Trump is Reagan

May 18, 2016

Many comparisons are now circulating on the internet comparing Donald Trump to General George S. Patton, to former President Ronald Reagan and many others. In posts earlier this year I compared him to Andrew Jackson and  Theodore Roosevelt.

It was my humble privilege to appear on the speaker’s circuit with Ronald Reagan, talking with him backstage and writing his campaign biography when he ran for president.

The Charity Awards, which I helped organize, was really begun at a dinner in his home in 1979, the week before he announced what would be his successful run for the White House. Here’s my take on Trump as Reagan.

Trump as Reagan:

Both men were once Democrats.

Both men were once in show business.

Both men were divorced.

Their stand on the issues is remarkably similar. Both men are pro Life and in the exact same way. Both men defend the Second Amendment. And both men want to reduce spending and taxes.

Ronald Reagan was hated by the mainstream media. Slate once ran an article with the subtitle, “The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan. And so too, they hate Donald Trump.

You will notice that both Reagan and Trump are very strategic in their thinking, they don’t get into the details.

Both men put American jobs first and that makes them unpopular in other countries like Mexico, China and European countries who want those very jobs.

Most dramatic of all, both men are straight shooters.

For example, Ronald Reagan said he wasn’t so sure that it had been the right thing to withdraw support for the Shah of Iran. This statement caused an uproar and was seen as irresponsible. The whole world was outraged. Especially the American media. What was he doing? He was speaking against the newly formed Democratic Islamic State of Iran.

Donald Trump said we should have a temporary ban on Muslim immigration until we can figure things out.

Both men are unashamed in their support for a stronger and safer America. “Make American Great again,” says Trump.

There are some dramatic differences between the two men. Reagan was humble and self-effacing. He went out of his way to avoid personalizing his issues. But in his own way, using humor, he would always counter punch. Perhaps his greatest moment was when they hit him on the age issue.

General Patton talked trash to the enemy, the way Muhammed Ali baited Sonny Liston and it was very effective. It worked.  It is similar to Trump talking about Isis.

Reagan was sometimes as brash as Patton and Trump. When he was being sworn in as president Iran promptly released the hostages rather than face the consequences.

Machiavelli once said, “It is sometimes a wise thing for a prince to affect madness.” Nixon used that very device to bring the North Vietnamese to the peace table.

General Patton appeared spontaneous in his remarks and it sometimes got him into trouble but in retrospect he was right about the fact that we would one day have to face Russia anyway and if we had been stronger in dealing with them in 1945, we now know, that Hungary, Czechoslovakia and most of the Balkans could have arguably avoided the nightmare of communist rule where hundreds of thousands of people were imprisoned.

The comparisons of Donald Trump to General George S. Patton are the most problematic for the candidate.  I’m not saying that they aren’t true, I just want to point out that Patton couldn’t get elected to anything and couldn’t even keep his job as general – even though he was one of our most tenacious and brilliant commanders. In his army career, Patton’s political skills eventually failed him.

Patton once said, “It is a popular idea that a man is a hero just because he was killed in action. Rather, I think, a man is frequently a fool when he gets killed.” It did not go over very well.

When war hero, Senator John McCain called the thousands of Arizona citizens who had rallied to meet Donald Trump as crazies, Trump shot back, “He was a hero because he was captured. I like people who were not captured.”

Both men have been accused of profanity. Patton said you can’t run an army without profanity.

The one virtue that all of these Trump comparisons have in common is their penchant for strong leadership.  Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, George Patton, Ronald Reagan were all dynamic leaders.

One of George Patton’s most famous quotes declared, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” It is vintage Trump.

If you live long enough, history comes back around.


The Crucifixion of Donald Trump

May 16, 2016

Now it begins. This onslaught has been decades in the making. It was not organized to hurt Trump but it is reaching its full organic and systematic power in opposing him.

By the end of the process Trump supporters will feel shell shocked and numb. They will not only be bitter about the biased political coverage which is about to reach breathtaking levels, they will never view the television networks and the large corporations who own them the same again.

Keep in mind a couple of things. All of the hundreds of television networks are owned by principally five companies.

There are demographic and socio-cultural reasons why they and their online and print media counterparts are politically liberal.

Academic surveys and polls of journalists have documented this bias since the question was first raised.

The proof of such bias is being scrubbed from the Internet as we speak. Google yourself and you will now see – for the first time – leftists sites featuring bogus data to suggest that the media actually tilts right.

Have such leftist sites actually earned a SERP or were they arbitrarily placed there by the owners of the search engines? It is almost surely the latter because – as of now – their equivalent social media pages cannot command the proportionate numbers of “likes” to the real studies.

Since this story has to begin somewhere we will start it in 1964 when major corporations knew that Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, was going to be defeated. A Democrat would be elected president and he would control both Houses of Congress and every social program they envisioned would be passed.

Even the most Republican of corporate leaders had to fall into line and that meant finding ways to benefit from “the War on Poverty” and any other well meaning social program. From that small beginning major corporations became allies of a multitude of special interests groups all with their own separate demands for new laws and regulations.

Now, understand, the special interests were well intentioned. They helped the poor, the victimized, they redressed past wrongs but they were also expensive and had the effect of crowding out small business competition. For big companies, this was the fast track to a monopoly. Make it too expensive for anyone to start their own business.

This worked so well that the process accelerated. Corporations made donations and soon owned or controlled many of the special interests. For example, alcohol companies donated money to Drunk Driving charities and were soon sitting on their boards of directors.

It gets worse. During times of economic downturn, big companies had their lobbying firms demand Congress for temporary exemptions from the regulations in order “to create jobs.” Such decisions were inserted into job stimulus bills that nobody even read.

Now, be patient, let’s jump to a parallel track, hang on, we’re getting there.

At the end of the Cold War. Thousands of spies were out of work. Major corporations all over the world snatched them up for pennies on the dollar. There were things they could do and technology that dazzled the civilian world.

Much of their work would have been illegal in the USA so it was perfected elsewhere but as it became the modus operandi for international companies and the public relations firms they hired, it soon back-washed home.

Within time, some of these overseas public relations firms were tapped to help run political campaigns. Again, much of it happened overseas, beyond the restraint of the U.S. Constitution.

In most countries of the world journalists could be purchased, stories could be fabricated and the former spies could create flawless disinformation.

After 9-11 all restraints were off. The curtain between the American government and the world’s global corporate giants came down. The American government needed information. The U.S. Constitution was in the toilet.

The Iraq War generated billions of dollars for private companies and was funded off the books by the Federal Reserve.

America descended into the second worse depression in world history. George W. Bush, a Republican president, nationalized the American banks. It was called socialism anywhere else in the world but we insisted that Bush was a “conservative.”

There was a massive transfer of wealth as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. It has continued nonstop through the Obama years.

Fast-forward to 2016. Here is Donald Trump, an outsider like Andrew Jackson, a businessman who makes public claims about being fair in business and trade, who calls out America for its bad deals, and calls our decision making “stupid.”

It has taken the nation’s largest companies years to get to this place that he calls “stupid.” They have a candidate in Hillary Clinton who will assure “stability.”

So this summer, get ready, they will crucify Donald Trump. But will he rise again?

NOTE: As an example of liberal bias, in 2008, the Democratic Party received donations of $1,020,816, given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks (NBC, CBS, ABC). Meanwhile, the Republican Party received $142,863 via 193 donations.


Presidents’ children at Harvard

May 2, 2016
I am getting a lot of press inquiries about children of presidents who went to Harvard University.  ( Joshua Kendall has found all 22 presidents’ kids who went to Harvard.  Here is the link.)
Start reading All the Presidents’ Children on Kindle right now.
#1) John Quincy Adams
#2) George Washington Adams (son of John Quincy Adams)
#3) John Adams, II (son of John Qujincy Adams)
#4) Charles Francis Adams
#5) Robert Todd Lincoln
#6) Ulysses S. “Buck” Grant.
#7) Birchard Austin Hayes (son of Rutherford B. Hayes)
#8) Richard Folsom Cleveland (son of Grover Cleveland)
#9) Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (son of Theodore Roosevelt)
#10) Kermit Roosevelt (son of Theodore Roosevelt)
#11) Archibald Roosevelt (son of Theodore Roosevelt)
#12) Quentin Roosevelt
#13) James Roosevelt (son of FDR)
#14) Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (son of FDR)
#15) John Roosevelt (Son of FDR)
#16) Caroline Kennedy (Radcliffe at Harvard)
#17) George W. Bush
#18) Malia Obama
Also, several have taught at Harvard.  For example, Herbert Hoover, Jr. taught briefly at Harvard Business School.

Malia going to Harvard

May 1, 2016

Whatever you may think of the President and First Lady, they have been outstanding parents, putting the lives of their children above politics. Recently announced plans for their daughter Malia are a good example.

The word is that Malia will have a year off before beginning her studies at Harvard in 2017. This will coincide with the post presidency of the President and First Lady and give the family time to adjust to a new life.

Presidents are notoriously bad parents.  Too severe or too indulgent.  Abraham Lincoln was estranged from his son and the White House servants were on edge when he visited from Harvard. Grant was typical of many presidents who indulge their children. It may have come from guilt for being away so much.

The Obama’s by contrast offer discipline and structure in the lives of their girls. Limiting the Internet and television, for example, while not hesitating to defy political theater by acting in their daughters’ best interest.

Liberal Democrats are champions of public education and for that reason, Jimmy Carter sent his daughter to public school.  Critics said Obama would be a hypocrite if he didn’t do the same but he and Michelle did what they thought was best for their girls and took the political heat, sending them to private schools.

They took them on foreign trips when it would make a difference and left them home when academic needs demanded it.

In contrast to the infidelities of many modern White House families, the Obama’s have given their daughters an example of a good marriage. In the long run it may be their greatest gift to the girls.

The inclusion of the grandmother in White House life was very important. I have interviewed 19 presidential children and almost all agree that they needed someone else – who was family – to help them but they didn’t get it.

When Mailia Obama enters Harvard in the fall of 2017, she will join a long list of 22 presidential children who followed the same path.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, followed in his father’s footsteps when attending the University but he took a circuitous route to get there. Homeschooled at a young age, he was taken to Europe with his father, who was representing the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. By the time he got to Harvard he could speak five languages. He graduated second in his class in 1787.

The sons of President John Quincy Adams tried their best to keep up. George Washington Adams needed special tutoring to get into Harvard. He would die in his twenties from what most historians believe to be a suicide.

His younger brother, John Adams II, became the next deadly focus of the family’s desire for performance. When Harvard invited President John Quincy Adams to speak at his son’s graduation he said he would not do so unless his son improved his standing.  The young Mr. Adams was 45th in his class.

The President refused to allow his son to come home to the family for a White House Christmas. Young Mr. Adams focused on his studies and improved to 24th whereupon his father announced he would not attend graduation anyway.

A few weeks later, John Adams II was seen drunk, racing across Harvard Yard in the nude. He was expelled. He would die of alcoholism in his thirties. His mother First Lady Louisa Adams would write, “Another child sacrificed on the altar of politics.”

In later years presidents tried to soften the blow of excessive expectations. Theodore Roosevelt once wrote his boys, saying that “each of my sons is doing or has done better than I was doing and had done at his age.”

But no matter how well intentioned he could not resist. “There is not leeway for the smallest shortcoming on your part,” he wrote Ted, Jr. before his exams at Harvard.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt would not win any awards for parenting. And their five children would pay the price for it. The five children of FDR would have 19 marriages between them.

James Roosevelt, the first son had a Harvard career described by the Los Angeles Times as “unbrilliant.” (August 13, 1938.)  While Doris Kerns Goodwin thought it was “brilliant.” (No Ordinary Time, p. 170).

James was caught up in many scandals but also served for six terms in the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, his brother Elliot flunked the Harvard entrance exam.

And finally there is George W. Bush. Who not only followed his father by graduating from Yale but picked up an MBA at Harvard as well.

The Obama’s represent a new time and a new family in the White House. And Malia represents the first daughter of a president to take on Harvard. We will all be wishing her well.

(Start reading All the Presidents Children on Kindle right now.)


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…

“Money.”

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?

Money.

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?

Money.

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.

atwater

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.


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