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Hullabaloo


Saturday, January 30, 2016

 
Inside Donald Trump's mind

by digby




















It's a creepy place:

NASHUA, N.H.— Donald Trump made his decision to start skewering Sen. Ted Cruz as his private jet was approaching here earlier this month.

“Ted is hanging around the top too long,” the Republican presidential front-runner announced on the plane, according to his campaign manager. “Time to take him down.”

Mr. Trump’s airborne verdict to strike at his closest GOP rival and a look at other decisions like it reveal a truth behind his famously pointed attacks: Mr. Trump, not his staff or consultants, personally drives them, and they are both calculated and improvised to adapt to news and polls, with little research or extensive prep work.

Mr. Trump proceeded to question whether Mr. Cruz’s Canadian birth disqualified him. A week later, he tore into the Texas senator about a loan he took from Goldman Sachs to finance his political career and about his notoriety as a Senate “nasty guy.” The onslaught seemed to stall Mr. Cruz’s rise in Iowa, where polls show Mr. Trump holding an advantage.

In a repeated pattern, Mr. Trump has fired personal attacks at rivals when they emerge as a challenge. While his attacks and policy pronouncements often appear to be off-the-cuff, hours spent interviewing Mr. Trump and watching him behind the scenes show how he plots them, most often alone in his jet as he flies to early primary states.
[...]

Mr. Trump flies the campaign trail with just a few senior aides. On a Jan. 18 flight to Concord, N.H., sitting in his cream-colored leather club chair at a pearlwood desk trimmed in 24-karat gold, he read and watched news reports on the race, jotting notes on his perceptions of candidates’ flaws.

Ten minutes before landing, he grabbed paper, scrawling five points—15 words—on what to say before his next adoring crowd. “I’m strategic, but trying to do the right thing and only saying what I have a very strong opinion on before going into battle,” he said on the plane. “Interestingly, people say that’s what everybody’s thinking but nobody wants to say it.”

His jotted items: “SELF-FUNDING SUPER PACS,” “NOW BLOCK SYRIAN REFUGEES,” “2ND AMENDMENT,” “HILLARY CLINTON A DISASTER,” “STOCK MARKET.”

At the event, he loosely followed his note, talking broadly and then returning to items on his list. After expressing support of the Second Amendment, he pointed out a few big men in the audience. “If we had you, and you, and you, with weapons, think how different the result would have been in Paris and San Bernardino.”

A key to his unscripted approach is his conversational style of speaking extemporaneously, incorporating the day’s news and gauging the crowd’s reaction. “Without a photographic memory, you can’t speak without notes,” Mr. Trump said. “My memory is one of the greats.”

Mr. Trump has shown a flair for touching the popular zeitgeist, such as in his position on immigration. But his campaign-by-counterpunch approach has critics charging him with eroding civility and raising the question of whether he has any positive message.

He drew new criticism for his weekend assertion in Iowa that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

“Trump’s style degrades people and public discourse,” said Pete Wehner, a former White House adviser and speechwriter for President George W. Bush. “His keen sense to go for the jugular and play to the Kardashian culture is effective, but dangerous for failing to offer a positive vision for the country.”

“I’m doing it from the heart—and the brain,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot of it resonates.”

He's a disgusting human being. But you knew that.

This is interesting, though:

He uncharacteristically used one scripted line, citing a Bible verse from “two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians,” drawing some chuckles from the audience. Back on his plane, an angry Mr. Trump reviewed his page of notes and saw he copied “2 Corinthians” exactly as emailed from Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who suggested its usage in the Liberty speech.

With social and cable media highlighting his gaffe, Mr. Trump blamed it on a momentary lapse of listening to someone other than himself. “I’m self-funding my campaign; no one can tell me what to say or do,” Mr. Trump said. “I do better that way.”

Mr. Perkins said: “I gave him the reference as you would find it in any English Bible.”

I don't know if he fully understood that Trump was completely illiterate about the Bible or if he did and trapped him into making that error. But he endorsed Cruz a few days later. Not that it matters. It turns out that Perkins' flock doesn't really care about the Bible. In fact, you have to wonder if they know any more about it than Trump does.

In his motorcade in Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Trump said he wasn’t deterred by charges he is running a negative campaign. “A lot of times I sound negative, but ultimately I’m positive,” he said. “ ‘Make America Great Again’ is a very positive campaign.”

Yeah, sure it is.

Trump is a thug. And that's what his followers love about him.

ICYMI: here's another look at the movie Trump suppressed for 25 years. Let's just say he lack character...




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