Mmmmmm…. what’s that smell? Oh yeah, the silly summer season of Presidential Politics is upon us.
When Donald Trump began talking about running for President, yet again, in this cycle, I knew he would get in. Why? Jeb Bush.
Make no mistake about this— Donald Trump isn’t running for President. No, he is running against Jeb Bush. All of this immigration, Mexican rapists, John McCain hoopla is just a sideshow.
Donald Trump isn’t dumb. He knows that, in order to make it onto the same debate stage as Jeb Bush, he has to score in the TOP 10 candidates in national polling leading up to the debate. In order to accomplish that goal, any candidate has to attract attention, drive the national discourse and drown out the other 89 voices that are running for the Republican nomination.
The best way for a Donald Trump to do this? Use your biggest asset: your mouth. Sure, Trump is a blowhard. Sure, Trump is an egomaniac. Sure, Trump might even be a jackass, like Senator Lindsey Graham said. But there’s one thing that nobody is giving him credit for— you don’t become a billionaire by being a bozo when it comes to brains.
To bridge the gap between his official entry into the race and the debate stage, Donald Trump knew he would have to create a sideshow atmosphere. Throw some verbal bombs. Begin some attack politics. Name-calling. And, of course, feed off of this very real anti-Washington rage that fuels a healthy percentage of the electorate. Add all of this up, and you’ll get a podium on that debate stage.
And why does Donald Trump so desperately want a spot in this first debate? Trump has never been a fan of the Bush family. He has said that George W. Bush was the worst President we’ve ever had. Trump has called the war in Iraq a huge failure and a giant mistake. If you look at Trump’s own finances, you can clearly see that his own wallet took a serious hit in the Bush years. We little minions weren’t the only ones that felt the Bush economy.
Donald Trump doesn’t want to see another Bush Presidency. And, for reasons that should be clear to all of us, he doesn’t trust the other Republicans running for President to defeat Jeb Bush. So, if you’re a billionaire with a big mouth, with some money to burn, what are you gonna do? Make an investment in your own future by knocking out the guy that you see as being bad for your business.
If I were one of the other Republicans in the race, I’d sit back and watch the show. Donald Trump is going to be in attack mode on that debate stage in Cleveland. And his bullseye is going to be squarely on Jeb Bush. The other guys can sit there, let Trump do the dirty work, not get their hands dirty… and the damage will be done.
Yes, Jeb Bush has to know these attacks are coming. But how on Earth do you prepare for a candidate like Donald Trump? Answer: You can’t. Because he’s not a real candidate. So Jeb will be caught off guard and his candidacy will suffer.
Beyond all of this… let me remind you of something: at this point in the 2008 Republican nomination contest, John McCain’s campaign was imploding in a burst of sheer panic. Advisors were resigning. Organizers were being laid off. The candidate was flying coach. Even Ron Paul’s campaign had more cash on hand. Every single pundit declared that McCain was finished. He went on to win the Republican nomination, sewing up the needed delegates soon after Super Tuesday.
So anything can happen. I just can’t wait for that debate.
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