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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Trump, Russia and Other Nonsense

“As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”
—Donald Rumsfeld

Candidate Donald Trump was not given a snowball’s chance in hell by the political class when he announced his run for office. The smart money was on people like Jeb Bush. With a full slate of House and Senate races already in the pipeline, Trump had few options available in terms of available personnel when his campaign started picking up traction with voters. The top tier political consultants and more experienced people were already committed to other campaigns. Trump was at a disadvantage in terms of traditional campaigning. Thankfully for him, he was willing to spend his own money to make-up the difference in media buys.

For a while, this served him well but he had huge holes in his organization as he entered the spring of 2016. In many cases, he was left with a combination of inexperienced or disreputable people to run his campaign. Roughly speaking, these folks could be called the “bottom feeders” of the political world.

Such was the case in California. Trump basically had a choice of two consultants to choose from when he began gearing up his California operation. If you recall, it was looking like Trump might need the delegates from the winner-take-all state of California to seal the nomination against Ted Cruz. Trump’s California choices were folks with availability to work for him because they had losing records in running statewide campaigns.

If you apply this personnel deficit on a national scale, you might start to understand why Trump kept changing personnel throughout the campaign and during his first few months in the White House. In fact, even as recently as last month he is still changing people faster than the Senate can confirm them.

The special prosecutor and indictments that were unsealed don’t lead to Trump as the author of any wrongdoing.  The wrongs alleged in the indictment dates back to 2014 and even before; long before Paul Manafort was on Trump’s payroll. The media is still stuck on their Russia narrative but the facts lead elsewhere. Assuming this prosecutor is an ethical guy—which I know is a charitable gesture, if your last name is Clinton or Podesta, you might want to “lawyer-up”.  Trump will survive this sideshow and Hillary will fade away if she knows what’s good for her. 

Addendum
I was contacted by the Sith Lord who shed some more light on the reason that Donald Trump hired Paul Manafort in the first place.

If you recall, as the Trump campaign was winning various state primaries, Ted Cruz supporters were systematically trying to highjack the delegate selection process to get Ted more delegates than he was winning at the ballot box. By doing this, Ted was boosting his delegates in many states with more relaxed systems of delegate selection. Their goal was to deny Trump an outright victory on the first convention ballot and force a brokered convention where Cruz hoped to pick up more supporters in subsequent ballots. Some Trump delegates were actually Cruz supporters that would then be free to vote for Ted after the first vote. Many Establishment types were also hoping for a brokered convention where they planned to dump both candidates and bring in someone like Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney.

It was because of this possibility that Manafort was hired. Per the Sith Lord, Manafort was instrumental in the last brokered convention where he flipped delegates from Reagan to Ford at the 1976 Republican National Committee Convention. Manafort was the “enforcer” for Gerald Ford making offers that delegates simply couldn’t refuse.

As the likelihood of a brokered convention fight between Cruz and Trump dissolved, so did Manafort’s influence in the Trump campaign. He lingered long enough to help with the transition into the White House and then Manafort and Trump parted ways.

Posted by william on 11/01 at 03:40 PM
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