Donald Trump makes big promises. But how he describes the means by which he’ll fulfill them? Well, that’s even more outlandish. Basically, it boils down to:
Step One: Trump hates something.
Step Two: ???????
Step Three: “Winning.”
That’s essentially the model for Trump’s campaign as well: He wants to be president, and he’s a winner, so it stands to reason that he’s just going to win.
Listen to HuffPost’s analysis of Trump’s current campaigning situation in this week’s episode of the podcast “So That Happened.” The section on his Iowa and New Hampshire escapades begins at the 52:30 mark.
As the early voting states are demonstrating, however, there’s more to winning than merely wanting it. There’s hard work to be done, and it’s becoming clear that Donald Trump is lazy.
Elections aren’t won with just a popular message, catchy ads and strong interviews. They also require actually hiring and managing people who will knock on doors, talk to voters and help those voters get to the polls. Trump is good at all of the stuff that gets him on TV. The other stuff? So far, not so much.
On the ground in Iowa, this didn’t go unnoticed. Mike Kelly, who drives a shuttle bus for a Des Moines hotel, told The Huffington Post that he’s never seen a campaign operation as intense as Ted Cruz’s team. He said he knew all along that Cruz would win the state caucus — and not Trump, even though he’d led in virtually every poll.
“Trump’s people, they’re just like Trump. They’re just talking big,” said Kelly. “They’re like, ‘I’m not going out here and knocking on people’s doors. It’s 22 degrees outside.'”
— Charles P. Pierce (@ESQPolitics) February 5, 2016
Via Talking Points Memo, here’s Donald Trump summing up his approach to the work in his own words:
“I think we could’ve used a better ground game, a term I wasn’t even familiar with. You know, when you hear ‘ground game,’ you say, ‘What the hell is that?’ Now I’m familiar with it,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked if his campaign needed better organization to win in Iowa.
“I think in retrospect we should’ve had a better ground game, I would’ve funded a better ground game,” he continued. “But people told me my ground game was fine. And I think by most standards it was.”
Basically, Trump is an indolent libertine, surrounded by yes men. In fairness, you can get pretty far in life like that. Whether you can get far in a presidential primary is unproven.
As Politico’s Ben Schreckinger reports, there’s little change afoot in New Hampshire to correct the campaign inadequacies that Iowa revealed. If Trump fails to maintain the big leads he racked up in early polling — or if he fails to finish first again — questions about his fitness as a presidential campaigner will persist.
It’s genuinely interesting that Trump’s competitors have not made more of this. If there’s one constant in Trump’s vision of how he’d govern, it’s that the big problems he identifies will be fixed with such relative ease that it’s a wonder being president is a full-time job. Just this week, Trump vowed that he could obtain a comprehensive corporate tax inversion deal “in an hour.” This isn’t plausible, and it’s frightening to think that Trump believes it is. As president, his phone will be ringing off the hook every time there’s a problem anywhere in the world. That’s the job, and it’s a job that most of his competitors clearly take more seriously.
If he governs the way he’s been campaigning, Trump is going to want out of the office after a month.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.
Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com