Donald Trump’s Favorite Foreign Policy Adviser Is….. Donald Trump

Advisers? Donald Trump doesn't need no stinkin' advisers.

Donald Trump Shrug

Donald Trump says that when it comes to foreign policy, he doesn’t really need a team of advisers because he already consults the authority that he trusts the most, himself:

Donald Trump finally shared the name of someone he consults on foreign policy: himself.

Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he talks with consistently about foreign policy, Trump responded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

“I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are,” Trump said. “But my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”

The New York real estate mogul has kept mum on his foreign policy team, despite promising in early February to release a list of his advisers in “about two weeks.”

Trump has been dodging the question of who his top foreign policy advisers might be for more than a month now. It appears to have started in early February when Trump appeared via telephone on Morning Joe and was asked by co-host Mika Brezenski to name the members of his foreign policy team, something he had been avoiding doing for months. It was at that point that Trump said that he would be revealing that list of people, along with a more detailed foreign policy platform in “two weeks,” a promise Trump repeated that same week during an appearance on Fox News Channel. Of course, two weeks came and went an Trump did no such thing, and Brezinski has made a point to return to the question each time Trump has been on the show since then, getting the same “it’s coming soon” response from Trump that she got six weeks ago each time. That changed the yesterday when Trump basically insinuated that he doesn’t necessarily need to consult anyone on foreign policy because he’s so smart that he can just consult himself.

If nothing else, this kind of answer is consistent with the arrogant self-assurance that has marked Trump’s personality and public persona since long before he ever entered the political arena. It’s also consistent with other comments that Trump has made on this issue since entering the race for President. Back in August when his campaign was just two months old, Trump told NBC News’s Chuck Todd that he watches “the shows,” meaning the Sunday morning news talk shows, in response to a question about where he got his information about foreign and military affairs. At the time, Trump’s comment was rightfully treated with derision but he continued to provide answers like that to similar questions and it had absolutely no impact on his standing in the polls or, as we’ve seen, his ability to win primary elections despite never having run for office before. It’s also consistent with a general ignorance about foreign and military affairs that that he has displayed in the past. In an era where voters are used to seeing candidates trot out impressive lists of advisers in a number of policy areas, in no small part to show that they would be surrounded with a strong and competent team of people whose job it is to help them make decisions once they become President. Not so for Trump. For Trump, he would have us believe that he is the sole brain behind the operation and that he alone is responsible for all the decision making and would continue to be should he be elected President.

The thing is, Donald Trump almost assuredly knows that this position is utter nonsense.

Whatever Trump would have the public believe about his business acumen, the truth is that he obviously wouldn’t be able to do his current job without people under him whose job it is to advise him and carry out the decisions made at the top, and that this includes people who know things that Trump himself doesn’t. Whether its lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, or other professionals, it’s obvious that Trump has thousands of professionals who work underneath him or for him who provide him with advice in highly specialized fields that he can’t possibly be fully knowledgeable in, including fields like the legal aspects of his business, the tax implications of decisions he might make, or the engineering and architectural details of the buildings he builds.

No Chief Executive can be expected to possess all of the information and knowledge they could possibly need to make a decision. This is even more true of the President of the United States, who at any given time may be required to deal with foreign policy issues from the far corners of the world, complex economic and fiscal issues, issues regarding health care policy, agriculture, or education, and a whole host of other areas, including many that likely can’t even be anticipated at this point. This is why there are dozens of advisers working in the White House alone, not to mention the vast army of expert in the Cabinet Departments, the military, and the Federal bureaucracy. Additionally, more often than not, the people who a candidate is consulting while running for office end up being the core of the group of advisers that follow them into office. That’s why the question of who might be advising a candidate in a particular policy field is an important question that candidates can be expected to be asked during the course of the campaign Why Trump is refusing to tell people who might be advising him on foreign policy matters, and then providing such a flippant response to the question, is unclear. At the very least, though, one can assume that either he thinks the list of advisers would hurt him in some way, or a real answer to the question would reveal that he still isn’t approaching this process seriously even as he stands on the precipice of becoming the Presidential nominee of a major political party. The media ought to continue pressing him on this issue until he provides a straight answer.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, National Security, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    “There is no solace above or below. Only us — small, solitary, striving, battling one another. I pray to myself, for myself.” -Frank Underwood

  2. KM says:

    He will be his own Cabinet. He will hold his own meetings, where the sounds of his voice echoes gloriously in the Oval Office alone. He will consult the wisest of men, best of the best – D. Trump, Ace Capitalist Reality TV Star Mogul 1%-er Playboy Philanthropist. He won’t even charge the nation for doing all this extra work because he got a sweetheart deal out of himself. He does his own press, no need for written speeches! He makes his own ads for his ideas so we can hear why its a Yuuugggeee Idea for America. He won’t answer his own phone – don’t be stupid, that’s what interns are for!

    He’s Donald Trump and he can do it all, man – because &@&%#&@ you, that’s why!! Vote Trump for all your Executive needs!

  3. Hal_10000 says:

    Of course, Cruz just added Frank Gaffney as an advisor. So maybe it’s best for him to keep America in the dark.

  4. C. Clavin says:
  5. Scott F. says:

    “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

    This quote comes from someone who could possibly become Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world. God save us all.

  6. James Pearce says:

    “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

    I have a good brain and I’ve said a lot of things too.

    Clearly, I’d be just as good at foreign policy as Donald Trump. Vote for James.

  7. Mr. Prosser says:

    What is disturbing is this is a man who can be so easily duped and led that the oligarchy can run the executive branch with a free hand.

  8. Moosebreath says:

    “Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he talks with consistently about foreign policy, Trump responded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.””

    The Donald is starting to sound like The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight from The Tick (animated).

  9. CSK says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Flatter him–no matter how transparently ludicrous the flattery may be–and he’s yours. He’d accept an endorsement from Vlad the Impaler if Vlad offered one.

    Wife Number Two, Marla Maples, clinched the marital deal by going to the New York Post and telling the gossip columnist that sex with Trump was the “best sex I ever had.” That quote was the headline next day. Trump swooned with ecstasy.

    Interestingly, Wife Number Three has done the same thing: made a public announcement about how often she and Donald have sex, and how great he is in the sack. So I suppose she’s ensuring her future as the final Mrs. T.

    Negotiating with Trump will be like taking candy from a baby–Trump being the baby.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    @James Pearce: In this context, I’ll add – me too. But you know, I find that most people with high IQs kind of avoid saying so. That Trump keeps saying ‘I’m smart’ in one way or another strikes me as evidence of a deep insecurity about it.

    This also strikes me as evidence that he doesn’t expect to ever actually be the President. And he keeps saying things that would hurt him in the general. As Dr. Taylor asked more politely a few days ago, WTF is he up to?

  11. MBunge says:

    Trump no doubt thinks he can worry about stuff like foreign policy advisors after he wins the nomination or, probably, after he wins the election. Given the thinking that dominates the U.S. foreign policy community, especially on the Republican side, I’m not sure anyone should really be comforted if Trump did have a list of names to give.

    This is part of the least reported on but probably most important aspect of Trump’s candidacy. He doesn’t have pollsters. He doesn’t have ad men. He doesn’t have legions of surrogates. I’m not sure any leading Presidential campaign in the modern age has ever had as few people involved as Trump’s. If he wins, he would likely roll into the White House with essentially no one to fill all the essential jobs of the executive branch.

    Depending on who gets those spots, we could see the greatest political/administrative disaster in American history or we could radically open up our politics to points of view and approaches that are currently relegated to the fringes of public discourse.

    Mike

  12. C. Clavin says:

    I am certainly no Trump supporter…I’ve already got my resume out to firms in Halifax.
    But seriously…this is really no worse than Dick Cheney consulting himself about Iraq, and terrorism in general, and then directing intelligence agencies to get in line.
    Could Trump do worse than Iraq? Sure. But it wouldn’t be very difficult to do better than the last bunch of Republicans who commited the greatest foreign policy blunder in our history. I mean…even an idiot like Trump could do better.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:

    or we could radically open up our politics to points of view and approaches that are currently relegated to the fringes of public discourse.

    And…unicorns.

  14. MBunge says:

    @gVOR08: As Dr. Taylor asked more politely a few days ago, WTF is he up to?

    In 2008, over 90 million people making up over 40% of the voting age population didn’t bother to cast a ballot in one of the most intensely covered Presidential elections in our history. I would bet $10 that if you talked to those non-voters, most of them would sound very much like Trump. Not in agreement on substance, but similar in having disconnected, contradictory and often extreme opinions on many things because they are deeply alienated from our political discourse.

    Mike

  15. MBunge says:

    @C. Clavin: Which candidate still standing is mostly likely to pick a foreign policy team that believes we should stop fighting stupid foreign wars? That Trump is also the one most likely to pick a foreign policy team that would get us kicked out of NATO and the UN doesn’t change the first thing.

    Mike

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: I’ve said, I think in these threads, that while I have no respect for the Tea Party, the Tea Party didn’t sleep while Al Qaeda trained, the Tea Party didn’t mismanage Afghanistan, the Tea Party didn’t invade Iraq, the Tea Party didn’t run huge deficits in normal economic times, the Tea Party didn’t torture prisoners, the Tea party didn’t allow the banks to blow up the economy.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge: In many ways I agree. Best short explanation I’ve seen, and I forget who to credit, these people don’t understand how this stuff works, to them it’s magic, and they think Trump is their magician*. This explains the market for Trumpism (Trumpery, Trumpitis?). But it doesn’t explain Trumps motivation. There are many sheep. Why is Trump choosing to shear these particular sheep? My personal theory is vanity. He’s running for Prom Queen. He hasn’t though through that there’s a difficult job attached to the crown. But I can’t prove it and only half believe it.
    ____
    * In my personal life I learned the life lesson a long time ago that there is no such thing as our asshat, an asshat who will work for us. They all work only for themselves.

  18. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    “Running for Prom Queen” is probably the best and most succinct explanation of what Trump id doing. Whether he intends/wants to be president, or is aware that it’s an actual job, is less clear to me. Some people think he intends to bail after getting the nomination, because he knows he can’t beat Clinton in the general and his ego will have to be satisfied with winning only the nomination. Trump loves to win, but he hates to lose.

  19. James Pearce says:

    @gVOR08:

    In this context, I’ll add – me too.

    I look forward to serving in your administration, or you in mine.

    @MBunge:

    Depending on who gets those spots, we could see the greatest political/administrative disaster in American history or we could radically open up our politics to points of view and approaches that are currently relegated to the fringes of public discourse.

    I’m leaning towards disaster. Some points of view are on the fringes because that’s where they belong.

    Which candidate still standing is mostly likely to pick a foreign policy team that believes we should stop fighting stupid foreign wars?

    I’d like to stop fighting stupid foreign wars, too, but if the price is starting a stupid domestic war….no, thanks.

  20. roger says:

    of The Donald,
    by The Donald,
    for The Donald.

    This would be a great comedy if it wasn’t real. Sadly, it is real and very scary. This guy might have access to nuke launch codes

  21. C. Clavin says:
  22. CSK says:

    @roger:

    And he still doesn’t know what the nuclear triad is.

  23. Gustopher says:

    Perhaps Trump will fill the open Supreme Court vacancy with Trump!

    And, if there is another vacancy… Who is to say that you cannot have one person on the Supreme Court twice? Surely a man who is already President and a Supreme Court justice can easily be two Supreme Court justices.

  24. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:
    I understand your point…but have to respectfully disagree.
    Trump has two characteristics that nullify your position:
    First…he is a gullible SOB who has repeated internet memes as though they were fact…no different than many here on OTB…Jenos, Jack, Guarneri, etc.
    Second…he is an egotistical hot head with anger management issues.
    Bin Laden managed to sucker the entire Republican apparatus into doing exactly the stupid thing that he wanted them to do.
    Getting Trump to do something stupid will be like getting water to run downhill.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: I see a Trump presidency as like giving a loaded M16 to a six year old. Odds are he wouldn’t shoot anyone, but a heck of a chance to take.

  26. CSK says:

    Trump has just announced that his foreign policy adviser is Jeff Sessions.

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Is that serious or parody? Poe was right, it really is impossible to tell anymore with conservatives.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @roger: I’d rather give Trump the launch codes than Cruz. Cruz is the kind of religious nut who may see the end of the world as a good thing.

  29. CSK says:

    @CSK:

    Nope, I’m serious. Sessions will chair Trump’s Foreign Policy Advisory Committee, which so far appears to be a committee of one. Two, if you count Trump talking to himself.

  30. PJ says:

    @CSK:

    Nope, I’m serious. Sessions will chair Trump’s Foreign Policy Advisory Committee, which so far appears to be a committee of one. Two, if you count Trump talking to himself.

    Two weeks ago Trump announced that Jeff Sessions will chair his National Security Advisory Committee.

    What is this? Musical advisory chairs?

  31. CSK says:

    @PJ:

    I suppose Trump would call it multi-tasking. The more likely explanation might be that Sessions is the only Republican who can stand to be in the room with him.

  32. David M says:

    @MBunge:

    Which candidate still standing is mostly likely to pick a foreign policy team that believes we should stop fighting stupid foreign wars?

    The answers is the Democratic candidate, either Sanders or Clinton. CDS (H) may prevent that from being obvious, but this has been the case for decades now.

  33. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Donald Trump’s Favorite Foreign Policy Adviser Is….. Donald Trump

    I read that, and the first thing that popped into mind was Hitler’s meltdown in Downfall.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcJWCiXbfxs

    If we have Trump as the greatest president of all time, then who would possibly give him any bad news?

  34. Pch101 says:

    Why Trump is refusing to tell people who might be advising him on foreign policy matters, and then providing such a flippant response to the question, is unclear

    He wants to control the dialogue, but getting into policy specifics hands control over to others. From the perspective of his campaign, he’s wise to avoid that.

  35. David M says:

    Why Trump is refusing to tell people who might be advising him on foreign policy matters, and then providing such a flippant response to the question, is unclear

    I disagree that this is unclear or confusing at all. Trump doesn’t have any real advisors and doesn’t think there is a need for any. He’s completely ignorant about anything beyond wanting to win and making America great again.

  36. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    @David M:

    He just announced that his National Security Chair, Jeff Sessions, is also his Foreign Policy Chair.

    One size fits all.

  37. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    He just announced that his National Security Chair, Jeff Sessions, is also his Foreign Policy Chair.

    One size fits all.

    Not one size fits all, quantum mechanics. Sessions is a wave AND a particle simultaneously. Sessions is in a closed box and we don’t know if he’s fulfilling the role of National Security Chair or Foreign Policy Chair until we open it. Until we open the box to observe him, he’s both.

  38. DrDaveT says:

    Trump responded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one,

    To quote Sam Diamond in “Murder By Death”:

    You may think you’re Number One, but you look like number two to me.

  39. MBunge says:

    @C. Clavin: Getting Trump to do something stupid will be like getting water to run downhill.

    The only counter-argument to that is that Trump has been on the public scene a long time and has been wildly successful in most respects. Not to mention that he’s thisclose to almost single-handedly winning the Republican Presidential nomination, completely crushing at least two other candidates (Bush and Rubio) whom literally every pundit and expert predicted would take it instead. And he didn’t do it by outspending them 20 and 30 to 1, like Romney.

    Mike

  40. Barry says:

    @gVOR08: “I’ve said, I think in these threads, that while I have no respect for the Tea Party, the Tea Party didn’t sleep while Al Qaeda trained, the Tea Party didn’t mismanage Afghanistan, the Tea Party didn’t invade Iraq, the Tea Party didn’t run huge deficits in normal economic times, the Tea Party didn’t torture prisoners, the Tea party didn’t allow the banks to blow up the economy.”

    Yes, you did. And in fact you supported and cheered on all of that, until the sh*t actually hit the fan, and it actually affected you.

    You and the rest of the Tea Party were and are a faction of the Republican party, once which had its lips firmly planted on Bush/Cheney’s arse.

  41. Scott F. says:

    @MBunge:

    Sorry, Mike, but that counter-argument is BS. C. Clavin isn’t stating the Trump is stupid, but that getting him to do something stupid in the foreign affairs arena would be easy.

    Trump is unquestionably brilliant at self-promotion. No doubt he is the Einstein of personal branding. He’s used his mastery of this one skill to both prosper in the public eye for a long time (though there is ample evidence his wild success is more illusory than real) and to now dominate a fractured Republican Party.

    Yet, I wouldn’t allow him to tutor my high schooler in Algebra 2.

    Why? Because Trump doesn’t give a damn about Algebra 2 in much the same way he doesn’t give a damn about foreign policy. He would just know that 2x + 5y = elephant. Much like he just knows what’s needed to control ISIS.

  42. MBunge says:

    @Scott F.: that getting him to do something stupid in the foreign affairs arena would be easy.

    Donald Trump stood on a GOP debate stage in South Carolina and not only called the Iraq War a mistake, he specifically blamed George W. Bush for not preventing the 9/11 attacks. There wasn’t one, single, solitary person in politics, Republican or Democrat, who have suggested doing that and their was almost universal agreement afterwards that Trump had made a serious mistake.

    Who was stupid then? Trump or everybody else?

    And if the subject is doing something stupid in foreign affairs, do you mean like invading Iraq? Or how about US intervention in Lybia, even after Iraq went so terribly wrong? ‘Cause there’s a candidate who supported both of those tragic mistakes, but her initials aren’t DJT.

    Trump’s ignorance of policy could lead to really horrible stuff. I can’t go along with the childish psycho-analysis and sophomoric character assassination. I mean, the suggestion that foreign leaders could easily manipulate Trump doesn’t seem to jibe with the reality that Trump has, almost single handedly, outwitted the smartest people in American politics.

    The track record would seem to suggest that it is those foreign leaders who would be provoked into doing something stupid by Trump.

    Which isn’t to say that Trump’s indifference to policy and defiance of established political norms aren’t great causes for concern. But can we at least be concerned about the real Trump? You know, the guy who has been a public figure for over 30 years, with more triumphs to his credit than catastrophes and whose talents obviously extend a bit farther than just self-promotion?

    Or to put it another way, when a guy is richer than you, more famous than you, more successful than you, more important than you, more powerful than you AND has just demonstrated that he seems to understand politics better than you, it remains possible that guy is still a complete fool. But you might want to consider the question a little more carefully.

    Mike

  43. al-Ameda says:

    This, Trump, is the noisiest slow motion spin out history.

    Question: Is America as stupid and dumbed down as I think it is?
    Answer: We’re working on it.

  44. Monala says:

    @MBunge: actually, I think he’s the most likely to get us involved in stupid wars. He’s so thin- skinned and egotistical he might start a war because he thinks some foreign head of state insulted him.

  45. David M says:

    @MBunge:

    Trump supported the Iraq war.

    Trump supported the action in Libya.

    Trump wants to send 30,000 troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS.

    Trump opposes the Iran nuclear agreement.

    Trump wants to increase military spending.

    Trump is a member of the political party that overwhelmingly supports those same things.

  46. Scott F. says:

    @MBunge:

    Or to put it another way, when a guy is richer than you, more famous than you, more successful than you, more important than you, more powerful than you AND has just demonstrated that he seems to understand politics better than you, it remains possible that guy is still a complete fool. But you might want to consider the question a little more carefully.

    Well, Justin Bieber is richer, more famous, more successful, more important and more powerful than me. I would also propose Bieber could do pretty well in politics, if he wanted to. Still, I’m confident that Justin should never be elected dog catcher, let alone President.

    Rather, I’d say richness and famousness, success in celebrity, self-importance and the false power that comes from those other attributes are piss poor criteria when it comes to selecting the leader of a country. Real estate development skill isn’t a very meaningful measure, either. I’m certain I am more deliberative, more reasoned, more open to competing ideas and more diplomatic than Mr. Trump. I’m fairly certain I’m smarter than he is as well. Who’s to say what I could have done had I been granted the $200 million dollar head start Trump inherited from his father. But, I’m not running for anything, so who cares?

    I agree that knowledge of world affairs and diplomatic savvy are no guarantee against the foreign policy debacles you’ve noted. I believe there are powerful forces in the national security apparatus, the military industrial complex and foreign diplomatic lobbies that suck the US into far more international adventurism than I care for. I believe this has happened DESPITE the knowledge and experience our recent leaders have brought to bear.

    You seem to think Trump can’t do worse and I don’t think you’ve fully considered how much worse is possible should an indifferent and defiant blowhard be the one to stand athwart the forces that want the US to dominate the globe at any cost. You might want to consider that question a little more carefully.

  47. JohnMcC says:

    @MBunge: Mike, Mike — take a deep breath and read up on a few other ‘policies’ that Mr Trump has proposed. Assuming they exist and you can find them. Then come back and cite his actual ‘policies’ and expound on how you might agree or disagree with them. OK?

    In other words, treat Mr Trump as you would a serious candidate with real proposals that deal with actual problems.

    And good luck with that, my friend.

  48. mike shupp says:

    @James Pearce:

    Well . . . what size are your hands?

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Barry: Umh, what? Do you have me confused with someone else? Just to remove any confusion, my point was that while the Tea Party is bad, it’s the Republican establishment and their country club conservatism that’s created a steady string of bloody disasters.

  50. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge:

    The track record would seem to suggest that it is those foreign leaders who would be provoked into doing something stupid by Trump.

    Do we want to provoke foreign leaders into doing something stupid?

  51. Tillman says:

    @MBunge:

    Like Trump, Jackson was a nativist, a nationalist, and fairly racist. Both are in essence majoritarians, meaning that their main policy aim was to materially improve the livelihoods and liberties of the majority demographic, even if that comes at the expense of other groups.

    Like Trump, attacks that came against Jackson in response only seemed to make him stronger, and like Trump, most of these attacks were focused less on his ideas–which were always rather nebulously defined on the campaign trail, painted in broad strokes, so to speak–than against his character, especially his (or his family’s) alleged lechery, gaudiness, stupidity, or savagery.

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    The comparison is instructive because it gives us some insight into what a Trump presidency might look like. If Trump wins–indeed, even if he loses–his candidacy will likely change the face and demographic composition of the Republican party for a generation. Like Jackson, he’ll be dependent on well connected wheelers and dealers who can catch his mood or vision and transform it into political realities (ala Van Buren). He will act as a demagogue, but be reasonably effective at what he does, and may leave an institutional legacy that lasts decades. Jackson was called a monarch; Trump would be called a fascist, though neither antebellum America or its modern descendant have the necessary political machinery for either man to set up the kind of dictatorship their critics claim(ed) they wish(ed) to establish.

    I’ve found this post useful in thinking about Trump. (h/t PD Shaw)

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:

    Trump has been on the public scene a long time and has been wildly successful in most respects

    Uh…not really. Multiple bankruptcies and many many failed ventures.
    He has a lot of money…but if he had simply put the money that his daddy gave him in a S&P 500 fund…as Warren Buffet suggests…he would have more money than he does.
    So I don’t buy the wildly successful thing. He was born rounding third and headed to home and trying not to choke on his silver spoon. All he really did is not fwck it up too bad. Not very different from Romney.

  53. gVOR08 says:

    @Tillman: Anyone who claims to know what Trump would actually do should he get elected is deluded. The only thing to go on is what he says, and he lies. Another way in which he’s like Romney. @C. Clavin:

  54. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    @MBunge:

    Trump has been on the public scene a long time and has been wildly successful in most respects

    Also…3 marriages…and he openly talks about his attraction to his daughter.
    I’m OK with younger women…but his daughter?!?!?!?!? Ewwww.

  55. James Pearce says:

    @mike shupp:

    Well . . . what size are your hands?

    Such big strong hands.

    (Did I mention I’m a Rock Eater?)

    You know, the guy who has been a public figure for over 30 years, with more triumphs to his credit than catastrophes and whose talents obviously extend a bit farther than just self-promotion?

    More triumphs?

    Take it away, Mr. President:

    But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. (Laughter.) For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice — (laughter) — at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team cooking did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. (Laughter.) You fired Gary Busey. (Laughter.) And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night.

    Trump is successful like the Kardashians are successful.

    Despite it all.

    Putting Donald Trump in the White House, citing his success, would be like putting the Kardashians in charge of a television network, citing their success. It’s just a bad idea.

  56. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “Putting Donald Trump in the White House, citing his success, would be like putting the Kardashians in charge of a television network, citing their success. It’s just a bad idea.”

    You might also want to look at the governmental accomplishments of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, both rich celebrities who were swept into office on a tide of disgust at the status quo and who essentially accomplished nothing. It turns out that while the skills it takes to succeed as an entertainer can work in an election, they have little to do with those required to govern effectively.

  57. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Just to remove any confusion, my point was that while the Tea Party is bad, it’s the Republican establishment and their country club conservatism that’s created a steady string of bloody disasters.

    Your point wasn’t confusing, and you’re right. On the other hand, the Tea Party doesn’t differ with the establishment in that area of policy, so they can’t distinguish themselves in that respect, either.

    If the Tea Party had its way with its adoration of austerity, the US would have plunged into a depression, and it would have found a way to blame liberals for the resulting 25% unemployment. It would deliver all of the wars, three times the joblessness and half of the GDP that the establishment GOP has to offer.

  58. Andre Kenji says:

    Trump is not a successful businessman. He is a celebrity. His brand is his greatest declared asset.

  59. Grewgills says:

    @MBunge:
    As others have noted, brilliance at self promotion and mastery of racist xenophobic demagoguery are great at riling up at least a plurality of about 1/3 of the country to win a primary. Those are not the talents I want to see in our president.
    Mussolini and Berlusconi both had those traits you admire in Trump. Both were disastrous for their country.

  60. grumpy realist says:

    @Andre Kenji: Celebrity: “Someone famous for being famous.”

    In other words, it’s a self-reinforcing turd for Gawker snark.

  61. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    You might also want to look at the governmental accomplishments of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, both rich celebrities who were swept into office on a tide of disgust at the status quo and who essentially accomplished nothing.

    Schwarzenegger has some applicability, but I believe that Ventura is a different beast when it comes to accomplishment. Ventura ran as and was elected as a Reform (Perot) Party candidate.

    You’re correct in that Ventura is spot-on as a personality analogue to Trump – a thin-skinned narcissist.

    But Arnold was a R and ran as an R and had party colleagues in the legislature even if not in the majority. Ventura had no legislative party allies in the MN House or Senate.

    As a voting phenomenon, I see Trump as more of a Ventura figure than a Schwarzenegger, but Arnold is probably the better comparison from a system perspective – if elected, Trump would have R allies in the House and Senate.

    Also, Ventura really wasn’t very rich. He’s been a pro wrestler which pays crap and he had been in quite small roles in big movies which prolly paid well, but being second banana in Predataor doesn’t have a “rich” payday. More a well-known celebrity than a rich celebrity.