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VAL 2016 | Amatörism genomsyrar hela Donald Trumps valkampanj. Ett tecken på detta är alla oerfarna personer han omger sig med.

the-new-yorker

Främst i raden är hans egen familj. Men i realiteten lyssnar han bara på sig själv. Oavsett vilket har de alla lika lite erfarenhet av politiska valkampanjer.

James Carville, Bill Clintons gamla kampanjstrateg, påstår t.o.m. att man inte ens kan kalla det för en valkampanj i traditionell bemärkelse. Inte konstigt att Team Trump har problem.

Lizzie Widdicombe skriver i The New Yorker följande:

The modern Presidential campaign may be the world’s most sophisticated pop-up operation, a billion-dollar multilayered organization that, if it hopes to succeed, must be as technologically sophisticated and responsive as any Silicon Valley unicorn. A campaign includes armies of social-media worker bees, data crunchers, messaging experts, policy advisers, media surrogates, fund-raising chiefs, oppo-research teams, volunteers, and, above all, coolheaded managers, who can formulate a coherent position on Chinese trade policy and a plan for how to get out the vote in Hillsborough County in a lightning storm.

Then, there is the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, which has followed this formula about as closely as the candidate follows the South Beach Diet. The Republican Party establishment has, if reluctantly, helped sketch the outlines of an organization. The campaign raised eighty million dollars in July; some of Trump’s friends and donors have been tapped to form a team of economic advisers, who include numerous billionaires and men named Steve. But Trump’s “brain trust” is largely the black box of Donald Trump’s real and existing brain.

Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has hinted at the limitations of his own position. “The candidate is in control of his campaign,” Manafort told Fox News recently. “And I’m in control of doing the things that he wants me to do in the campaign.” To Trump’s fans, this is part of his appeal. Politicians can resemble automatons, mouthing the directives of some offstage Svengali. Trump tweets what he wants to tweet. “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain,” he has said. Preparation is overrated. Clinton staffers spent months detailing the rhetoric and the attacks that were part of this summer’s Democratic National Convention. Trump said, of the Republican version, “I didn’t produce our show—I just showed up for the final speech on Thursday.”

“The Trump campaign is not a bad campaign,” James Carville, who managed Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, told me. “It’s not a messed-up campaign. It’s not a dysfunctional campaign. There is no campaign.” Carville continued, “Everybody that’s done this for a living and got paid to do it is, like, ‘Oh, my gosh, suppose this works. We’re all rendered useless.’ He will have destroyed an entire profession.”

But the Trump campaign is not without secondary figures. Rather than a Karl Rove or a David Axelrod, his true inner circle seems to be his family, especially his adult children. It’s nothing new for the children of Presidential candidates to lend a hand. George W. and Jeb Bush worked alongside Lee Atwater in their father’s 1988 campaign. Al Gore’s daughters were well-spoken surrogates. The five Romney boys—those square-jawed Mittlets—gave strategic advice to their father. But it’s different with Trump, because, as the political historian Julian Zelizer observed recently, the Trump kids “seem at points to be the only people in the room.”

Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 22 augusti 2016. Bilden på omslaget är Barry Blitts ”Donald’s Rainy Days”.

KOMEDI | ”Storm in a Teacup” är en romantisk komedi från 1937, i regi av Alexander Korda, med Vivien Leigh och Rex Harrison i hans första huvudroll.

storm-in-a-teacup

Den enkla handlingen kretsar kring en reporter (Harrison) som skriver en artikel som framställer en lokal politiker med parlamentsplaner i dåligt ljus. Och naturligtvis förälskar sig denna reporter i politikerns dotter (Leigh). Filmen kan ses i sin helhet på YouTube.

VAL 2016 | Här är två omslag från The New Yorker som ganska väl sammanfattar hur media generellt har framställt Hillary Clinton och Donald Trump.

The New Yorker - May 23, 2016

Här är Trump (“Grand Illusion” av Barry Blitt) kandidaten som ingen tog på allvar.

Men Trump lyckades besegra alla motkandidater och samtidigt knäcka det gamla gardet i det republikanska partiet. Och det med politiska idéer som ingen uppfattar som vare sig seriösa eller genomförbara.

Efter Trump blir inget sig likt igen för Abraham Lincolns och Ronald Reagans gamla parti.

The New Yorker - June 20, 2016

Och här är Hillary Clinton (“Ready for a Fight” av Barry Blitt) som kandidaten som tvingades slåss hela vägen till partikonventet. Vägen blev jobbigare än väntat. Men leendet visar att det var mödan värt.

Nomineringen har varit säkrad ett tag nu även om hon aldrig lyckades slå knockout på Bernie Sanders. Mot honom får hon nöja sig med poängseger. Nästa fight: Vita huset.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 23 maj respektive 20 juni 2016.

EKONOMI | President Barack Obama har varit bättre för USA:s ekonomin än vad företagen vill erkänna.

bloomberg-businessweek-27 June-July 3 2016

När Obama intervjuades av ett team från tidskriften Bloomberg Businessweek lyckades han även få in en giftig kommentar om att Donald Trump inte uppfattas som speciellt framgångsrik bland många affärsmän.

The stock market has tripled. Profits are very high. And yet you still have this label of being an anti-business figure. How do you look at that?

Well, first of all, toward the end of my second term, I think among the business community, there’s maybe a greater acknowledgment, a less grudging acknowledgment, that we steered through the worst financial and economic crisis in our lifetimes successfully—certainly more successfully than many of our peers. We’re now 10 percent above the GDP pre-crisis. In Europe, for example, they’re just now getting back to even.

As you mentioned, the stock market, obviously, has come roaring back. But I think more relevant for ordinary folks, we’ve cut the unemployment rate in half. We’ve been able to have the longest [stretch of] consecutive months of private-sector job growth in our history. Biggest job growth since the ’90s in manufacturing. The auto industry has come roaring back and is selling more cars than ever. We’ve doubled the production of clean energy. Our production of traditional fossil fuels has exceeded all expectations. We’ve been able to grow the economy, reduce unemployment, and cut the deficit by around three-quarters, measured as a percent of GDP. So it’s hard to argue with the facts.

I think where the business community has traditionally voiced complaints about my administration is in the regulatory sector. And yet, if you look at the results—Dodd-Frank being a good example—it is indisputable that our banking system and our financial sector are safer and more stable than when I came into office. Now, what’s also true is that banking profits are not as outsized as they were, but I don’t consider that a bad thing, and I think most Americans don’t either. They’re still making a profit, it’s just that there is a froth that’s been eliminated, and that’s good over the long term for the financial sector.

[…]

We’re going to have a global entrepreneurship summit—the last one of a series that we began when I first came into office. And the enthusiasm from around the world about these summits speaks to the advantage that we continue to have here in the United States. It’s this notion that if you get a good idea, and you organize some people to support you, and you learn from your mistakes, you can create something entirely new.

You can become Bill Gates.

You can become Bill Gates. Or, in some cases, you can electrify a village. You can save water in a desert. That’s the thing about the U.S. economy that continues to be unique. And it’s tied to capitalism and markets, but it’s also tied to a faith in science and reason and a mindset that says there’s always something new to discover, and we don’t know everything, and we’re going to try new things, and we’re pragmatic. And if we ever lose that, then we will have lost what has made us an incredible force for good in the world. If we sustain it, then we can maintain the kind of progress that has been made. I always tell interns and young people who I talk to that as tough as things seem right now, do not believe people when they tell you they wish they could go back to the good old days. Because the good old days aren’t—I’m now old enough where I remember some of those good old days.

Does it annoy you, then, that the guy who wants to go back and is America’s most successful businessman, at least by his own reckoning, is Donald Trump?

Well, I—there’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump. I know those guys, and so do you, and I guarantee you, that’s not their view.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 27 juni-3 july 2016.

VAL 2016 | Tror Donald Trump på vad han själv säger? Eller är det bara ett sätt att skilja ut sig från mängden och få gratis uppmärksamhet?

The Hollywood Reporter from 10 June 2016

Frågorna blir aldrig riktigt besvarade när Michael Wolff träffade Trump för The Hollywood Reporter.

Men rubriken på hans artikel – ”Politics’ ‘Dark Heart’ Is Having the Best Time Anyone’s Ever Had” – säger en ungefär var Wollf landar i sin bedömning av Trump.

”The biggest thing is the theme. It’s what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins”, skriver Wollf.

Det skulle förklara varför Trump alltid pratat om sig själv. Ju mer vi pratat om honom ju mindre utrymme blir det för Hillary Clinton.

Detta kan möjligtvis kallas en valstrategi. Men en framgångsrik sådan? Knappast. Väljarna röstar inte på politiker bara för att de är fascinerade av dem.

If there’s any pattern to his conversation, it’s that he’s vague on all subjects outside himself, his campaign and the media. Everything else is mere distraction.

[…]

I broach his problems with women and Hispanics and the common wisdom that he’ll have to do at least as well with these groups as Mitt Romney did in 2012. The ”pivot” is the word more politico pros are using to refer to his expected turn to the center. ”Unless,” I offer, ”you think you can remake the electoral math.” He says he absolutely can. So no pivot. ”It’ll be different math than they’ve ever seen.” He is, he says, bigger than anything anyone has ever seen. ”I have a much bigger base than Romney. Romney was a stiff!” And he’ll be bigger with the people he’s bigger with, but also he’ll be bigger with women and Hispanics and blacks, too. He believes, no matter what positions he holds or slurs he has made, that he is irresistible.

[…]

It is hard not to feel that Trump understands himself, and that we’re all in on this kind of spectacular joke. His shamelessness is just so … shameless. So how much, I ask — quite thinking he will get the nuance here — is the Trump brand based on exaggeration? He responds, with perfect literalness, none at all. I try again. He must understand. How could he not? ”You’ve talked about negotiation, which is about compromise and about establishing positions that you can walk back from. How much about being a successful person involves … well, bullshitting? How much of success is playing games?”

If he does understand, he’s definitely not taking this bait. I try again: ”How much are you a salesman?”

Salesman, in the Trump worldview, is hardly a bad word, and he is quite willing to accept it, although, curiously, he doesn’t want to be thought of that way when it comes to real estate. But as a politician, he’s OK as a salesman.

In this, he sees himself — and becomes almost eloquent in talking about himself — as a sort of performer and voter whisperer. He is, he takes obvious pride in saying, the only politician who doesn’t regularly use a teleprompter. With a prompter, he says, you can’t work the crowd. You can’t feel it. ”You got to look at them in the eye. Have you ever seen me speak in front of a large group of people? Have you ever watched?” He reflects on the lack of self-consciousness that’s necessary to make spontaneous utterances before a crowd. He cites a well-known actor (whose name he asks me not to use, ”I don’t want to hurt anybody”), who had wanted to run for office but, without a script, was a blithering idiot. Trump was never fed lines on The Apprentice, he says. It was all him: ”You have to have a natural ability.”

[…]

The anti-Christ Trump, the Trump of bizarre, outre, impractical and reactionary policies that most reasonable people yet believe will lead to an astounding defeat in November, is really hard to summon from Trump in person. He deflects that person, or, even, dissembles about what that person might have said (as much, he dissembles for conservatives about what the more liberal Trump might have said), and is impatient that anyone might want to focus on that version of Trump. It does then feel that the policies, such as they are, and the slurs, are not him. They are just a means to the end — to the phenomenon. To the center of attention. The biggest thing that has ever happened in politics. In America. The biggest thing is the theme. It’s what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins.

Läs mer: ”3 key ways Donald Trump’s Hollywood Reporter interview explains his Campaign” på Vox.com.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Hollywood Reporter den 10 juni 2016.

VAL 2016 | Var finns de framgångsrika demokratiska och socialistiska politiska konsulterna i amerikansk politik?

Bernie Sanders

Den retoriska frågan ställde Bernie Sanders när han intervjuades i Rolling Stone av Tim Dickinson.

Frågan var intressant med tanke på att Sanders valkampanj har ett överskott av entusiasm, inte minst från sina unga gräsrötter men ett underskott av professionella medarbetare.

Team Sanders har varit duktiga på att två saker: samla in stora mängder pengar från vanligt folk och locka stora folkmassor till sina valmöten.

Mindre framgångsrika har man varit när det gäller att stå emot attackerna från Hillary Clintons professionella medarbetare med stor erfarenhet från tidigare valrörelser.

Men en annan förklaring till att Sanders hamnat på efterkälken är att han säkerligen inte förväntade sig få en sådan positiv respons bland de demokratiska väljarna.

Även Sanders trodde nog att det skulle bli en promenadseger för Clinton. Sanders hoppades nog bara på att kunna påverka Clinton och partiets valplattform i en mer positiv riktning.

On a campaign, a candidate gets so much advice. Who’s been the lodestar – the person or people that you return to for guidance?

The difficulty that we have had in this campaign is that if you have the politics of somebody like a Hillary Clinton, you can bring together a team with a whole lot of political experience, people who have been part of Bill Clinton’s campaigns or administration, or Al Gore’s efforts, pollsters or media people or great surrogates. That is what the establishment Democratic Party has – hundreds of very knowledgeable people. Sophisticated people. I know many of them. I’ve been in the rooms during Obama’s campaigns. I have looked at the chart of literally the 39 different ways Obama can win. ”If you lose Wisconsin but you win New Je rsey and bup, bup, bup…”

But there aren’t a whole lot of people who understand the day-to-day mechanics of running a presidential campaign, who have history running a campaign for a candidate like myself. You tell me: Where are the democratic-socialist political consultants who have been involved in successful campaigns in recent history? There aren’t any. So we’ve had to put together our own campaign by the seat of our pants. And that’s been hard. We started this campaign with a handful of people from Vermont, people I’ve known for 20 or 30 years. And it’s grown. We’ve used people who have experience in the Democratic Party – the best that we can find. And we have political activists involved. We’ve met some great people over the campaign. A lot of great surrogates, from Nina Turner to Chuy Garcia to Killer Mike to Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon – great people from different walks of life who gravitated into the campaign.

Bild: Talking Union.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders i en intervju med Rolling Stone:

It’s hard. But I volunteered to do this. I’m glad we’re doing it. I look forward to winning this damn thing.