The Domestication of Donald Trump Has Begun

From:,  by Isaac Chotiner,  on Apr 20, 2016,  see the article HERE.

Trump after NY victory

The media fell all over themselves to praise Trump’s new “presidential” tone.

“You heard Donald Trump tonight sounding … more presidential,” Megyn Kelly noted playfully on Fox News. You could tell he was presidential in his New York victory speech, she felt, because he did not refer to Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Everyone seemed to agree on this count. “I think one of the things that’s most significant,” GOP strategist Steve Schmidt was saying over on MSNBC, was that “it wasn’t ‘Lying Ted.’ ”

“Exactly,” said his co-panelist Nicole Wallace, also a Republican.

“It was ‘Senator Cruz.’ ”

“Yes,” Wallace said. “Yes.”

Among a great many other things, this election has given us a good measure of just how far we’ve defined down presidential. Trump may indeed have been restrained on Tuesday night in celebrating his predictable but impressive win in the New York Republican primary, but he was certainly not presidential. He did his usual shtick (albeit at shorter length), mentioned the great businessmen in the room with him, told a story about a developer friend (undermining him at the same time), and inflated the night’s actual primary results. His speech focused on, yes, our lost greatness. “We are going to be, legitimately, so great again, and I just can’t wait,” he said. Trump was Trump, give or take.

But it was clear Tuesday night that, with Bernie all but cooked and Hillary in need of anew foil, the narrative now demanded that Trump be a candidate transformed. There was nothing Trump could’ve done to change the story. He could’ve swallowed his tie on stage, and Chris Matthews would still have acted as if he’d seen the ghost of John Lindsay sitting in his green room. “And I think,” Matthews exulted, “that that’s going to be one hell of a general election campaign—with Trump starting out very behind and perhaps catching up to a very exciting conclusion.”

Schmidt said Trump’s speech showed a willingness “to address the temperament criticism. … You see a potent general election message.” On Twitter, the New York Times‘s Maggie Haberman, who has done extensive reporting on the Trump campaign, also noticed a new side to Trump, ascribing it to the influence of Paul Manafort, the GOP operative who has seemingly taken control of the ship.

Will any of this nonsense about the newly presidential Trump have an effect? Perhaps he will claw back a few wayward moderate voters in upcoming states, thanks to the friendly turn in media coverage, but the coverage isn’t going to help him beat Hillary Clinton in November. If he wants to do that, he is going to have to change his strategy entirely. Given that his strategy is an extension of his personality—given that his strategy is his personality–don’t count on it.

As it stands, should Trump get the nomination, Hillary Clinton would have the easiest path to the presidency imaginable: All she’d have to do is sit back and let Trump soak up the limelight. The problem for Trump isn’t simply that his policies are unpopular; it’s that people do not like him. His personality may appeal to certain segments of the electorate, but those groups combined don’t constitute a majority of Republican voters, let alone the general population. He is a fringe figure in every sense. (emphasis is Garnet92’s)

Still, you could see on Tuesday night the next step in the normalization of Donald Trump. Here was a new Trump, the TV people said. They knew all about the internal dynamics of the Trump campaign, how Corey Lewandowski had been supplanted as the brains of the operation. The “curated, Manaforted,” “on-message” Trump of Tuesday night was a manifestation of all that palace intrigue. To talk of a new Trump was to make a savvy, wised-up observation, even if it meant domesticating an American fascist.

“But the tone with Donald Trump tonight was so much more, so much more different than I had seen just a couple weeks ago,” MSNBC’s Trump reporter, Katy Tur, observed. “He came out, and he was gracious in his campaign speech. It was really short. It was concise.”

Why, he didn’t even call Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” she marveled. “He called him ‘Senator Cruz.’ ”


Apparently, Mr. Manafort has convinced Mr. Trump that he really did need to scrap The Donald 1.0 and upgrade to a 2.0 version, we’ll see how long this new found civility will last.

I can’t see Trump ceding his personality to Paul Manafort for an overhaul, he’s too egotistical and narcissistic to subvert his natural personality to something uncomfortably normal for long. The real test will be if he has allowed Manafort to take away his Twitter account. And how long can Donald refrain from blurting out “lyin’ Ted”? Will his vocal chords rebel if he’s asked to refer to Cruz as “Senator Cruz” more than once or twice? And if Manafort has told him that he must tone down the boisterousness and bragging, can he do it without exploding?

Stay tuned for the answers to these hair raising questions.





Categories: Political


5 replies

  1. Didn’t last very long. Last night he was back to calling Cruz a liar and Hillary crooked.


  2. It doesn’t say much for our country when a bloviating blonde gets praised for using common courtesy.

    The media is wetting all over themselves because he referred to Ted Cruz as senator instead of calling him lyin’ Ted, a term he should have been using all along. The author is right – we’ve defined down presidential, and along with that our manners and what’s accepted in polite society is gone too.


    • I guess, like Donald Trump, I’m not as smart as I thought I was, ’cause I just can’t figure out how libs and lefties think that dumbing down of everything is good? What’s accepted today is so much more impolite, more vulgar, more coarse, and when we conservatives point that out, we’re chastised as wanting to “live in the past.” Some things were far better “in the past,” than they are today. Presidential candidate demeanor is one of them.


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