Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues

I haven't had time to listen to the entirety of the Charlie Sykes interview of The Donald, but from all reports it didn't go well for Trump. There are links to the audio of interview all over the place, but I haven't been able to find a transcript yet. Patterico has a few quotes:
“Is this your standard?” Sykes asked. “That if a supporter of another candidate, not the candidate himself, does something despicable that it’s okay for your personally –a candidate for president of the United States– to behave in that same way? I mean, I expect that from a 12-year-old bully on a playground. Not someone who wants the office held by Abraham Lincoln.” 
“I did a retweet,” Trump said. “And it was art by someone else.”

“Your wife is a beautiful, classy woman, why can you not say the same about Ted Cruz’s wife?” Sykes asked.

[*I don’t know Ted Cruz’s wife. I’m sure she’s excellent though. I don’t know her, but you know, all this was was a response to what he did.]

In response, Trump explained that his decision to tweet the photo of Cruz’s wife grimacing was a very “mild” response.

“I didn’t even know it was necessarily a very bad picture of her versus [my wife] Melania,” he said.
And regarding Trump's record for business:
“Why shouldn’t conservatives here in Wisconsin think your claim to be a conservative is just a giant fraud?” Sykes asked.

“As a businessman, I never even thought about all the things you’ve talked about,” Trump said before lauding his past business successes.

“You’re not answering my question,” Sykes responded.

“I am a conservative,” Trump said. “I’m not so conservative when it comes to the pure aspects of trade… I believe in free trade, which is nice and conservative,” he said before repeating his usual talking points about being a tougher negotiator with other countries by threatening to implement costly tariffs on imported goods.

“It’ll never happen,” Trump said of a tariff. “But you have the threat out there.”

“Well you’re a much better negotiator than I am,” Sykes said. “But you just said it’ll never happen, so you’ve basically said your negotiating ploy is a bluff.”
As damaging as this stuff is, the larger problem for Trump is that it reveals something that people need to understand -- he doesn't do his homework. Trump was completely unaware that Charlie Sykes has been opposing Trump pretty much from the get-go and if he'd even bothered to do any rudimentary research, he would have understood the landscape and avoided Sykes entirely. For a guy who has overseen as many enterprises as Trump has, you would think he'd have information at the ready to counter such questions. Attention to detail isn't his thing, though.

Which brings up another point -- Trump has a big problem looming with keeping his delegates in line. Ace Commenter Chuckwagon Boy brings to our attention a Politico piece that describes how Trump is winning the votes, but losing the count:
More than 700 GOP activists are running for the state’s 34 delegate slots (34 more will be elected as alternates). Steve House, Colorado's GOP chairman, has put all of their names, phone numbers and candidate allegiances on the state GOP website, which shows Cruz with more than 100 would-be delegates in his corner, compared to just over 70 for Trump.

“Cruz has the activists behind him, it’s pretty clear,” Penry said.

On Saturday, Cruz drew 71 percent of the more than 1,000 ballots cast in an unofficial presidential straw poll at the El Paso County GOP assembly, the largest county Republican gathering in the state. Trump, meanwhile, drew 18 percent, and Kasich won 11 percent.

“Trump has no operation here. Zero,” Murray said. “I see no evidence of organization from him. I see evidence of support; there are a lot of people who support him. There are people organizing and strategizing about slates at the county assemblies. I’ve seen no one from Trump.”
Ted Cruz has his faults, but he's a smart guy and he pays attention to details. He spends a lot of time doing the blocking and tackling, building the local networks and getting the support of the party organizations at the local level. Colorado is a key state and Trump not having an organization to woo the party activists shows that he doesn't understand what it takes to win. The popular vote doesn't mean much if it doesn't translate into delegates.

We're at a point where things could change. Watch carefully.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

"but from all reports it didn't go well for Trump."

I believe Althouse had a different take. But from my standpoint, I'm standing firm to the idea that the Republic is dead and Western Civilization is in deep, deep trouble. When the body is riddled with cancer, going for a jog just isn't going to help much.

Mr. D said...

I can't agree with that. Every time I log onto social media, I see pictures of smiling children. When I walk down my street, I see young kids. If Western civilization were really going down the toilet, it wouldn't make sense for people with free will to be bringing more people into the world. Yet we do. There's more than a biological imperative going on. We've had awakenings before and we will again. There may be tragedy ahead, but pessimism is a cancer of its own.

Bike Bubba said...

I'm with WB here. Yes, we have another generation coming, as they did during Weimar Germany, but we have a national debt where an uptick in the interest rates could put millions out of work, and a very likely next President would continue Obama's policy of not prosecuting people when it's politically inconvenient--making us more or less a banana republic. The ugly reality is that things could go south very, very quickly in this situation, and most of the nation is blind to it.

Thank God for people who point out that The Combover has a disastrous habit of overlooking pretty big details--I would suggest that this habit was in play in his four bankruptcies and two divorces, too. Hopefully we listen before it's too late.

Gino said...

this is why i've been sympathetic to the Trump movement, while not supporting the man himself.

it seems though, that everybody with an opinion on Trump sees what they want to see, and the real thing is somewhere in the middle, and its a muddled middle. as president, he will likely stumble out the gate, most do, its what happens after that has me worried.

Jimmy Carter, btw, was heavily detail orientated. we know how well that turned out.

Mr. D said...

Jimmy Carter, btw, was heavily detail orientated. we know how well that turned out.

Right, but that's not what I'm talking about. If Trump wants to win he has to take care of the fundamentals, and that means getting his people in place. Trump knows how to do this, but it seems as though he's not bothering.

Chuckwagon Boy said...

Mr. D, thank you for stating I was an Ace Commentator, though I believe the rest of the people commenting on this feed are much more ace than I am. :) I loved the interview with Charlie Sykes as 1) It was a joy to hear Voldemort not knowing what the hell is going on and 2) DT did not have a clue who this guy was which again was showing he was not informed.

Regarding seeing what we want to see about Little Donnie, I believe that may have been true up to a month ago. However, now the media is starting to do their job by doing more digging and asking tough questions. I think they can still be more pointed, but they are getting there. And you can always tell when it happens because DT will start calling his interviewers names via Twitter when he thinks he is being treated unfairly. Now the Fourth Estate needs to do that with all of the remaining candidates. Speaking of media, I thought you might find interesting as it shows how Little Donnie treats the media. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/03/on_the_trail_with_donald_trump_s_disgusting_press_corps.html

Brian said...

These days I see Trump as the dog that caught the car. But I'd rather not see him at all.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Mr. D,

I'm optimistic about life. But I think our society is in deep trouble. And yet I had four kids? It's because my hope isn't in our Republic. I overspoke about Western Civ, maybe.

Bike Bubba said...

The consequences of Carter being detail oriented are ironically exactly the same as the Combover not being detail oriented--both gave rise to the conceit that we can manage things that we really (see Hayek) cannot control. Obviously a lot of politicians suffer this conceit, including both Democrats in the race and the current President, and probably to a lesser degree Mr. Cruz.

Bigger disaster of Carter, though--and another one shared by both Democrats in the race and the current President--is the refusal to see things like Communism and radical Islam as the atrocities they are. The Combover's error is very different; he sort of voices the problems (tho I doubt he believes what he's saying), but his solutions more or less can be summed up as "pick a fight", and are little more than a recipe for filling body bags.

Mr. D said...

These days I see Trump as the dog that caught the car. But I'd rather not see him at all.

I think there's a lot of truth to that.

Mr. D said...

All good comments — thank you!

What I'm getting at about things changing. . . A lot of people, especially in the chattering classes, are operating under the assumption that Trump voters are monolithic and impervious to reason, somehow incapable of changing their views should new information come forward. I don't believe that; I imagine a certain amount of buyer's remorse has crept in for some people who pulled the lever for Trump earlier on. There are still true believers, but I'm not convinced that everyone who voted for Trump in an open primary is permanently committed to his campaign.

Chuckwagon Boy said...

I would agree, Mr. D!

Bike Bubba said...

Somehow the picture that comes to mind for me is the person who drinks way too much and learns the next morning about the horrible mistake he was sleeping with.

At least conservatives figure that out, I guess. :^)