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Trump Playing A Part, But At Least He’s Practicing

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Trump Playing A Part, But At Least He’s Practicing

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on Super Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Donald Trump is living his word. His word often changes. But you can’t blame him for that. At the time he is giving his word, he means it.

And that is a politician’s definition of honesty.

Times change; circumstances change; life changes. And you can be a little baby (or news columnist) and whine about it, or you can be a politician and buckle down and do what people expect you to do, which is very little.

Paul Manafort, often described as the “ultimate D.C. insider” when he is not being described as a “veteran Washington fixer,” has been put in charge of the Trump campaign. The campaign recognized that Washington insiders have grown worried that Trump has forgotten just what role he is playing.

Trump started out as an anti-insider and an anti-fixer, so you can see why insider fixers have grown concerned.

Trump seems to have been carried away by the crowds who scream themselves silly when he attacks Washington and the way politics is conducted in this country.

The people who actually conduct the politics of Washington want to make sure Trump has not forgotten his most important role: to make sure nothing actually changes.

So Manafort went to Florida the other day to assure members of the Republican National Committee — the ultimate insiders and fixers — that they need not worry.

“That’s what’s important for you to understand,” Manafort told the group about Trump, “that he gets it and that the part he’s been playing is evolving.”

In other words, when Trump says he hates insiders and fixers, that’s just evolution. He doesn’t really hate them at all. It just depends on where he happens to be sitting.


“When he’s sitting in a room, he’s talking business,” Manafort told the group, a recording of which was obtained by NBC News. When “he’s talking politics in a private room, it’s a different persona,” Manafort continued. “When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose.”

“He gets it,” Manafort said.

Trump may get it, but I am confused as all get-out. When Trump is in a room, that’s business. When he’s talking politics in a private room, that’s presumably politics. And when he’s on the stage and on the stump, don’t worry about it, because he knows he is just talking to yahoos.

Or something.

Trump’s negatives, which are very high, will come down once Trump is no longer negative in his speeches, Manafort said. Hillary Clinton’s negatives, on the other hand, will not come down, because, according to one press account, they are “baked in.”

“The negatives will come down. The image is going to change. But Clinton is still going to be ‘Crooked Hillary,’ and that’s what you’re going to be seeing a lot more of,” Manafort promised the group.

Let us assume at this point that the audience members burst into wheezy cheers for this act of patriotism.

“He’s actually living his word, and that’s what the base that we are attracting to the Trump campaign is looking for,” Manafort said. “They’re looking for honesty, and they’re looking for consistency, and they’re looking for someone who does exactly what they say.”

But is that what Trump is really providing? Is it honesty and consistency?

And could any reasonable person expect Trump to do “exactly” what he says?

Let’s examine Trump’s most concrete (no pun intended) promise: that he would build an impenetrable wall on our border with Mexico.

I am willing to believe that Trump would try to build some kind of wall along some stretch of our border with Mexico, but then he probably would throw up his hands in frustration and blame Congress or the courts or Mexico or Democrats or some other evil forces blocking him.

After all, this huge wall would require the cooperation of Congress and environmentalists and immigration rights groups and all sorts of lawyers and agencies, and it would have to lead eventually to a favorable ruling by the Supreme Court.

How likely is that? And don’t forget that Trump promises he would somehow get Mexico to pay for it.

This is going to take more than Manafort has promised. This is going to take more than a “persona.”

This is going to take a magician.

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.


Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on Super Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio March 1, 2016.   REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk



  1. Dominick Vila April 27, 2016

    The media is missing the point. What is really important is not how Trump may or may not act if elected, but what is in his heart and mind. Looking at Trump’s birthirism, his calls for mass deportations and building Berlin-style walls, his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the USA, the insults directed at women, the threats against anyone who challenges or even dares to question his opinions, and the demeaning remarks he made about Sen. McCain, who was not even running for the nomination, tell us all we have to know about Narcissus, the Grand Bigot of 2016.

    1. FireBaron April 27, 2016

      Just a couple of comments on walls. The Berlin Wall was erected by the DDR to isolate West Berlin (US, British and French sectors) from East Berlin (Soviet sector). The problem is the airport was within the walls, so the only people West Berlin was isolated from were the people in East Berlin trying to join their families or flee to the West.
      Another great wall with unintended consequences was the Great Wall of China. Like the Great Mexican Wall of Trump, it was designed to keep the slavering mongrel hordes out. What it actually resulted in was practical Chinese isolation until the Mongolian invasion from their west. Their culture and society stagnated, and when the Mongols did take over, they adopted the similar isolationist policies until the West forced itself on them in the late 18th Century.

      1. CrankyToo April 27, 2016

        You’re missing the salient point regarding “walls”. They’re not meant to keep people in or out because, by themselves, they simply cannot perform that function. No wall ever constructed could keep a determined human being from going over, under, around or through it – especially one with tools.

        In order to be an effective deterrent, a wall needs to be complemented by ancillary components (i.e. human sentinels, sentry dogs, cameras, motion sensors, monitoring stations, electrifying devices, and the like). The cost of Trump’s wall would have to factor in surveillance means and measures, which would drive any perceived cost upward by an order of magnitude.

        Rather walls are intended to provide a line of demarcation – the crossing of which provides the basis for prosecution.

      2. itsfun April 28, 2016

        Obama is building a 11 foot wall around the WH to protect his family. Why can’t people in Texas and Arizona and New Mexico have a wall to protect their families. If walls don’t work why is Obama building one?

    2. docb April 27, 2016

      Listened to the speeches…this morning and his call-in to cnn…

      Was struck again at how stunningly inept and unprepared Trump’s remarks were.

      Forget the hate speech, the cant, the risible lack of knowledge of both foreign affairs and domestic ones, the paucity of details in any idea he floats, the complete lack of a platform (forget planks; this man is holding a splinter), the sophomoric name calling, the bullying, hectoring tone, pathetic ego (which speaks, ironically, to a colossal lack of confidence) the knee-jerk misogyny, the incessant sense of general nastiness he cannot stem or contain… forget them if you can or care to…but come back to this: Trump could not give a coherent or gracious “acceptance” speech. He meandered, railed, insulted, and waffled…over winning five states. Unreal.

      To call this man a disaster is dangerous understatement. It’s like a freak show in the making watching his march across the nation. If only I didn’t hear goosestepping in the background.

    3. itsfun April 27, 2016

      Everything you hate about Trump is what is making him so popular among his supporters. They see him as the anti-politician and the anti-politically correct. He already has over 100,000 more votes then Romney got. He is bringing out people that haven’t been in the political process for years.

      1. Dominick Vila April 27, 2016

        Not all Republicans support bigotry or isolationism. Many Trump supporters are convinced that he may be able to miraculously bring back the manufacturing jobs that have been outsourced during the past several decades. Short of giving the executive branch dictatorial powers, that is not going to happen. Our CEOs and large investors have been outsourcing jobs, and investing abroad, to take advantage of favorable labor conditions, and to expand market share. No president of the USA will take steps, bordering on Soviet style communism, to change that reality. In fact, we have been, and remain, the champions of free market and the global economy.
        Yes, a lot of people, especially those doing menial work for peanuts, and struggling to support their families, are angry and frustrated, but I am willing to bet that if asked, they would not endorse anti-capitalist measures.

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  2. The lucky one April 27, 2016

    Trump will continue to play the only part he has ever played, that of a narcissistic a-hole.

  3. yabbed April 27, 2016

    Trump is a goofball.


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