Robert Draper | Donald Trump and the Fall of the Republican Campaign Guru

via The New York Times Magazine:


Strategy - Chess (200x200)Donald Trump and the Fall of the Republican Campaign Guru

by Robert Draper | March 15, 2016

As hapless as the news media and the Washington establishment have at times appeared as they flail about in the political tempest wrought by Donald Trump, there is another group in the 2016 election cycle that has come off looking at least as bewildered: the campaign gurus of Trump’s Republican opponents.

Since Watergate, each new president has been ushered in by his own personal Rasputin. Jimmy Carter had Hamilton Jordan, whose 80-page memorandum laid out the electoral pathway for the obscure Georgia governor. Ronald Reagan had Michael Deaver, whose acute understanding of campaign atmospherics would cause Reagan to be viewed as the father of the photo-op. George Bush had his alley-fighting operative, Lee Atwater; Bill Clinton had James Carville, the jut-jawed Cajun campaign veteran; George W. Bush had the ingenious and sharp-elbowed adviser, Karl Rove; Barack Obama had his digitally savvy campaign manager, David Plouffe. The Beltway has come to expect such savants and to confer on them a princely status.

Trump has laid to waste this tradition. If, as expected, he prevails in most of the primary elections tonight, the billionaire developer will most likely be the Republican Party’s nominee — and will have shredded a number of strategic master plans drawn up by his opponents’ well-paid advisers. And Trump will have accomplished this feat with a skeleton crew of largely unknown hired hands whose stated operating principle is “Let Trump Be Trump.” (Read More)


Read the full commentary at The New York Times Magazine




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