April, 2016

How TV Created Donald Trump

Campbell Brown: “I really would like to blame Trump. But everything he is doing is with TV news’ full acquiescence. Trump doesn’t force the networks to show his rallies live rather than do real reporting. Nor does he force anyone to accept his phone calls rather than demand that he do a face-to-face interview that would be a greater risk for him. TV news has largely given Trump editorial control. It is driven by a hunger for ratings—and the people who run the networks and the news channels are only too happy to make that Faustian bargain.”

“Which is why you’ll see endless variations of this banner, one I saw all three cable networks put up in a single day: ‘Breaking news: Trump speaks for first time since Wisconsin loss.’ In all these scenes, the TV reporter just stands there, off camera, essentially useless. The order doesn’t need to be stated. It’s understood in the newsroom: Air the Trump rallies live and uninterrupted. He may say something crazy; he often does, and it’s always great television.”

Cruz Would Rather Lose Loudly

Rick Klein: “He’s pulled the goalie, flung the Hail Mary, started chucking a flurry of threes toward the good old basketball ring. Ted Cruz now has permanent company on the campaign trail – permanent so long as his campaign lasts. Choosing Carly Fiorina as his running mate is being cast as a desperate move, and it is. But at least it’s a move while he’s still playing the game. Combined with the odd alliance he formed with John Kasich, Cruz has sought to rest the entirety of his campaign on Indiana for a very good reason: a Donald Trump win there makes Trump’s path to the nomination a near-certainty.”

“The move is bold, and a little weird. But it’s a low-risk, high-reward scenario that acknowledges the reality of the next week and beyond. Fiorina sang a few notes in getting introduced, though her best tunes are aimed at both Trump and Hillary Clinton. Faced with the prospect of losing quietly or loudly, Cruz chose the latter – and to not be lonely. If he wins Indiana, choosing Fiorina will cast a new light on Cruz’s campaign and candidacy. If not, there’s more time to practice and-of-game strategy later.”

A Failed Pact Explains Why Trump Is Winning

Matt Bai: “Like Stalin and Churchill huddled over a map of Europe in 1944, Ted Cruz and John Kasich began a very odd week by announcing — publicly, for reasons known only to them — that they were divvying up the remaining primary states in order to maintain individual spheres of influence. Cruz would get Indiana (which is next to Ohio), while Kasich would get New Mexico (which shares a border with Texas). Super-logical.”

“Of course, primary voters — unlike, say, Polish peasants — tend to do whatever they want, so all this plotting didn’t exactly make Cruz and Kasich grandmasters of global domination. More like a couple of guys playing Risk in somebody’s basement… And like most games of Risk, the whole thing fell apart within a few hours, as both campaigns backtracked and said they weren’t telling voters in any state not to vote for their chosen candidates, exactly. They just weren’t telling voters they should vote for their chosen candidates, either.”

Just 5 Days to Stop Trump

First Read: “When Ted Cruz unveiled Carly Fiorina as his running mate on Wednesday, and when he struck that alliance/truce with John Kasich on Sunday night, they were from a position of weakness — not strength. The reason: If Cruz and the ‘Stop Trump’ movement don’t win in Indiana on May 3, they’re done. It’s that simple.”

“After Trump ran the table in Tuesday’s primaries, including getting at least 35 of the 54 Pennsylvania unbound delegates (and that number could go above 40), a win in Indiana — even by a single point — would put him on a glide path to 1,237 delegates. So those are the big stakes for next week’s primary in the Hoosier State. But you have to give the Cruz campaign credit: Given that must-win situation, they’re trying every trick in the book (early VP pick, alliance) to win. But when you throw that “Hail Mary” and the pass falls incomplete, the game is usually over.”

Latino Voter Registration Skyrockets

“Registration among Hispanic voters is skyrocketing in a presidential election cycle dominated by Donald Trump and loud GOP cries to close the border,” The Hill reports.

“Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, projects 13.1 million Hispanics will vote nationwide in 2016, compared to 11.2 million in 2012 and 9.7 million in 2008.”

Trump Wins Over Unbound Delegates In Pennsylvania

NBC News reached out to all 54 delegate winners after the polls closed Tuesday night. Interviews reveal that as of Wednesday afternoon 35 said they intend to support Trump on the first ballot at the convention — a number that could rise north of 40 when the final ten delegates are reached. Trump’s delegate haul is an impressive feat for the candidate who has largely ignored the convoluted and intricate delegate process.”

How Paul Manafort Can Reinvent Donald Trump

Franklin Foer: “Some saw the hiring of Manafort as desperate, as Trump reaching for a relic from the distant past in the belated hope of compensating for a haphazard campaign infrastructure. In fact, securing Manafort was a coup. He is among the most significant political operatives of the past 40 years, and one of the most effective. He has revolutionized lobbying several times over, though he self-consciously refrains from broadcasting his influence.”

“His work necessarily entails secrecy. Although his client list has included chunks of the Fortune 500, he has also built a booming business working with dictators… Manafort had a special gift for changing how dictators are beheld by American eyes. He would recast them as noble heroes—venerated by Washington think tanks, deluged with money from Congress.”

Kasich Campaigns in Indiana Despite Pact

“So much for John Kasich’s promise to give rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ‘a clear path in Indiana,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Ohio governor cancelled some public events after striking a deal with Mr. Cruz to cede certain states to each other, but Mr. Kasich still met privately Tuesday in Indianapolis with about two dozen convention delegates and other prominent Republicans. He also attended two fundraisers.”