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Donald Trump's Next Book: The Art of the Fine Whine

Friday, April 15, 2016

One of the fascinating aspects of Donald Trump's run for the White House is the aura of business acumen he projects as one of his greatest strengths.  He is never at a loss of words to describe his ability to always maneuver from a  position of strength to strike an agreement when he has the obvious advantage.  By his own admission he has a genius for being able to not only strike a deal where he is in a
win - win situation but to make the end result one where the other side always wants to come back for more.  There is a large segment of the population that still sits in awe of the successful business person with abilities to achieve high levels of success through a public persona that suggests a shield of invincibility all due to their own prowess and powers of persuasion.

According to the Donald his acumen and power to construct deals will be unmatched in contrast to a bunch of unimaginative and dull witted government bureaucrats not able to comprehend the power and strength of his abilities to conduct high level negotiations in a cut throat world of multinational deal makers.  They will fall to their knees in sheer bedazzlement at his ability to coerce reluctant and reticent lawmakers to come around to his agenda and beg for more.  This perceived aura is a common thread running through his supporters when you see them in interviews or panel discussions.  They feel he can achieve things no one else can while ignoring off putting characteristics that would spell certain doom for any other mortal denizen associated with public service through an elected office.  

This is where we come to the Donald's problem.  Over at Digby's blog, Hullabaloo, she has a great piece detailing Trump's sudden realization that maybe he isn't the man he thought he was dealing with people unaware of his powers and abilities.  It's suddenly becoming all to evident the tycoon who claims to be known for his genius at deal making is completely befuddled by a convoluted process with a labyrinth of rules and mechanisms for delegate selection:

[...]Donald Trump made it all the way to April of the primary season as front runner for the presidential nomination without being aware of [the GOP nominating process] says everything you need to know about his organizational acumen. It turns out that national politics isn't as simple as a branding deal with Macy's over ties and underwear. It isn't a Manhattan real estate negotiation either. But like so many wealthy men, he assumed that making all that money must make him a genius, so much so that he's capable of running the world by the seat of his pants.
To go a bit further there's more to it than his sudden discomfort from being in a position where he doesn't have the upper hand:
The Republican front-runner claims to be the world’s smartest businessman, a master at cutting deals and winning with his negotiating savvy. In recent days, though, he has been looking like a chump who bought property in Florida without reading the fine print stipulating the land was underwater and infested with alligators. Trump appears to have jumped into his campaign for president thinking all he needed to do was show up for the debates, call in to TV news shows and tweet out his random thoughts to a waiting world. Actually, thanks to the big boost he got from being a reality show celebrity, that approach did bring remarkable success in the early months of the presidential race.  Now, however, he is getting snookered in many states where the Cruz campaign is far better organized and knows how to exploit the delegate selection rules.

Since the early days of the primary calendar the Cruz campaign has been waiting for its moment to strike.  The Texas Senator patiently waited for caucus and primary states where the Trump campaign would be caught with its proverbial pants down with staff that were not only light in numbers but without knowledge of the ins and outs of that particular state's byzantine mechanism of delegate selection.   When Cruz's various state organizations pounced it was too late for Trump to react:
The Colorado system — precinct caucuses electing delegates to district and state assemblies, where they are selected for the national convention — isn’t undemocratic. But it rewards a different, more demanding and engaged sort of participation than a primary.  An accent on grass-roots organizing is not, by the way, a hallmark of establishment politics. In fact, it is the opposite. The classic conservative insurgent excels at organizing as a means to bypass the party’s gatekeepers and to make up for a lack of resources and media attention. Although the Cruz campaign is well-funded, it has the grass-roots DNA of this kind of insurgency, which it began as, and, in significant respects, still is.

Now Trump finds himself being defined not as the great deal maker with a wizard's touch and knowing smirk, but as the classic whiner who has managed to hone his high pitched complaint into the fine art of, "the whine."  As Rich Lowry over a Politico points out there is one more thing to add to the fact that Trump  has been put into a position where his failings in the primary process highlight how out of depth he is in the rough and tumble political world of grass roots campaigning: 
For all of Trump’s complaints, the nomination system was set up to favor the front-runner and get him over the top as soon as possible. It is a symptom of Trump’s weakness that, even as he romped through the first couple of months of the race and accumulated delegates out of proportion to his popular vote (about 45 percent of the delegates on 37 percent of the vote), he still might fall short of 1,237.

Over at Hullabaloo Digby puts a finer point on the optics for Trump and his veneer of invincibility and what it really means for his public persona:
This is an extremely important point. The rules were rigged. But they were rigged to favor Donald Trump. For a man who is selling himself as the greatest deal maker the world has ever known, he's having an awfully hard time closing one that was set-up for him to win from the very beginning.  So now he's claiming the election is being stolen.
As Trump has been perfecting his technique for the fine art of the whine the coup d'grace in all of this is his ability to readily admit to his penchant for doing just that, whine:
"I think [Rich Lowry] is probably right. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I'm not happy if I'm not winning. And I am a whiner. And I'm a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win," he said. "And I'm going to win for the country and I'm going to make our country great again."
Trump "The Great Deal Maker" isn't finished just yet.  He still may win even if he comes up short of the delegates he needs to win the nomination in Cleveland this summer.  Considering all that's  happened to date though one thing is clear no matter if he wins or loses:  his next book will no undoubtedly be a best seller as well -  "Trump The Art of the Fine Whine."