OK, I mean I don’t really believe that he could (do I?), but the skirmishes he has experienced recently have only enhanced his brand.
When he made those disparaging statements about Mexicans, the conventional wisdom was that it would hurt him politically. When his poll numbers went UP, early pundits suggested that they rose IN SPITE OF his comments. Now we’re pretty sure they went up BECAUSE OF his remarks.
He’s become a hero to those who are concerned about border security, and they don’t worry about the… lack of nuance, let’s say, in The Donald’s delivery. After Trump’s Phoenix, Arizona visit required securing a larger facility to hold the thousands of folks concerned about Mexican immigration, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) referred to them as “crazies.”
In retaliation, Trump attacked McCain’s military record, first saying that the former Vietnam War POW was not a hero, then, upon prompting, he says he is a hero, only because he was captured. On the subsequent news shows, he says that McCain IS a hero, and blames the media for distorting what he said.
(There’s a small group of Vietnam-era vets who seem to believe that McCain WAS no hero and ratted out the US to the North Vietnamese. Others believe that, as Senator, McCain buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.)
While there were veterans’ organizations that denounced Trump, there are others who embraced him as someone speaking on behalf of the less-than-stellar treatment our returning soldiers have often endured.
McCain’s friend Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who’s running for President, called Trump a “jackass,” and in response, Trump gave out Graham’s personal cellphone number.
The Donald also took a shot at former Texas governor Rick Perry, suggesting those glasses he’s now wearing don’t actually make him any smarter. I may have made a similar observation.
Trump is even being credited by some with getting President Obama to order flags over the Capitol and the White House lowered to half-staff, in respect of the five military service members murdered in Chattanooga.
Currently, Trump holds a double-digit lead over his nearest Republican opponent. The leading paper in Iowa, who referred to him as a “feckless blowhard”, called on him to drop out of the race, which he most assuredly won’t do anytime soon, certainly not before the August 6 debates. Perhaps in January, if he’s tired of the game.
Trump’s biggest problem and this is important to Iowa Republicans, is that he doesn’t sound like a born-again Christian.
Ultimately, I think that some people are impressed with the way he will take on all comers. Most of the folks, who appreciate The Donald bringing up issues they believe in, also know in their hearts that he doesn’t have the temperament to hold the highest office in the land.
Or so I’m counting on. David Kalish wrote a humorous column about dreaming about Trump, who has a case of NTBH, or “Need to be Hated” syndrome. I quipped that NTBH is currently covered under Obamacare, but as David noted, it wouldn’t be if Trump were elected.