Badly Blown Opportunity

In 1970 the musical group then known as the Chicago Transit Authority (now Chicago) had a hit, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is. With a little poetic license, that song reminded me of what I think has gone on in the Trump campaign over the last few days. This article is being written on Tuesday morning, predicting the occurrences of the entire day, for early Wednesday morning publication, but I’m willing to bet on the outcome already.


The publicity battles in today’s presidential campaigns are won one news cycle at a time. The goal of any campaign is to dominate as many of them as possible. The Republican Convention starts on Monday and will dominate the news next week – Trump has already won those battles.  (In what I think was brilliant move by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic Convention starts the next Monday taking away much of any bump Trump would have gotten coming out of Cleveland and should dominate this coming weekend’s news cycle.). Trump has one “ace” to play between now and Monday – naming his Vice Presidential pick; regardless of the quality of the pick, (more about that below), that news will dominate at least that day’ news cycle.


It has been known for several days that Bernie Sanders will endorse Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.  Without any interceding major news event, that will dominate Tuesday’s news cycle. Trump could provide the event by naming his Veep choice. The media would immediately make that story number one. I stayed up a bit later than normal last night waiting for a “leak” from the Trump camp. That never happened. I woke up a bit earlier than usual in anticipation of a Trump tweet. (One of Trump’s “strengths” is that he doesn’t sleep much and has stolen more than one news cycle by being the “early worm”.). Well, I could have gotten more sleep because I was disappointed on both counts.


Trump has been unpredictable to date and I won’t hazard a guess as to who he will pick. The leading choices in the rumor mill are Indiana Governor Mike Pence, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and retired Lt. General Mike Flynn. The thought that comes to my mind when pondering that sampling is: Does it really matter? You have a homophobic Governor of a state any decent Republican candidate should win on their own, the unpopular Governor of a state a Republican can’t win in 2016, a washed up politician with plenty of baggage whose “great achievement” in government was shutting it down because he didn’t like his accommodations on Air Force One and a retired general nobody ever heard of until a few days ago.


What’s the problem in the Trump campaign? Does anyone know what they are doing? Do they live in their own little “Yes, Mr. Trump” bubble obliviously to reality and the world around them? My guess is that there are one or two political pros who get outvoted by Trump and his equally politically ignorant family. Trump is not an administrator he is a dictator.


This is an omen of what a Trump administration would look like. Who cares if he botches a campaign America is better off if he loses? I do care if he messes up the country, the economy, the world or (more likely) all of the above. Trump’s success to date reminds me of my favorite quote from the late baseball great Leo Durocher: “I’d rather be lucky than good.” To date Trump has been very lucky!


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