Thursday, April 21, 2016

Is Trump Reaching Out To The Establishment Or Is He Simply Using It To His Advantage?

Obama Caught Trying To Jump White House Fence...The Onion

Last year, I wrote a piece entitled, "Trump Is Water Skiing In The Wake Created By The Tea Party." At the time, I reported on the reaction of the political class to Trump's rapid rise in the polls. I also pointed out the same establishment types who attacked the Tea Party were attacking Trump.

Earlier this year, I followed that post up with "Trump's Appeal Should Surprise No One." While I pointed out he was not my first choice (I preferred Walker or Perry myself),  He was (is) brash. He refused to apologize. He's often been politically incorrect (a trait I particularly like) and his political sense was often pure genius. For example, prior to Super Tuesday, he received the endorsement of  Chris Christie. Of course, , he also recognized many Republicans despised the GOP establishment one of his favorite targets.

So that brings me to recent news.  Several weeks ago,  the Trump campaign hired an establishment insider, Paul Manafort.  He followed that with the hire of  political strategist Rick Wiley.  Both men have deep ties to the political establishment.  Both appear to be good at what they do----winning elections.  And let's not forget, Trump reached out to Paul Ryan last month. In fact, he said his telephone conversation with the Speaker of the House was "encouraging."

If we've learned anything about Trump, we know he's a shrewd businessman.  In addition, he's calculating politically. And we know---his supporters like Trump being Trump and not the classic politician.

Having said all of this and Trump's apparent reaching out to political operatives posses two questions:  Will he be able to retain his base after hiring two political operatives?   Or Is he simply using the political elite for his long term benefit?  I can't answer that. I doubt many can. As I've said of this campaign on several occasions, it reminds me of solving  Rubik's Cube.