By ann summers
Gonna be winning for The Donald, regardless of the 8 November outcome.
Turning his attention to Mr. Rubio, whom he calls “Little Marco,” Mr. Trump spelled out his preferred nickname: “L-I-D-D-L-E. Liddle, Liddle, Liddle Marco.”
“You know, you have to brand people a certain way when they’re your opponents,” Mr. Trump said, before relishing in perhaps his most devastating description of this election cycle — calling Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, “low energy.”
“Like Jeb Bush — we call him low energy, low energy,” he continued. “And I don’t care talking badly about him. He spent $29 million in negatives on me, $29 million. Can you believe it? Of other people’s money. Of his lobbyist and his special interest money.”
Finally, Mr. Trump concluded his education interlude.
“But you’ve got to brand people,” he said, going on the describe the original Republican field. “So we started off with 17 people who were up on this stage, and what the hell did I know about this stuff? I’ve never done this before, right? So we start off with 17 people, now we’re down to four. Bush was favored, then Walker was favored, then another one was favored, they’re all favored.”
“Now,” he finished with a flourish, as the crowd roared, “Trump is favored.”
What can marketing and communications professionals learn from all of this? Without advocating for or against any position or candidate, campaign watchers can all learn from (and be entertained by) brand lessons gleaned from Trump’s candidacy.1) Define your narrative or someone else will2) The importance of being authentic to your brand3) Don’t try to mimic other brands4) Once you find your voice, people pay attention5) A good brand strategy is about inspiring the future, not reliving the past6) Don’t over-extrapolate short-term success in niche markets by projecting it onto the broader market7) A successful brand is usually measured by its staying power with the customers who matter most8) Know when to exit an unfavorable market
Will the Trump presumptive pivot look like a divot.
We khow tRump simply cannot walk back all the stupidity The Donald has spewed, but remember that it is quite possible for Democrats to screw up those opportunities, recalling the POTUS campaign failures of Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale…etc.
Triangulation can cut many ways when improperly executed as we discovered in 2000 and 2004 and again at the district levels in 2010 and 2014 with even higher problems of the incipient racism of US elections as well as residual blue-doggism.
A Trump pivot seems to be an impossibility and given the GOP’s ideological fracturing, the GOP RNC in Cleveland should be inherently crazy. This will not unfortunately drain the Koch financial juggernaut as that money might go to more RW down ticket races rather than try to help pull the Trump free media train, even as Trump has expected the GOP to cough up their share after his primary self-funding.
But now, according to campaign adviser Paul Manafort, Trump will demonstrate “more depth,” show that he is “evolving” and change “the part that he’s been playing.” The campaign has promised to hire speechwriters and Trump is practicing on a teleprompter in his office. “At some point,” says Trump, “I’m going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored.”
In the Trump pivot, he may move right, or left, or some incomprehensible combination of the two. (How many supporters of Planned Parenthood have the immediate instinct to punish women who have abortions?)
Lacking a political philosophy, the reactions of any given day are uncertain. Trump is the quantum candidate: You can know his position on an issue, or the date on a calendar, but it is impossible to predict both at once.
The concept of a general election pivot — that candidates can shed extreme and divisive statements and policies as they move from partisan primaries into the general election in order to appeal to a wider swath of the electorate — is at best an exaggerated phenomenon. In the case of Donald Trump, it is an impossibility.
Trump’s conservatism is not based on a set of policy positions that can be slightly modified or added to in order to make them more palatable. His campaign was born in the fringes of the conservative movement.
- The American public’s memory might be short, but they will not forget that Trump’s presidential campaign is rooted in the birther movement and his doubts about the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate.
- Trump launched his campaign with a racist attack on Mexican immigrants claiming they are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
- He cannot moderate his proposal “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
- And Trump cannot force the public to unremember the plethora of sexist statements he has made, from denigrating Carly Fiorina by stating, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” to his sexist attacks Megyn Kelly.
Trump’s controversial statements were not random or an accident. They were designed to curry favor with the far right. In early April Gabe Sherman reported in New York magazine that the Trump campaign’s communications efforts began with a study of what appealed to the conservative radio audience.