that if Bernie Sanders can keep his campaign going, for any excuse, just a few weeks more, he can get to California where thousands of innocent young people will crowd into his rallies and sign his petitions and give up their email addresses.

This is about California.

Pardon me for sounding cynical.  .

But facts are facts. And if Bernie gets to California he pads his mailing list by tens of thousands and these names will be the little oil wells that will fund all of his projects and his grandchildren’s projects for years to come.

Hillary doesn’t want that.  She wants to stop him.  She is hysterical about it.  Because she thinks that every dollar for Bernie is coming right out of her own pocket. Got it?

So Bernie must get to California. Win or lose.  Doesn’t matter.  Just get there.

Ignore all the idiots on television.


Inside the Trump delegate hunt

April 27, 2016

What’s going on inside the Trump campaign’s hunt for delegates?

Having been a part of ten presidential campaigns I can give you a pretty good idea.

1.) Identification: The first phase is finding and identifying each of the delegates. Names, emails, addresses, phone numbers. This process is ongoing and changing right up to the RNC.

2.) Categorize: Who do they support and how firm is that support? This too is an ongoing process with various categories from 1-10. “Never Trump” to “True Believer.”

3.) The alter-delegate team: This involves assigning a person to be the “alter-delegate” of each delegate.  Their job is to get inside the head of the delegate. Who are they? What do they believe? Who is their favorite college football team, restaurant? What is their faith? This should create a bulging file that gets bigger each day.

The alter delegates will be separated into groups based on their categories, with leaders and facilitators for each of the groups. For example, the “True Believers” will be dealing with a different set of problems and goals than the “Leaners.”

4.) The Care Package: Every delegate should receive a “care package.” It usually includes an autographed photo of the candidate and an autographed copy of his book and from time to time auto-penned notes created and approved by senior staff. “Feeling good about Pennsylvania, hopeful for Indiana.”

5.) Birthday cards: Signed with the auto-pen, these should go out for every delegate up to the Convention and General Election. It can be expanded to the children and spouse and parents of the delegate. If you win the White House they will be carried into the Political Affairs Department.

6.) Delegate Concierge Services: Each delegate will be contacted by their alter-delegate in the campaign / or supervisor, and will be offered a phone number to call 24/7 to help them with special needs. Hotel rooms, recommended restaurants, ideas and suggestions for the campaign.

Every communication from a delegate should have a response.

7.) Recommended notes and calls: Each alter-delegate will recommend personal notes from the candidate for special issues. “Deeply sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, this must be a tough time. We are praying for you.”

The candidate should have a one paragraph brief before calling delegates. He should have a list of several calls to make each day until everyone has heard from him multiple times.

8.) Turning strategies. This is the real work. Each alter-delegate, working with their supervisors and their fellow alter-delegates should develop a strategy for moving a delegate to the next higher category.

9.) Surrogate sugar: Some delegates will have been early supporters of Chris Christie, Ben Carson and other candidates who have come on-board the Trump train. They should get “care packages” from their early favorite, notes and phone calls. Alter-delegates should recommend scripts and ideas for leveraging this surrogate power.

10.) Triangulation: Alter-delegates should search Facebook to look for Trump supporters among the friends and relatives of the delegates and enlist their help and suggestions for turning their friend into a “True Believer.”

Of course, the 80-20 rule will dictate how this operation progresses.  Some alter-delegates will have very little impact while others will be promoted to handling 10 delegates or an entire category, such as “2012 Rick Santorum delegates.”

Finally, the RNC is not the end. It is only the beginning. Wining presidential campaigns will go after the opposition delegates after the convention is over making them feel part of the team, giving them titles, listening to their ideas.

In 1988, Lee Atwater brought back to Washington all of the opposition delegates. When they entered the closed door – day long meetings they were angry and resistant. By the second day of this marathon they were laughing together. Loyalist were almost jealous.  Compare this to the 2012 election cycle where opposition delegates were harassed by the winning campaign even after the RNC was over.


Outsiders and some of my less experienced journalist friends will suspect that this scenario is a bit overdone. But having been inside many campaigns I can assure you that anything someone like me can conceive of in fifteen minutes is far less sophisticated than the real operation that has now been underway for many weeks.



Cruz wins Wisconsin, Trump wins nomination

April 6, 2016

Cruz wins Wisconsin but Trump wins the nomination. Here’s why.

The narrative on national television says that establishment Republicans will seize control of the Rules Committee at the RNC and they will open the convention to nominations from the floor.

It’s an unlikely scenario and even if it happens there’s a bigger problem. Any change in the Rules must be ratified on the floor of the Convention where Trump and Cruz delegates will shut it down.

Trump doesn’t want a new face in the competition, someone who hasn’t gone through the rigorous debates. That face would be a clean slate and voters could project what they want on it. And Cruz wants to be the only Trump alternative, which is his only chance to win.

Remember when Rule 40(b) was changed in 2012? When it went to the floor of the Convention, Chairman, John Boehner said, “In the opinion of the Chair the Ayes have it!”  Remember the uproar?  And that was over Ron Paul giving a speech.

Just imagine the bedlam if this convention’s chairman, Paul Ryan, tried to do that in Cleveland where the Trump and Cruz delegates dominate the floor? He would be betraying the two front runners of his own party. It wouldn’t work. The noise would be deafening.  His political career would be over forever.

So the Rules changes that everyone is salivating over on television this week are not likely to happen because even if they were changed in Committee they would not be ratified by the whole convention. There’s more. The Establishment must not only take control of the Rules Committee it must take control of the Credentials Committee or conceivably lose control of both. The Credentials Committee has the power to seat and unseat delegates that are being chosen at conventions. It will settle any challenges and decide what was fair at the respective State Conventions.

In 2012, this Committee arbitrarily removed duly elected Ron Paul delegates and replaced them with establishment Republicans. This is where Paul Manafort will earn his pay. If the establishment was seen to be pushing a third candidate at the RNC you could expect the Credentials Committee, dominated by Trump and Cruz, to start replacing delegates with their own. They could even bleed the establishment from the Rules Committee.

I know it sounds funny that Trump and Cruz would be working together but it is very likely in this scenario.  Trump would say we will take ten more out of the Minnesota delegation and give you ten more in Missouri.

Now, these new delegates will have to vote on the first ballot according to the state rules of their party just as the establishment delegates they replaced but in Committees and on the floor of the Convention they would vote as directed by their Trump-Cruz whips.

That’s why a multiple ballot convention would only belong to Trump and Cruz and not lead to Kasich or a “new face” as some are now claiming.

Finally, one last thing about the so called establishment. It is not monolithic. We are learning that many support Cruz and surprisingly many support Trump. The idea that John Sununu, Ben Ginsburg or Karl Rove can direct them is false.

So if the race is down to Trump and Cruz, which both men want, how does Trump win in the growing face of the “never Trump” movement?

Let’s start with money. Trump was outspent 10-1 in Wisconsin. At some point he can start to spend money to defend himself.

The next contest is in New York. With all the attention given to Trump’s insults you may have forgotten that Ted Cruz had one of his own, denigrating “New York values” in a national debate.

The decision will ultimately go to California.

Martha McCallum of Fox News said something very poignant this morning. It just seemed to pass by everybody unnoticed. She said, “There is momentum in the delegate gathering process too.” It was a very savvy observation.

Just as there is power in sequential Primary-Caucus wins, history shows that there are advantages to having the most delegates going into a convention. If Cruz needs 500 more delegates to win and Trump only needs 200, he will have a huge advantage.

Win or lose, the colorful billionaire, Donald Trump, has much to offer an uncommitted RNC delegate who has already had his picture taken with four presidents. A Christmas Party at Trump Towers in Manhattan may be even more memorable to a delegate than yet another Christmas Party at the White House.

Coming Monday: Why? Why does the establishment fear Trump and Sanders?

April 1, 2016

We read a lot about how the GOP establishment is trying to stop Donald Trump.  And how the Democratic super delegates are aligned against Bernie Sanders and are panicked over his insurgent candidacy.

Hillary Clinton’s temper is flaring. Ted Cruz and John Kasich are publicly saying that they may not support Donald Trump if he wins the nomination.

But no one is asking why?

What drives the GOP and Democratic establishments?

Why are they afraid?

Why are Republicans willing to elect Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump?

Is this about power? Why can’t Trump just reassure the GOP that he will let them keep their power? Won’t he need their help to run the country anyway?

But it’s not about power.


And Monday I will start the process of connecting the dots for you so that you can see why you are right and how it works.  And why those talking heads on television are saying those infuriating things that don’t make political sense. Because it’s not about politics.


And this Monday I will be confirming your worst fears.


The History of Super Tuesday: Frankenstein Monster

February 29, 2016

Super Tuesday: The Frankenstein Monster

The idea of Super Tuesday has been around for years. The Southern States were frustrated by the fact that they were the most electoral rich region of the country but had little impact on the presidential nominees of their respective parties.

Yes, New York, California, Illinois, Ohio and a handful of other states were the biggest, but as a region, the South usually determined the outcome.

Still, nothing much happened until the political parties became involved.

Chuck Robb, the Democratic governor of Virginia, can be called the “father of Super Tuesday.” He envisioned a more moderate Democratic party and believed a Southern Primary would do the trick.

Republican leaders, meanwhile, saw a Super Tuesday as a way to ensure that the establishment choice would win.

They understood that a populist candidate could go to Iowa and shake enough hands and give enough speeches to win a caucus. But only a candidate with their money could win on Super Tuesday. Multiple states were simultaneously in play and a candidate needed huge amounts of money for television advertising.

One of the early Super Tuesdays was May 25, 1976. There were six primaries. Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan each took three.

The most consequential Super Tuesday was March 8, 1988, which launched the most enduring political dynasty in American history, the Bush family dynasty which produced two presidents and the governors of Texas and Florida.

George HW Bush was the sitting vice president. The first in the nation contest was held in Michigan. Bush lost the first round. Then there was Iowa where Bush came in third.

I was with his son, future president, George W. Bush, that night in Iowa and walked him alone to his hotel bedroom and stayed up with him. It was depressing.

Later I walked down to the bar, the only place open in the hotel, and sat with Doro Bush, who couldn’t sleep and tried to reassure her that it wasn’t over. There were rumors that her dad was going to quit politics and be the president of Purolator. So would have ended the Bush dynasty.

But Bush, Senior won in New Hampshire the next week and in South Carolina on March 5th and on Super Tuesday, March 8th. The Bush family dynasty was born.

So Super Tuesday can be history making.

The great irony is that both the Democrat and Republican leaders who advocated for a Super Tuesday saw their purposes backfire miserably.

Yes, in 1992, the Democrat moderates succeeded in electing Bill Clinton but eventually large numbers of African American came into the process and drove the Democratic Party off a leftist cliff.

In 1988, half of the Southern States voted for Jesse Jackson. Today, in 2016, many in the party openly embrace a publicly identified Socialist candidate.

Republican managers also failed to accomplish their goals. Their idea of controlling the nomination process is failing badly.

Today, Donald Trump, the ultimate “outsider candidate” is poised to win big on Super Tuesday and use the very weapon created by the GOP insider party establishment to crush their power.

Super Tuesday has become a Frankenstein monster that it creators in both political parties never anticipated.

How Jeb Bush rediscovered his last name?

February 15, 2016
February 15, 2016
     When Jeb Bush announced his campaign for the presidency journalists wondered how he would deal with the charges that he was only extending the family dynasty.  The answer was not long in coming. It soon became clear. He would run as his own man on his own record, not as a son or brother of a president.  His campaign was “JEB!” not Jeb Bush.
     Leadership is the single most important characteristic that voters look for in a president.
     That is why Richard Nixon had to break from the popular Dwight Eisenhower when he ran for president on his own in 1960. It is why Hubert Humphrey broke from Lyndon Johnson in 1968, Walter Mondale from Jimmy Carter in 1984 and George H.W. Bush from Ronald Reagan in 1988.
     No matter how popular Reagan was, George H.W. Bush knew that he had to be his own man. He could not be elected president because he was loyal to Ronald Reagan and was next in line. He could only be elected if he were seen as a leader.
     In this cycle, Jeb Bush not only had to be his own man, standing on his own record, he also had to distance himself from an unpopular president, George W. Bush, discredited in history by some who believe he had left the world in a mess. Jeb knew that winning the GOP nomination would mean nothing if he could not win the general election, which meant winning the votes of people who disapproved of his brother.
     So why does this same Jeb Bush, this week, now embrace that very same brother on the campaign trail in South Carolina?
     Here’s why.
     When a figure becomes controversial, as in the case of George W. Bush, the hard core who remain supportive become stubbornly supportive. When Nixon’s numbers dropped to only 19% during the Watergate crisis, there they stayed and nothing that happened would move them any lower. That 19% would go to the grave with Nixon. So today, George W. Bush, an unpopular president, has a hardcore that will support him with unshakeable tenacity. The more he is demeaned in the national media, the more they dig in their heels.
     Many of those supporters are veterans who drive the vote in South Carolina. Many of those supporters are born again Christians who admire George, a fellow believer, not Jeb, who is a convert to Catholicism.
     To win in South Carolina Jeb Bush does not need to get 51% of the American vote. He could very well win with only 1% of that vote.  Which in this case would represent 20% of the South Carolina, Republican Primary voters.
     This is crunch time.  All of Jeb Bush’s grand strategy for winning the general election is out the window.  Now he has to show something in the South Caroline primary or be swept from the field of battle.  If he can come second or third in South Carolina, his money will allow him to compete in the crucial SEC primary to come.
     If Donald Trump wins South Carolina, the road becomes much harder for Bush. He may very well drop out. But there are also reasons to stay the course. Trump has not been fully vetted. Keep in mind, no businessman have ever made the distance. They have too many skeletons in the closet. If Trump falls, and voters became skittish about taking any more chances, Bush would be seen as a reliable choice. But only if he were still trudging along in the race.
     After that, if by some miracle he actually wins the GOP nomination, he has time to slip George W. Bush back into the shadows and just be JEB! once again.
     The Jeb Bush campaign was always a long shot. But with Hillary in the race he had to try. At any other time he would be dismissed as selfishly extending the family dynasty. But with Hillary Clinton in the race, how can the Democrat controlled mainstream media complain about a family dynasty?

Doug Wead on Neil Cavuto tonight.

January 6, 2015

Doug Wead will be on the Neil Cavuto Show at 8PM EST, January 6, 2015 on the Fox Business Network.

And here is his op ed in today’s New York Times:



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