As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Trump’s Commanding Performance

There are visceral messages conveyed by presidential candidates during debates that can be as important as anything they say.

Richard Nixon was thought to have won the 1960 debates with John Kennedy by those who listened on radio. But those who witnessed Kennedy’s cool demeanor and Nixon’s sweaty visage on their TV screens felt Kennedy had won.

When Ronald Reagan during a 1980 debate demanded to be heard because “I’m paying for this microphone,” his genuine anger and ability to take control of the situation projected strength. When George H.W. Bush glanced at his watch during one of his 1992 debates with Bill Clinton, it confirmed for people the lack of interest and paucity of inspiration that helped sink him against “the man from Hope.”

Donald Trump’s wild appeal to conservatives has always transcended his positions, and during Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate the basis for this appeal was unmistakable. With every gesture, every facial expression, and every statement, Trump projected strength and decisiveness, the qualities that President Obama lacks and that Republicans will require in their next leader.

When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush repeated his canned line about Trump not insulting his way to the nomination, Trump brushed it off with an “Oh well” smirk.

“He’s a very nice person, but we need toughness,” Trump said of Bush. “Nobody cares,” he said of Jeb’s whole campaign.

When audience members booed Trump’s proposal to track Internet activity in Syria and Iraq, an incredulous Trump faced down the audience — and won.

“I just can’t imagine somebody booing,” he said. “These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you’re — you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”

The crowd applauded its own dressing down.

Trump attacked his questioners to their faces while feigning some pathos for Bush.

“I think it’s very sad that CNN leads Jeb Bush, Governor Bush, down a road by starting off virtually all the questions, ‘Mr. Trump this, Mister’ — I think it’s very sad,” Trump said.

Many Republicans know the country needs a pugilist to right the country. Several of the other candidates just didn’t seem to come ready to mix it up in the ring.

“This doesn’t do a thing to solve the problems,”proclaimed Carly Fiorino after Trump noted Bush was moving further away during each debate from center stage, where those polling best stand.

“Pretty soon you’re going to be off the end,” Trump quipped.

“It sounds more and more what my daughter said that in the beginning, all the fighting and arguing is not advancing us,” garbled Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Republican voters, who have put Trump at nearly 40 percent, know better. They want a fighter.

Conservatives aren’t worried about whether Trump can check every box on the Edmund Burke list of conservative bona fides. He gets important stuff, like controlling immigration, fighting terrorism and avoiding bad trade deals. Those issues resonate, and he knows it.

What conservatives know is that the country’s situation has grown so dire in so many areas that only a personality with steel, vigor, determination and even ruthlessness can possibly make things right. Getting every detail correct — but not having the stamina or forcefulness to carry out the plan — won’t cut it.

The GOP Establishment is worried about Trump not just because of what he believes, but because they think he can’t win the general election. But what they are missing is that almost everyone has fear about the future. Not just conservatives, but many Democrats, too. And Latinos. And African-Americans. And women. And every other demographic the poobahs think Trump will never appeal to.

“I will do everything in my power to beat Hillary Clinton,” Trump said Tuesday with unequivocal, unreserved sincerity and power.

Listening to it, and watching him, one could not help but believe it and think that he would find a way to make it happen.

29 Responses to Trump’s Commanding Performance

  1. Great piece, thanks.
    Trump truly is just the messenger. If it wasn’t him it would be someone else.

    “While the political and media elite are waking up in night sweats over visions of a President Trump they fail to see what’s right in front of them: “It’s the people, stupid.” Those forgotten Americans who have been perpetually ignored as politicians of both parties pander to voting blocs dividing us along, race, ethnicity and gender.
    In just 75 years we have gone from a nation that birthed the Greatest Generation to an “everyone gets a trophy” – “I want mine” societal suicide pact. That is more than a passing disappointment, that is a national disgrace.”

    (To WHD’s I’m not trying to pimp out, just didn’t know if the schedule post was the only one Keith would put up today and then he goes and does this brilliant piece on Trump! lol)

  2. For better or worse, I think you nailed this. Objectively, Trump stumbled numerous times last night and seemed out of his depth in real mastery of the issues of foreign policy. But that appeared to just blow right past his supporters, who are supporting his pugnacity above all else. I though Cruz carried the night, but as much as I like what he thinks, Ted Cruz will never command a room like Donald Trump does so effortlessly.

    More than anything, we need a candidate who can and will beat Hillary (or Bern, if she fades). This week we saw the first poll showing that maybe Trump can do that. If he continues to gain against her, he will have my support as the nominee. But if it looks like Cruz, Rubio or Carson have a better chance against her, then I will fight for that person to the end.

    • A good president does NOT need to be an expert in any area of government. A good president needs to know how to HIRE experts to do that work. Do you think that The Donald does not know how to hire competent people? Do you actually believe he would hire Jeh? Or Loretta? Or put Christine Todd Whitman in charge of the EPA?

      Cruz is not eligible to be either President or Vice President. Stare decisis is Minor v. Happersett. Rubio is just another GD Shrub. And Rove is sharing his Rolodex with Carson. Which tells me everything I need to know about The Doctor.

      Trump is not for sale. All the rest are. And even Putin respects Trump. Do you think he feels the same about ANY of the other candidates? From ANY party???

  3. Great post Keith.
    Reagan, with that statement told America that he was in charge, and he would be if elected.
    He then proved it by making America great again.

    Trump is today’s Reagan.
    People are starving for leadership and an individual that can provide it.
    Trump is a proven leader.
    He can fix the economy if congress lets him.

  4. Excellent post, Keith. It’s nice to see you coming around regarding Trump.

    Americans are starving for a strong, decisive leader who isn’t afraid of anyone or anything, or beholden to anyone. No pre-scripted talking points, no poll-tested lines, and no politically correct garbage. Out of everyone on that stage, I find myself willing to trust Trump to fix the mess we are in here at home and around the world.

  5. “Everyone has a fear about the future, including…Latinos and African-Americans.” If a person thinks of themselves as Latino or African-American versus just American, they’re part of the problem.

  6. Thanks Keith. Great piece and nice to hear you.

    Geoff, short of time, but will read your article as well — looking forward to it.

    Go Trump. He gets stronger by the day. At least, so far. And even the media is mild on him and his performance. Cruz and Rubio still viable though to many.

    Anyway, good to see the changes, small though
    they may be.

    Hillary — come out, come out, wherever you are.

  7. Mr. Trump,
    I believe you are a leader because the hallmark of a true leader is hiring people with expertise in their chosen field.
    Leaders are not made through education or experience. True leaders have a God given gift and talent that makes other people want to follow them.
    I know this for a fact because my spouse is a bone fide leader. He started his career “off the farm” painting stripes on the floor in a Kroger warehouse and rose through the ranks in another industry to become a CEO.
    So, Mr. Trump, I recognize your leadership skills. But now, it is time to reveal the insight you have gained and the knowledge you will utilize from experts “in the field.”
    Your bravado is heartening and refreshing, but it is time for specifics.
    Develop plans. Outline courses of action. Give us names for specific cabinet positions.
    How do you motivate your managers? Do the same with the American voting public. We are not too stupid to understand. We hunger for a leader and we can recognize and identify truth and honesty and integrity.
    Show us the hallmarks of a true leader.
    Why do you love the USA? Tell us. Show us. Let us know your story. Spend your own money if you must to tell your story.
    Let the media name callers reveal themselves for being nothing more than uninformed mud slingers and play ground bullies.
    You want to make America great again? Exercise your leadership skills. Let us see them.

  8. Donald Trump should win — I hope that the election will be a real American election again, not one that includes dead people and fraudulent votes like it was for this fake president we have now. The Republicans better not let themselves be bamboozled again by the fake votes. Grow a pair Republicans and in the name of God, SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP OR YOU WILL LOSE AGAIN STUPIDS!

      • i havent posted here since the last election night, i commented how America committed suicide by re-electing obama. maybe i was right, maybe i was wrong…I DO KNOW IF YOU DONT GET WITH IT AND VOTE GOP, NO MATTER THE NOMINEE, YOU WILL BE AN ACCOMPLICE IN THE MURDER OF AMERICA. WE CANNOT HAVE HILLARY, WE WILL NOT SURVIVE…


  9. Trump no longer needs to campaign, debate, etc.

    I’m sure you all have read that the Republicans gave away the kitchen sink in the funding bill.

    As long as republicans in Congress keep endorsing-funding- the prez’s pet projects aka climate change, refugees, etc. “Right” minded people will turn away from any candidate associated with congress and an R after their name.