The Magnanimous Showman

One thing I can concede about Donald Trump is that he is probably the world’s greatest living expert at creating and garnering attention.  He can’t help it, (to borrow a tag line from recent GEICO commercials) it’s what he does.

Look at how he campaigned.  There wasn’t a Sunday morning when Donald Trump was not a guest on, or phoned into, or tweeted, or was a major topic of discussion on Face the Nation or Meet the Press or on PBS Newshour’s Friday Shields & Brooks segment, and many other network shows.  He would refuse to disavow the KKK, or American Nazi organizations, why?  So people would talk about him and ignore his opponent.

He “trumped” up ridiculous allegations against the Gold Star family of a Muslim American military hero who gave his life for his country.  There was not one main stream media outlet that wasn’t covering every word Trump said as he not only defended his false accusation (and don’t kid yourself, he knew it was false), but he doubled-down on it.  He made several outrageous statements that were vilified by Republicans and Democrats.  Everyone was talking about how foolish he was to attack a flag-wrapped target.  His reaction?  Double-down.

Why?

Donald Trump knows what the great 19th Century showman and quintessential self-promoter, P.T. Barnum knew, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”  Before long, the entire election process was centered on Donald Trump.  People who normally didn’t appreciate Presidential Campaign debates because they pre-empted their favorite shows tuned in to three debates that he allegedly lost, just to see and hear his latest insultingly outrageous behavior and claims.  The Donald’s face under his red hat was constantly front and center in the media, the same media he charged was favoring his opponent.  Masterful, really.

Hillary Clinton never figured him out. Her strategy was to just let him self-implode with his never-ending insults, tweets, rude behavior, and alienation of major voting blocks.  In effect, her campaign centered on him, just as he’d hoped.  By responding to or highlighting his antics, she gave him more air time.  She framed and conveyed her positions on issues always in contrast to his points of view.  She cast the spotlight on Trump, and he performed a song and dance that will be marveled at for as long as America’s history matters.

Now that he’s been elected, don’t expect him to change.  Like I noted earlier, “it’s what he does.”

I played into his hands a few days ago when I blogged Donald Trump: Part-time President of the United States in response to his announcement that he saw no conflict of interest in continuing to run his business empire while President.  I should have known.  His position was outlandish and in direct conflict with history and the spirit of our Democracy.  Yesterday, he said he will make an announcement in the coming days that he has decided not to run The Trump Organization while President but will, instead, focus all of his attention on governing the U.S.A.

Doggone it.  He did it again.  I am not aware that any prior President-elect ever made an issue in his transition process (or any other time) about keeping his day job.  Outrageous news.  Okay, now he has decided that the Presidency will require his full attention (really?) and so he makes an announcement that he will be making a future announcement that he has decided not to keep his day job while in office.

He is taking three bites of an apple that never existed before.  Outrageous statement, announcement of a future announcement, and the real announcement that he’s changed his mind.  And the media?  Right with him every step of the way.  Masterful.

He was going to prosecute Hillary Clinton.  He changed his mind, she’s suffered enough. How magnanimous.  He was going to keep his day job.  He changed his mind, the nation needs him.  How magnanimous.

The pattern is clear.  It is going to be an interesting and likely very confusing four years.  That’s just what he craves.  Always keep them guessing and off balance.  Be unpredictable, own the spotlight.

Donald Trump’s single greatest fear is that he will be ignored.

He can relax, there is very little chance of that.

Published by

Jim

Baby Boomer, Born in 1951 in Stamford, CT (Had no choice) Public Schools: Springdale Elementary, Dolan Jr. High, Stamford High - Class of 1969 (Solid public school education) Parents: James Frederick Ash (1921-1965) and Dorothy Johnson Ash (1923 - 2011) (Dad died too soon, Mom suffered too long without him) Attended Virginia Polytechnic Institution - 1969-70 (A big mistake) Graduated Central Connecticut State College (now University) 1970-73 B.S. English Secondary Education and Philosophy (double major) cum laude Fairfield University 1977-80 M.A. Corporate and Political Communications Married 1974 to Doris Mae Plourde, Brunswick, ME (Still married. Who knows, might last after all) English Teacher at Stamford High 1974-79 (In the days of Welcome Back Kotter - my students actually called themselves "sweathogs") Changed Careers and Became a Father in the Same Week, September 1979, Daughter Lauren Diane Father again, February 1983 Son Thomas Carl Client Communications Specialist, Marsh & McLennan, Incorporated, New York 1979-96, left as Managing Director Managing Director Communications - Strategic Account Management (SAM) Aon Risk Services, New York 1996-2005 (Recruited from Marsh) Director Client Communications, Integro Insurance Brokers, New York, 2005-07 (Recruited to help launch start up brokerage company - Fun!) Semi-retired to Orrs Island, Harpswell, ME 2007-15 (My "hermit" period) Grandfather as of December 2014 (The hands-down best job I've ever had!) Co-owner with Doris of the world's most spectacular dog, Charley 2010 (He's the absolute best) Retired, Westport, CT 2015 to date ( Survivor, (so far) Hit by car 1956 Coronary Angioplasty 1998 World Trade Center Disaster 2001 Prostate Cancer 2005 Double By-pass Surgery 2015 Malignant tumor on left kidney - kidney removed, tumor and all 2018 Lifelong Liberal Democrat (One of two in all of Marsh. Fortunately the other one was Chairman) Decent sense of humor (Would be better without the puns I'm told) Blogger (e.g., a writer without any other outlet) Friend of many Enemy of few Not as boring than as this summary might indicate

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