The Trump 1.0 juggernaut rolled through a Primary Election field of 16 GOP candidates so fast they still likely don’t know what hit them. Give Mr. Trump credit, he tapped into the emotions, sentiments, and frustrations of a lot of angry voters. He heard them, and he fed them the simple, unvarnished red-meat truth’s they wanted to hear. I didn’t approve of or think he would succeed with his methods lacking civility, and devoid of respect for others, but you can’t argue with the results. As a lifelong Conservative and Ronald Reagan Republican, I watched with dismay as Mr. Trump broke Ronaldus Maximus’ 11th Commandment. “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”. He broke it not just once or twice, but over and over again, and debate after debate. Trump was a serial 11th Commandment sinner. I wondered how this tell-it-like-it-is unfiltered Populist approach so enthusiastically embraced by the anti-establishment, Obama-weary and fed up Primary electorate, would play out during the General Election. How would Mr. Trump’s support within the various factions he tapped into coalesce? Would it be possible without the usual balm of unity being applied to the minor Primary Election cuts and scrapes; in contrast to the gaping wounds and bruised egos that Trump left in his Primary wake? Typically the party unified with forgiveness and graciousness by the vanquished foe(s) behind the victor and the prospective nominee for the General Election. I didn’t see it happening in this election cycle, not with Mr. Trump 1.0
There were images of the angry GOP faithful burning their Voter Registration Cards in protest even as the last gasps of the Cruz, and Kasich campaigns were being taken. The words #NeverTrump became a twitter era protest and a not so veiled threat for a movement to block him at a contested convention as disgruntled Conservatives lashed out in disbelief and frustration as the inevitability of a Trump nomination became apparent. In their eyes Trump the usurper, had seized control of their Party in a coup d’ etat; and they were determined to stop it. So as the Primary season ended, and the Convention neared with his magic number of delegates in hand, Trump needed to reboot and think about the General Election. Trump needed a winning strategy to defeat his likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton; if he was to succeed with his campaign slogan to “Make America Great Again”.
Trump first had to deal with his unfinished business within the GOP. He would need donor support during the General election that he had eschewed during the Primary election. A difficult task as many within the establishment had opposed him bitterly in the Primary campaign and were wary of his abrupt style and caustic manner. Furthermore with Trump largely self-financing his Primary campaign, he hadn’t solicited their support. They were accustomed to candidates approaching them and asking for support. Trump was a different story. Trump would need to adjust and change strategies necessary to raise the large donations needed in a General election, gaining the confidence and support of big and small donors alike. Trump also knew with Hillary’s fundraising advantage, and lockup of the nomination, he would need to do so very quickly. He would need to assuage the hard feelings of the grassroots base of the GOP. He would need to mend fences with GOP leadership; starting with Speaker Paul Ryan, who had held his cards tightly to his chest in withholding his personal Endorsement. They met, discussed the issues, and I am sure after Speaker Ryan offered his advice and counsel candidly and conditionally about how to improve his campaign and methods; the Speaker gave his blessing and support to the Trump candidacy. Job 1 done, check.
Trump wasn’t perfect launching Trump 2.0. Trump botched remarks when his filter failed him again about a Mexican-American Judge considering the Trump University lawsuit. Trump suggested he recuse himself for bias. Dumb. The opportunistic Lamestream media pounced, and Trump’s polling numbers began falling at an alarming rate. Trump knows polls. Trump lives for polls.For Trump, polls are a daily indicator of political success just as money and profit is a measure of business success.
Mr. Trump would need to make communication changes in his campaign, especially in his press messaging, (somebody please relieve him of his twitter account, and device), he started right away on press/media relations. . He reached out to end his feud with Megyn Kelly and Fox News to make amends for his earlier Trump 1.0 debate gaffe. Job 2 done, check.
He would need expertise and gravitas to launch his General Election effort. Enter the new blood. Experienced GOP Campaign operative and manager Paul Manafort with all his connections. Job 3 done, check. Corey Lewandowski, “You’re Fired!” Job 4 done, check.
Manafort worked quickly to temper and mute Trump’s speeches, careful not to diminish the directness of his thoughts and ideas, but putting forth a kinder, gentler, more Presidential and thoughtful Trump.
When President Bill Clinton was caught in an early July, half hour meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch aboard her Jet on the tarmac at the Phoenix Airport in a remarkable coincidence where their planes just happened to nearly collide taxiing, the purported subject matter when their tryst was discovered and exposed, was ‘ Grand kids and Golf’. Of course it was! Who could question President Bill Clinton’s truthfulness? They insulted everyone’s intelligence, especially the press, and the American voters. American’s didn’t like it and Trump didn’t either. The 1.0 Trump would have come out in a furious and overdone fashion. Trump 2.0 contained himself from his usual anger and delivered remarks that were somber, lamenting “how sad it was the country had come to this” and then logically suggested AG Lynch should recuse herself from the Email Scandal case and indictment decision just as many liberals concluded the very same. His actions and statements were clear, reasonable, and were mirroring the conclusion that most Americans were arriving at; the Bubba Clinton/AG Lynch meeting signaled that the ‘fix’ was in.
Then less than a week later the FBI released their recommendation of no charges. Good news for Hillary? Bad news for Trump? Hold on. Comey’s Press Conference came with a lengthy and damning condemnation by FBI Director Comey that dressed Hillary down publicly for her lack of judgement, veracity, and absolute stupidity for her crimes. Trump respectfully called into question the decision by the FBI/DOJ. He criticized Hillary’s actions, manipulation of the disparate legal system, and the systemic cronyism that protects elites from the rule of law. He questioned and challenged her ability to assume the duties of Commander in Chief; let alone receive Intelligence briefings. Trump was spot on with the pulse of Americans. A Washington Post/ABC News Poll suggested that only 37% agreed with the FBI decision not to indict Hillary. The majority thought charges should be brought, and that basically Trump was right, the fix was in, and it was more of the politics as usual that Trump was determined to end. The hit in the polls for Hillary was significant, but more was yet to come.
The horror of the Dallas Police attacks broke the news cycle on the FBI non-indictments of Sec. Hillary Clinton. The manner in which they were addressed by both candidates was very revealing to the American voter.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Strike Different Tones After Dallas Shooting – The New York Times
“We must stand in solidarity with law enforcement, which we must remember is the force between civilization and total chaos,” Mr. Trump said in a video statement that his campaign released to TV networks on Friday evening. He also alluded to the two black men, Alton B. Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., who were killed by white police officers this week. “Every American has the right to live in safety and peace,” Mr. Trump said. “We will make America safe again.”
Mrs. Clinton praised the Dallas officers and called the attack “an absolutely horrific event.”
She promptly brought the conversation back to the shootings of Mr. Castile and Mr. Sterling, which were recorded in graphic videos that reignited outrage and debate over the treatment of black men by white police officers.
“We’ve got to do everything possible to support our police and to support innocent Americans who have encounters with police,” Mrs. Clinton said. She vowed to fight “systemic racism” in police departments and to better train law enforcement officials and integrate them into the communities they serve.
She also called on white Americans to empathize with African-Americans who live in fear of clashes with the police. “We’re the ones who have to start listening to the legitimate cries that are coming from our African-American fellow citizens,” Mrs. Clinton said.
Hillary basically said we have to keep the “systemically racist” Police from shooting innocent blacks so other blacks won’t kill police. Really? Four words of concern devoted solely to the murdered Dallas Police officers and then a sermon about how racist they are/were? She went on later in the week giving a speech in Portsmouth, N.H. to include Dallas in her list of tragedies with Orlando, and Sandy Hook about the need to stop these murders by taking guns off our streets; not the criminal trigger pullers. Trump gets the concerns and angst of most American’s. Hillary panders to special narrow interests. Thus, the polls rise some more for the trailing Trump 2.0
Then comes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s idiotic comments about Trump and his potential election, and how horrific and unimaginable a place America under Trump would be. Trump 1.0 would come out swinging a bigger stick in retaliation. But this is Trump 2.0. He intelligently and respectfully raised hard questions of ethics, impartiality, and duty by Justice Ginsburg without the personal animus of Trump 1.0 Because of Trump’s legitimate and measured response even the N.Y. Times and scores of Liberals and judicial experts couldn’t suffer Justice Bader Ginsburg’s comments and ironically side with Mr. Trump in questioning Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s place in publicly commenting on a political campaign or candidate in violation of judicial ethics. In a matter of days, Justice Bader Ginsburg issued an official apology stating her comments were ‘ill-advised’ about Trump and his campaign. Another rise in the polls for Trump 2.0 and now, he leads 44% to 37% heading into the GOP Convention where he can expect to come out with an even greater “bounce” upward in the polls.
See the trend here? Watch Trump 2.0 closely under the intense media and party scrutiny of the GOP Convention this week. I see a change already; a positive change. Is he Born again? I don’t know for sure, but he is changing. An old sage once said when a man becomes Saved, even his dog should see the change. I don’t know if Trump has a dog. But I am watching and I notice a change.
Trump just announced Gov. Mike Pence as his V.P. running mate. Another good move and choice. With Pence as his running mate he selected a popular Conservative and successful Governor. Trump signaled a willingness to surround himself with experienced, competent, leadership. Trump also made it clear that he didn’t want a “Yes Man” agreed with him on all issues. His choice mirrors the fact that many in the GOP won’t agree with Trump on all issues. Trump’s choice affirms magnanimity in temperament; Mike Pence has had many high profile disagreements in the past with Mr. Trump on issues, policy, and Trump’s comments; he had criticized Trump 1.0 strongly. The Trump 2.0 choice is symbolic of the greater unification the party going into the Convention. He is saying, come together, find points of agreement, get our own House in order, then march off to do battle with Hillary. He is suggesting the prior criticism that penetrated his thin skin, and brought a knee-jerk, escalated reaction from Trump 1.0 is being replaced with thick Elephant hide for 2.0 going into the GOP Convention. Trump is showing that he can learn from others, respect other points of view, and doesn’t have to hold grudges that could prove harmful to his election and governance as President. I like what I am seeing. I think voters and Americans are starting to also. Trump is shoring up support within the GOP with 80% saying they now support him in the latest Rasmussen poll. He is pulling a lot of Democrats from Hillary as a lower percentage of Democrats support her than Trumps GOP supporters. I don’t think it is entirely self-inflicted by Hillary’s email server scandal either. This candidate is learning, adapting, and improving. I hope it is with sincerity and the purposeful realization of the earnest and sobering responsibility he is undertaking for Americans. Trump didn’t have me at Hello, but Trump is growing on me. I hope the “never” crowd takes heed, for the sake of our Children and Grand Children we cannot afford to lose this Election . Before the “#neverTrump crowd sit the election out, write-in a failed candidate, or vote for Hillary Clinton; they need to check off the issues down the llist…. Sanctity of Life, Economy, National Defense, Fighting Terrorism at Home/Abroad, Trade, Illegal Immigration/Border Security, Supreme Court/Judicial nominations, Tax Policy, Spending Policy, 2nd Amendment Freedoms, Religious Liberty, and reconcile the positions of Hillary and Trump, against their own. If that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. I know this life-long GOP Conservative will be voting for Trump 2.0