Trump Brand: “Wild &Crazy” or “Spontaneous Truth Teller”
A struggle is taking place over the nature of the Trump brand.
Isn’t it too late to change the Trump brand? Hasn’t the 24/7 exposure to Trump already given people more than they need to know?
Yes and no.
Yes, they have all the sound bites and mental video clips necessary to form a first impression and then a powerful long lasting one. But, no, the interpretation and “spin” on what people have witnessed is underway. Every likely voter has seen video of Trump saying Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists, well except a few good ones, and voters have seen Trump say he knows more than generals. The question is whether this is proof of Trump being unfit because he is wild and crazy (Hillary’s interpretation) or because he is spontaneous and genuine (Trump’s interpretation).
Trump’s interpretation means that Trump could change and that the “reset” idea that is being promoted vigorously by the conservative media is plausible. Trump’s new campaign people are trying to sell a new version of Trump, an electable version. The struggle is over whether Trump is capable of change. If the crazy is hard-wired in, then no. If the crazy is just showmanship sloppiness, then yes.
Hillary is Hillary: locked in as a veteran successful practitioner of the American political system of politicians, interest groups, money, media, lobbyists. She succeeded inside the system, so she got rich. Hillary is trying to show Trump is locked in, too: a narcissist careless cruel rich boy bully. Here is a two minute movie clip from “Dazed and Confused”. It shows a teenage bully, getting his comeuppance. This is the Hillary campaign’s view of Trump: Click here: The Hazing Scene
In furtherance of this notion of wild and crazy Trump the Clinton campaign has put out this ad: Click here for 30 second ad: Wild Trump could start nuclear war
The Trump people are hard at work promoting the other case, Trump is moderating, that change is possible and it is really happening. It was just a phase. Yes, Trump will do mass deportation, but he is adding nuance he rejected in the primary season. The conservative press describes it as the new Trump, expressing the real Trump now unleashed by his new campaign staff. Firing Manaford was the big public event pushing the “reset” button.
The election campaign is not over and the results are not certain. I had suggested that Hillary do something big and dramatic to signal she can change: dispose of the Clinton Foundation. Now that Trump has suggested it this has gone from unlikely to impossible. This dramatic tactic only works for Hillary if it is her idea, not something she does at Trump’s demand. I see no plausible way for Hillary to push reset.
Meanwhile, Trump is making his move. But Hillary is not without tools of her own in the form of videotape of Trump, like that shown in the 30 second ad above. There is no problem finding clips of wild and crazy Trump.
So here is the battle. Hillary will say that videotape is proof positive exposure of the real Trump. And Trump will say it is all pretty much irrelevant because it is tape of the previous Trump, the one he has disavowed.
(This Medium article is from my daily blog: www.peter.w.sage.blogspot.com I try to be objective in describing what is happening in the campaign, informed in part by my having followed the various candidates up close in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, and Oregon. Check out the blog.)