Will Donald Trump win the presidency?
Good. Got that out of the way. No dialing a focus group. Tell it straight.
Like Trump at the Houston debate earlier this year, when asked whether Hispanics’ negative opinion makes him unelectable: “No.”
Like Trump recently on if he would consider David Petraeus as veep. “No.” The billionaire spotlights the general as unfairly hammered vs. what Hillary Clinton is skirting. Still, the Iraq War hero has too much legal baggage.
Regarding that vice presidential pick, would Trump seek a fellow biz type or go with a politician? “Politician.” The tycoon knows he has to close deals with Congress.
How about dunking terrorists to make them talk? Again, Trump gets to the point. As opposed to every other prez contender.
Mideast savages are “chopping off heads and they’re saying to themselves, ‘Can you believe how weak and pathetic the Americans are?’ So they’re asking Ted Cruz: What do you think of waterboarding? ‘Uh, uh, what do I say? I want to be politically correct. Waterboarding is so terrible … even though they’re chopping off heads,’ ” Trump taunted in Las Vegas in February, the day before nailing down Nevada. “He couldn’t answer the question. He was a mess. Then they said to me, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ I said I think it’s great, but I don’t think we go far enough. It’s true.”
Bold, Brash, Beloved
Answers. Trump rattles them off fearlessly. He doesn’t consult pollsters. He goes with his gut. Which is one reason he’s wildly popular — dominating the Drudge debate poll with 57% — and on the way to delivering the inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2017, as the 45th president.
As Ann Coulter says, President Trump will be halfway through that speech as the Republican Party keeps debating his viability.
Don’t limit that hedge to GOP bureaucrats. Throw in 99% of TV pundits: Karl Rove, Brit Hume, George Will, Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer, S.E. Cupp, Mike Smerconish, Ben Ferguson, Jeff Toobin.
They share a maddening trait — smug, glib and handsomely paid while belittling Trump’s odds of winning. Even though that’s all he’s done while building a titanic real estate empire.
The Right Side
About the only media types who had it right from the start last summer were Coulter, Jeff Lord, Charles Hurt, Michael Savage and Joe Scarborough. Let’s also not forget Fox Sports Radio’s Andy Furman, who sounded the Trumpet on his morning show, with sidekick Mike North lauding him: “If I bet on all those other guys who said Trump had no shot, I’d be broke.”
The smart ones see a runaway Trump Train, with Los Angeles radio host Doug McIntyre — hardly a Don fan — conceding after Nevada’s rout, “Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination.”
No “maybe.” No “very well could.” Trump will claim the GOP trophy in July in Cleveland. And win it all in November.
1. Issues. Trump owns immigration, trade, Muslim terror, self-funding his campaign to ignore special interests. As CNN’s sharpest panelist, Kayleigh McEnany, said after Tuesday’s Vegas jackpot, “Donald Trump isn’t so much ideological as America first.”
2. Moxie. Trump has it in spades.
Responding to ex-Mexican President Felipe Calderon saying his country wouldn’t pay for the Trump Wall: “It just got 10 feet taller.”
Lauding his supporters: “68% would not leave under any circumstances. I think that means murder. I think it means anything.”
Analyzing Nevada’s sweeping triumph: “I won with tall people, I won with short people, fat people, skinny people. I won with highly educated, OK educated and practically not educated at all.”
Hitting back at a protester: “I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried off on a stretcher, folks. … I’d like to punch him in the face.”
Juxtapose all that with Tim Pawlenty, whose wilting beside Mitt Romney in the GOP’s 2012 debate cycle finished the former Minnesota governor. Pawlenty just endorsed Marco Rubio. Enough said.
Then there’s John Kasich, whose benign line about “many women who left their kitchen” to volunteer for him decades ago caused a tiny PC tremor – for which the Ohio governor APOLOGIZED. Even Trump detractor Matt Lewis said, “This is exactly why Trump is so popular. This is political correctness run amok.”
CNN’s Brianna Keilar is supposedly so shocked by Trump’s takes, she wondered, “Does this pay off, this kind of language?”
Bucky Fox is an editor, author and columnist in Southern California.