BUSH: Trump’s biggest problem is looking at him in the mirror
Donald Trump has a lot of problems but none are bigger than the guy looking back at him from the mirror.
Trump claims to be a billionaire and has made a lot of money by playing this character on and off of television shows for decades. He has received the Republican nomination for President in 2016 and yet, his behavior is that of a very small man.
People who are great don’t have to tell you that they are great. Smart people don’t have to tell you they’re smart. You just notice.
There are some obvious emotional deficiencies in Trump. These are demonstrated by his two most common talking points — how great other people say he is and his now famous insults of other people.
How many parents have had to pull children aside after a verbal attack from a little hellion on a playground and reassure them that the other child is merely lashing out because of their own perceived problems? They tear others down to feel bigger than they feel they are.
Trump is that same kid who only stops insulting others around him to tell them about his greatness. I am the best “fill in the blank.”
The GOP candidate has quoted “everyone,” “so many people,” or “someone” so many times that it is absurd. “Everyone always said I have the best temperament,” Trump said Friday.
“Some people said the NSA has Clinton’s emails,” Trump said later in the same day. He went on to say, “People are amazed at how much I know about the military.”
He might be right about the last one. It is amazing.
According to Trump, everyone said everything but no one ever says anything.
Trump could also blame his staff and their inability to give him proper guidance and get him to follow it.
I have some advice for the guy trailing by double digits even in a FOX News poll less than 100 days out and he would be wise to follow it.
Read “Audacity to Win.”
The book by President Barack Obama’s Campaign Manager in 2008 outlines the path they took to the White House. It is a blueprint for beating Hillary Clinton — and of course John McCain and Sarah Palin later.
David Plouffe, David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs helped Barack Obama control himself in the more difficult times during the campaign.
Obama faced the same uphill fight against Clinton with the Superdelegates that Bernie Sanders did this year. But Obama and his team used a disciplined approach to overcome Clinton despite the fact that most people assumed she would be the candidate two terms ago.
The best thing the book records the staff doing is keeping Obama away from the media after big losses. The losses are what they are. Obama’s job was to stay upbeat, stay on message and continue on the well-designed course that had been carefully plotted.
His staff knew that if Obama got sucked into the gravitational pull of the 24-hour news cycle, it would affect him in appearances, in speeches and would affect their ability to stay on course.
After a couple of surprising primary losses to Clinton, the team told Obama to stay away from the news.
“I will only watch ESPN on the bus,” Obama agreed.
Trump has no course. He is a pinball bouncing back and forth between Megan Kelly, Joe Scarborough, Sean Hannity, Wolf Blitzer and Bill O’Reilly. He has to answer every charge personally without any filter.
That’s a fool’s gambit.
It seems obvious that someone else has control of Trump’s Twitter feed at least part of the time now because they haven’t learned his tone and style yet. It is equally obvious that the Trump takes the wheel and veers off course frequently.
If he could discipline himself to trust someone to help him, he would be better off. The problem is that he hasn’t surrounded himself with trustworthy people. Sycophants make bad advisors.
Trump’s advisors are people like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich who have passed out of the public eye long ago for good reason.
His staff includes a serial liar and hyperbolist as a communications director. He replaced one horrible person with a worse person as his campaign director.
But ultimately, Donald Trump is the one who is out of control.
That undisciplined, off-message style cause him to create many controversies and keep them alive for days and weeks longer than necessary.
Trump finally endorsed John McCain and Paul Ryan after a week of refusing to do so. He admitted Friday that the video he claimed to have been shown of a pallet of cash being delivered to Iran was not real. But despite having one of the worst weeks in Presidential campaign history, Trump couldn’t even say what he would have done differently.
“Uhhhh, maybe, uhh, well, maybe I would have done a little bit less,” the candidate said in one of his many interviews.
It is starting to cost him. He even trails Clinton in Georgia. There is time to right the ship. He is incredibly fortunate that he is facing a person with her own history of damaging episodes.
But if Trump continues to try to be his own staff and refuses to find good people and follow their advice, time will only make it worse.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.