So a snarky little Ailes press release, poking fun at him for his discomfort with Megyn Kelly, has caused Trump to lose it, maybe literally. He admitted to O’Reilly that this little poke in the ribs is what sent him over the top. The alpha man, who, with juvenile abandon, insults and mocks any who challenge him, can’t take being needled by a TV executive.
Actually, it may not be his blushing nature that’s at the bottom of this. It’s his New York values. One of those is tit for tat. You push, you get pushed back. Mocking Donald Trump will cost you. A lesson for anyone who might be tempted to try in the future. Another New York value: money is the measure of a man. Trump’s always talking about the huge ad revenue these debates are getting for the networks. It’s all because of him, and he doesn’t even get a cut. This rankles. He’s being taken advantage of.
Boycotting the debate may cost Fox millions of dollars and viewers, so Trump will have won. Mess with Trump, and you’re going to suffer. Message received.
But Trump shouldn’t be thinking about Mammon, but momentum. This hissy fit will cost him votes in Iowa. If it costs him a victory he will have popped his own balloon, and will limp into New Hampshire as a loser. Just another slippery politician who sold out to Big Corn because of the Iowa caucuses.
In The Big Lebowski the sycophant who’s introducing the Dude to the big man shows off some of his accomplishments, including a picture with Nancy Reagan, “…when she was First Lady, of course.” I was reminded of this reading the press release Trump put out announcing his boycott. If you have any lingering doubts about how Donald Trump likes to think about himself, you should read it. It’s absolutely hilarious. If he’s an alpha male, he’s the most insecure one I’ve ever seen.
I read where Limbaugh’s defending this. Pandering to the Trump cult, afraid to offend his audience. Weak. It makes you think the Donald may have talked to him privately. But he may have a point. Trump’s got a big lead in Iowa, over six points in the RCP average. He’s beaten Cruz down to the point where he thinks he can afford to miss the one debate to be held in Iowa. He doesn’t need it, he can win without it. Why take a chance at being ambushed?
But Iowans are famous for last minute decisions in their caucuses, and things can turn on a dime in a matter of days. This is the only debate to be held in Iowa, and people are disappointed. They wanted one last chance to look these people over, in a local venue. Trump is denying them something they’ve been anticipating. And his excuse is ridiculous. A hard question, a tough tweet, and he bails?
How many Trump voters are soft, how many undecideds may be bothered? Ann Selzer is probably in the field with her poll soon, and it’s to soon to know how all this plays. If Cruz climbs back to within a few points, his ground operation could allow him to sneak through with a win.
I almost didn’t write this, since Trump can always change his mind. Skipping debates is not smart politics. If you’re treated unfairly you use the debate forum to make that point. But we’re assured his word is his bond.
It’s funny how a candidacy can come apart so quickly. Muskie crying outside the Union-Leader’s office, George Romney complaining of being brainwashed, Gerald Ford insisting Poland was free. If Trump loses Iowa it could be one of those moments.