Does Donald Trump have governing on his mind?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Politico reports that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is reassuring party leaders that the GOP can control Donald Trump if he is its nominee because “it has tools Trump will need to use to win a general election—voter data and field, digital and media operations that a nominee typically inherits from the party infrastructure.”

This assumes that Mr. Trump wants to win the general election.

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Ask yourself what Mr. Trump would rather be doing on Wednesday, Nov. 9—putting together a transition team or appearing at an impromptu rally to denounce the Democrats for “stealing” the election? Would he rather be at a press conference fielding hostile questions about how he’s going to repair U.S. relations with all the countries he’s insulted during the campaign, or basking in the cheers of supporters who refuse to accept the Election Day outcome?

Mr. Trump has already practiced his “concession” speech by repeatedly accusing Ted Cruz of stealing a win in the Iowa caucuses. If the former “WrestleMania” star is the nominee (I’m still not convinced he’s inevitable, but we’ll find out next week), he will undoubtedly direct his campaign to put together talking points about illegal voter registration, media complicity in spreading rumors about him and “suspicious” election results. (Like the “mathematical and statistical impossibility” of Mitt Romney failing to get any votes in several Philadelphia precincts where all or almost all of the voters were black. Mr. Trump is not likely to believe it if heavily Hispanic precincts give him almost no votes.)

Conspiracy-mongering has, after all, a key part of Mr. Trump’s appeal at least since he raised his political visibility by waving around the discredited rumor that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf writes today that many of the leading voices of conservatism, including Rush Limbaugh and other talk-radio hosts, thrive by telling their audiences that they are being victimized by shadowy elites:

Limbaugh led his listeners to believe that the Republican and Democratic establishments are conspiring to destroy the last remnants of the America that was born at the Founding—that these elites have nearly completed their plot to have illegal aliens overrun the nation, steal elections for corrupt Democrats, and treat conservatives as state enemies.
 

Mr. Limbaugh and the like could certainly continue their crusades with Donald Trump in the Oval Office (but do they turn on him as a sell-out or charge the Republican-led Congress with plotting against him?), but it’s a lot easier to grow audiences and raise money when there’s a nefarious Democrat as president.

I’m not suggesting that Mr. Trump would intentionally throw an election. Based on his success so far, it’s quite possible he could spend an entire debate singing “What’s New, Pussycat?” and still have his supporters think he’s a political genius. But if I were House Speaker Paul Ryan, I wouldn’t be panicking about a President Trump coming up with a rival domestic policy agenda.

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Tom Maher
2 years 4 months ago
The author continues to be unable to deal with the substance and reality of Donald Trump's continued political strength and momentum. Trump has now won three significant primaries in a row by large double-digit margins with the support from all demographics groups. Trump is now getting more votes than the next two rivals combined and Trump is getting support in the mid 40s heading toward absolute majorities. Wishful scenarios that somehow a combined voting strength of all four of Trump's opponents will be consolidated into one opponent is fading away as Trump gains more support from the withdrawal of opponents from the race such as Jeb Bush. Trump's active opponents are losing support. Polls project that Trump momentum will continue into super Tuesday race in March where polls show Trump will dominate these primaries. As has been true for months Marco Rubio ,who has never won a primary, is expected to lose his home state of Florida to Trump and all other primaries. The author of this post may not like it but Trump is about to dominate the March primaries shutting out all rivals. Trump will likely gain in the month of March alone significant portion of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican Presidential nomination. Cruz and Rubio voting strength even in their home states are in question and in other states are in steep decline. The idea of a "brokered convention" , something that has not happened for decades, has no basis in reality given Trump's present strength and momentum and Trump's opponents lack of strength. Yes, Trump is on his way to winning the Republican Presidential nomination and will likely have a lock on the nomination by mid to late March given the rich number of delegates and primaries in March.
ed gleason
2 years 4 months ago
News is that veterans groups have not received Trump's fundraiser funds. For a casino operator to be a public 'welsher' he should know that's bad for business. Romney says Trump welshed on taxes too. Trumps refusal to give out his last few years of tax returns by lying about an audit which is 2014 taxes, tells us he is welshing now on the USA. A fraudulant con man has just killed the GOP....Watching GOP establishment types starting to go for Trump is a sickening. example of cowardess and self interest, Christie being the newest example. .
Tom Maher
2 years 4 months ago
Cruz's and Rubio's last minute desperate smears on Trump lack all credibility. Nothing new here. Jeb Bush spent tens of millions on petty attack ads attacking Trump. Trump in turn counter attacked Bush and gained votes while Bush, originally the front runner, was forced to suspend his campaign after losing most of his support and finishing in fifth or six place in the primaries with only low single digit percentage support. Cruz and Rubio attacks are being answered for the phony smears they are which will only further diminish Cruz's and Rubio's standing in the polls. We will see on super Tuesday, March 1st, a few days from now Cruz and Rubio losing to Trump by double-digit margins due to their personal attacks which lack all credibility and general lack of substance. Trump today exposed Cruz and Rubio as "lowlifes", "liars" and "frauds" they are and it will stick as many other failed candidates such as Jeb Bush have found out. Cruz and Rubio should know by now that smear attacks on Trump do not work and always badly backfire. Cruz and Rubio have effectively self-destructed their campaigns for the Republican Presidential nomination by these wanton attacks on Trump. Cruz and Rubio have badly damaged themselves with the voters for their false and indecent attacks on Trump.
MATTHEW SHADLE
2 years 4 months ago
You seem to be confusing whether a criticism of Trump has substance with whether his supporters care about it. The fact that a lot of people are following a con artist doesn't make it any less of a con.
Tom Maher
2 years 4 months ago
The primary results shows Trump's double-digit margin over Cruz and Rubio, shutting out Cruz and Rubio. Rubio in particular is unlikely to win any Republican primary. Both Cruz and Rubio are fading badly in the polls. Their campaigns are on life support and they are desperate the way Bush, Jindal, Pataki, and Graham were desperation and viciously personally attacked Trump without basis just before they suspended their campaigns. Rubio's vicious personal attacks on Trump calling Trump a "con artist' is a shameful defamation without substance or merit and unheard of over Trump's long 40 year prominent and highly successful business career. These personal attacks on Trump only demonstrates Cruz's and Rubio's desperate last minute effort to remain competitive with Trump but are in fact have already lost the nomination to Trump. The one good thing about their desperate defamations against Trump is that once Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination in the next sixty days Cruz and Rubio will not ever be considered for vice President or any other post in a Trump administration due to their lack of integrity, honesty and credible leadership.
ed gleason
2 years 4 months ago
Tom... And these Cruz and Rubio types will never be welcomed in Trump casinos.. DUH
Tom Maher
2 years 4 months ago
Donald Trump for several months now has regularly been asked who he would consider having as a vice President. Wisely he avoids any commitment or talk about vice- President since it is premature -- the Republican presidential nomination needs to first be needs to win 1237 delegates which will take several months even if everyone but Trump drops out of the race. However Cruz and Rubio will no longer have any chance of being considered for vice presidents as they once were several months ago. By the way talking about limited horizons Rubio has just declared that Donald Trump has no chance of winning the 1237 delegates needed. Rubio and the establishment Republicans are invested in the delusion that there will be a brokered convention.
L J
2 years 4 months ago
I am presently working through Armando Valladares book, "Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro's Gulag" (2001) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1893554198?keywords=armando%20valladares&qid=1456610619&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1 Mr Valladares tells how Cubans at the time Fidel took over with his "revolution" were enamored with Fidel. Anyone criticizing Castro was seen as a counter-revolutionary especially if they suggested that Fidel was a Communist. Mr Valladares spent 22+ years in prison for doing just that - he defended himself against his critics at the postal station where he worked that Fidel was a communist Fidel was a communist Donald and Hillary both remind me of Fidel: people taken up with them, no questions asked, and if anyone should criticize them, it was swift and severe repercussions. There is only one Lord and Savior. Hillary nor Trump (nor Castro Brothers) are the One
Vincent Gaglione
2 years 4 months ago
The Trump candidacy may very well become the impetus for the self-destruction and implosion of the modern Republican Party, an outcome greatly to be desired. He appeals to the basest political motives that the party has engendered over the past 30 years for voters - overt and covert racism and discrimination, pretended Christian values, a policy that promotes thoughtless strength, violence and war as the solution to every foreign policy problem, and domestic policies that favor business and the wealthy to the exclusion of the poor and middle classes. Of course, there has been one extraordinary result of his candidacy that had not previously been understood...he has exposed a true picture of the lack of core values of evangelical Protestants and Catholic conservatives. How any man could insult the Pope, who spoke to Christian teachings, as Trump did by calling him "disgraceful" without a response equivalent to outrage leaves me mystified!

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