Archive for november, 2015

VAL 2016 | När en populistisk presidentkandidat på högerkanten får beröm i New York kan man vara säker på att (eller hon) gör något rätt.

New York - Donald Trump

Inte för att artikeln av liberalen Frank Rich är okritisk. Tvärt om. Men i det stora hela får Trump beröm för att han vågar ifrågasätta den politiska kulturen i allmänhet och republikanernas i synnerhet.

En innovation som gjort Trumpskampanj så framgångsrik är att Trump valt att hålla kampanjstrategerna på armslängds avstånd. Trump brukar säga att han får all information som han behöver från dagens nyheter. Han behöver inga rådgivare.

Och inte har han behövt att köpa någon tv-reklam heller. Han får tillräckligt med gratisreklam ändå.

Om Trumps kampanjstab är smarta ser man till att sprida innehållet till både höger och vänster. Om inte annat för att artikeln är än mer kritisk mot de övriga republikanska presidentkandidaterna (och mot Hillary Clinton).

In the short time since Trump declared his candidacy, he has performed a public service by exposing, however crudely and at times inadvertently, the posturings of both the Republicans and the Democrats and the foolishness and obsolescence of much of the political culture they share. He is, as many say, making a mockery of the entire political process with his bull-in-a-china-shop antics. But the mockery in this case may be overdue, highly warranted, and ultimately a spur to reform rather than the crime against civic order that has scandalized those who see him, in the words of the former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, as “dangerous to democracy.”

Trump may be injecting American democracy with steroids. No one, after all, is arguing that the debates among the GOP presidential contenders would be drawing remotely their Game of Thrones-scale audiences if the marquee stars were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.


What’s exhilarating, even joyous, about Trump has nothing to do with his alternately rancid and nonsensical positions on policy. It’s that he’s exposing the phoniness of our politicians and the corruption of our political process by defying the protocols of the whole game. He skips small-scale meet-and-greets in primary-state living rooms and diners. He turned down an invitation to appear at the influential freshman senator Joni Ernst’s hog roast in Iowa. He routinely denigrates sacred GOP cows like Karl Rove and the Club for Growth. He has blown off the most powerful newspapers in the crucial early states of Iowa (the Des Moines Register) and New Hampshire (the Union-Leader) and paid no political price for it. Yet he is overall far more accessible to the press than most candidates — most conspicuously Clinton — which in turn saves him from having to buy television ad time.


He also makes a sport of humiliating high-end campaign gurus. When Sam Clovis, a powerful Evangelical conservative activist in Iowa, jumped from the cratering Perry to Trump in August, it seemed weird. Despite saying things like “I’m strongly into the Bible,” Trump barely pretends to practice any religion. The Des Moines Register soon published excerpts from emails written just five weeks earlier (supplied by Perry allies) in which Clovis had questioned Trump’s “moral center” and lack of “foundation in Christ” and praised Perry for calling Trump “a cancer on conservatism.” But, like Guy Grand in The Magic Christian, Trump figured correctly that money spoke louder than Christ to Clovis. He was no less shrewd in bringing the focus-group entrepreneur Frank Luntz to heel. After Luntz convened a negative post-debate panel on Fox News that, in Luntz’s view, signaled “the destruction” of Trump’s campaign, Trump showered him with ridicule. Luntz soon did a Priebus-style about-face and convened a new panel that amounted to a Trump lovefest. One participant praised Trump for not mouthing “that crap” that’s been “pushed to us for the past 40 years.” It’s unclear if Luntz was aware of the irony of his having been a major (and highly compensated) pusher of “that crap,” starting with his role in contriving the poll-shaped pablum of Newt Gingrich’s bogus “Contract With America.”

A perfect paradigm of how lame old-school, top-heavy campaigns can be was crystallized by a single story on the front page of the Times the day after Labor Day. Its headline said it all: “Clinton Aides Set New Focus for Campaign — A More Personal Tone of Humor and Heart.” By announcing this “new focus” to the Times, which included “new efforts to bring spontaneity” to a candidacy that “sometimes seems wooden,” these strategists were at once boasting of their own (supposed) political smarts and denigrating their candidate, who implicitly was presented as incapable of being human without their direction and scripts. Hilariously enough, the article straight-facedly cited as expert opinion the former Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom — whose stewardship of the most wooden candidate in modern memory has apparently vanished into a memory hole — to hammer home the moral that “what matters is you appear genuine.”

We also learned from this piece that Clinton would soon offer “a more contrite tone” when discussing her email woes, because a focus group “revealed that voters wanted to hear directly from Mrs. Clinton” about it. The aides, who gave the Times “extensive interviews,” clearly thought that this story was a plus for their candidate, and maybe the candidate did, too, since she didn’t fire them on the spot. They all seemed unaware of the downside of portraying Clinton as someone who delegated her “heart” to political operatives and her calibration of contrition to a focus group. By offering a stark contrast to such artifice, the spontaneous, unscripted Trump is challenging the validity and value of the high-priced campaign strategists, consultants, and pollsters who dominate our politics, shape journalistic coverage, and persuade even substantial candidates to outsource their souls to focus groups and image doctors. That brand of politics has had a winning run ever since the young television producer Roger Ailes used his media wiles to create a “new Nixon” in 1968. But in the wake of Trump’s “unprofessional” candidacy, many of the late-20th-century accoutrements of presidential campaigns, often tone-deaf and counter­productive in a new era where social media breeds insurgencies like Obama’s, Trump’s and Sanders’s, could be swept away — particularly if Clinton’s campaign collapses.

Tidskriftsomslag: New York, 21 september – 4 oktober 2015.

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Britain magazine - March-April 2015

Med tanke på att det i år är 50 år sedan Winston Churchill avled, 75 år sedan han för första gången blev premiärminister och 75 år sedan “Finest Hour”, Churchills tal vid Slaget om Storbritannien, är det inte konstigt att Britain – nationella turistbyråns officiella tidskrift – har statsmannen på omslaget.

Och snyggt är omslaget också. Det platsar därför definitivt i vår högst oregelbundet återkommande serie om ”Tidskriftsomslag vi gillar”.

Bild: Britain, maj 2015 (amerikanska upplagan).

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KRIS | Det är svårt att inte komma till slutsatsen att Åsa Romson varit lite av en belastning för Miljöpartiet.


Men internt verkan man vara ganska nöjda. Frågan är bara varför och för hur länge.

I en lång artikel av Karin Eriksson i DN:s veckomagasin Dagens Nyheter Lördag har man tagit pulsen på Romson.

Man kom in på hennes (o)förmåga att kommunicera och partiets tafatthet i regeringsställning. Men Romsons egna erkännanden av brister verkar mest ske under galgen.

– Det fanns en uppfattning bland miljöpartisterna att de var de enda som såg och ville lösa de avgörande frågorna för världen. Men för att få genomslag måste man söka sig till makten. Då krävs en viss professionalitet. Därför ville de bli mer välpolerade, säger statsvetaren Katarina Barrling, som djupstuderade den gröna riksdagsgruppen strax efter millennieskiftet.


– Det finns en längtan i Miljöpartiet tillbaka till gräsrotsrörelsen. Åsa Romson representerar tydligt den här mer idealistiska ådran i partiet, säger Katarina Barrling.

Men det är en sak att vara idealist i opposition och en annan att representera gräsrotsrörelsen när man är chef för ett departement och uppbär titeln vice statsminister. Att vara ledare i Miljöpartiet är både lätt och svårt, säger Katarina Barrling:

– Medlemmarna stör sig inte på taffligheter som i andra partier. Men när man möter en hård yttervärld är man inte riktigt tränad för att vara den typ av ledare som omvärlden kräver. Det är svårt att företräda en stor förvaltning och samtidigt hålla den där idealistiska glöden vid liv.

Åsa Romsons titel vice statsminister har också ifrågasatts. Dels formellt, efter DN:s avslöjande om att hon inte får vara ställföreträdare för statsministern. Dels informellt, av politiska motståndare som aldrig förlåtit hennes attack på medelålders vita män i Almedalen förra året.

Hur ska budskapet hålla ihop?


Irritationen internt är begränsad när det kommer till enskilda klavertramp om bottenfärg och koncentrationsläger. Däremot finns en uppriktig oro över hur partiet hanterar miljöfrågorna. Och även om en del har invändningar mot transportpolitiken, så är det mer kommunikationen än leveransen som bekymrar.

Lorentz Tovatt är språkrör för Grön ungdom.

– Jag är väldigt, väldigt nöjd med regeringens miljöpolitik, om jag ser på vad man åstadkommit. Det är gigantiska skillnader mot alliansen. Men det har inte kommit ut, säger han.

Han tycker att Åsa Romson är otroligt skicklig i sakpolitiken.

– Hon tillhör dem som kan mest. Men man måste också kommunicera. Nu kommer en omställning, och vi måste prata om den med glädje. Det är regeringens utmaning. Och det är Åsa Romsons utmaning, säger han.


Att ställa frågor om förtroende till en politiker som underpresterar kan vara en tuff historia, det händer att man som reporter ser resultatet i fysiska reaktioner. En svettas ymnigt. En annan får rödflammig hals.

En tredje, Åsa Romson, behåller lugnet. Men lite av färgen försvinner från kinderna och hon skrattar inte mer.

Hon talar om det parlamentariska läget och att det är en tuff period i svensk politik. Hon säger att folk har höga förväntningar på just Miljöpartiet. Och att medierna helst beskriver ett regeringssamarbete som ett nollsummespel, där någon vinner och någon förlorar.

– Det är lätt att ha de stora politiska visionerna men sedan måste man ändå transformera det in i den politiska verkligheten, säger hon.

Hur påverkar det dig att veta att du har lågt förtroende?

– Det påverkar ju på det sättet att jag inte kan vila i att ”ja! Nu tuffar allt som tåget och allt går superbra”. Förtroendet är en mätare på om vi når ut och berättar om det som vi tycker går bra.


Om man pratar med människor internt, så finns det en del som säger att ”Åsa slår ifrån sig kritiken, hon har inte haft nog krisinsikt”. Vad svarar du på det?

– Vi är vana att ha ett ganska öppet debattklimat i Miljöpartiet. Ibland har det kunnat spelas på från oppositionen. Men jag har ju inte stuckit under stol med att jag måste jobba vidare med flera saker i min roll som både språkrör och minister.

Vad är det du behöver jobba med?

– Jag har ju alltid varit väldigt sakinriktad som person. Kändisskapet är något som comes with the job. Men jag vill ha ett miljövänligare samhälle, jag vill att våra barn växer upp i en bättre värld. Jag var ju forskare innan jag gick in i politiken nu senast, då är det klart att man är van vid ett mer sakinriktat arbetsläge. Det tar tid att ställa om och jobba fullt ut med hela den palett av verktyg som man måste jobba med som politiker.

Vad är det för verktyg?

– Framför allt kommunikativa verktyg. Den här olyckliga jämförelsen med Auschwitz i en tv-debatt, det handlar ju om en kommunikativ förmåga där man… Det handlar om att lära sig att tänka snabbt men inte för snabbt i en debattsituation.


Hur lång tid har du på dig att vända förtroendesiffrorna?

– Det får andra utvärdera. Jag vill ju att de ska gå upp. Jag vill ju förändra verkligheten i en grönare riktning och det gör vi ju bara om vi också får ett starkare förtroende för den politiken.

Tidskriftsomslag: Dagens Nyheter Lördag, 24 oktober 2015 (#69).

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Clement Attlee kampanjar

Ett typiskt foto från en valkampanj. Inte mycket har förändrats jämfört med idag.

Här är det premiärminister Clement Attlee (1883 – 1967) som talar på Wolverton Market Square under valkampanjen 1950. Labour vann men fick se sin majoritet minska till bara fem mandat i parlamentet.

Bild: Getty Images.

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IT Båda Barack Obamas presidentvalskampanjer utmärktes av ett maximalt utnyttjande av de teknologiska landvinningarna kring sociala medier.

Fast Company

Nu vill presidenten gå vidare och göra samma sak på den federala nivån. Nu skall myndigheterna bli mer tillgängliga för medborgarna.

Att det hela inte gått helt smärtfritt visade problemen vid lanseringen av Healthcare.gov. Det gäller nu att undvika tidigare misstag.

Fast Company har beskrivit det pågående arbetet i artikel ”Inside Obama’s Stealth Startup”. Till hjälp har han en lång rad personer rekryterade från bl.a. Google och Facebook.

Samtidigt med artikel intervjuades Obama av tidskriftens editor-in-chief Robert Saflan.

You know, the federal government is full of really smart people, with a lot of integrity, who work really hard and do some incredible stuff. And it’s on par with the private sector on all those measures. But technology [has been] terrible. And for me, given that our campaigns both in 2008 and 2012 were built on being at the very cutting edge of social media and technology and empowering people and speed and nimbleness, to see how lumbering this thing was, that was pretty distressing.

So I started working fairly quickly to say, This wasn’t good enough, how do we make it better? We started putting more emphasis on technology and IT in each department. But I’ll be honest with you. With all the crises we were dealing with—the economy collapsing, the auto industry on the verge of collapse, winding down wars—this did not get the kind of laser-focused attention until ­Healthcare.gov, which was a well-­documented disaster, but ended up anyways being the catalyst for us saying, ”Okay, we have to completely revamp how we do things.” The results there were so outstanding, and because we discovered that there are folks at Google and Facebook and Twitter and all these amazing firms who really wanted to find some way to engage in public service—and many of them could afford to do so because they had done very well . . .


So the stakes here are making the government more competent, more efficient, more impactful?

Absolutely. Well, look, here’s what we know historically: That societies where there is no effective functioning government don’t do very well. ­Societies where government is all-consuming and quashes the private sector, they don’t do very well either. What you want is a partnership between a robust market-based system where people are innovating, and it’s dynamic, and things are moving fast, but you also want a government that makes sure roads are built and schools are teaching the next generation what they need to know and are willing to invest in things like basic research that serve as the foundation for private sector success and discovery . . . and has enough basic rules of the road so they aren’t spilling a bunch of sludge into the water, and the air is breathable. And, you know, our private sector thrives because we historically have had a very effective government. Now, over the last several years that has become more ossified and stuck. And it hasn’t kept pace with changes in technology. And part of what we’re doing here is to yank government—upgrade it, patch it, and ultimately transform it so that it is responsive and can interface with this new private sector in a much more effective way.


Arguably the next killer app for tech would be online voting. That’s a state and local issue, but I wondered whether you think that it’s something that should be a priority for technologists?

Absolutely. So we’ve been talking about the U.S. digital team, and a lot of this is: How do we deliver services better to customers? But there are other aspects of this process that we are trying to ­develop. We want technology to help shape policy. Think about our big data projects. We know that in the same way that the National Weather Service or the development of GPS and satellites created entire new ways that people organized their lives, that in health care, for example, there are going to be transformations taking place because of the ability to collect and analyze data and then transmit it in very individualized fashion to people.

And so in our policy making, we’re trying to make sure that insights and knowledge coming out of tech are informing how we think about regulations, how we think about opportunities to solve big challenges. But there is a third part of this. And that is: How do people engage and relate to their government? You know, our constitutional design is remarkable; it has lasted for many years. But it’s no secret that many people feel alienated and distant from government. And I think the opportunities for us to think about how tech can empower citizens and make them feel ownership for their government is really important.

Tidskriftsomslag: Fast Company, juli-augusti 2015.

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VÄLJARE | Att framhäva politikernas personlighet och privatliv är något både media och politiker inte tycks kunna få nog av.

The American Interest

Det personliga säljer och politiker vill gärna få väljarna att tro att han eller hon är din kompis.

Det är därför Fredrik Reinfeldt gärna talade om att han tyckte om att städa och Stefan Löfven inte har något emot att berätta om sin arbetarbakgrund. Och det är därför Annie Lööf inte så sällan talar om att hon är uppvuxen i glesbygd.

Dessa berättelser är till för att väcka sympatier hos väljarna, få dem att identifiera sig med politikerna och öka förtroendet för politiken.

Om politikerna kan berätta en sympatisk historia om sitt liv hoppas man att detta skall öka sympatierna för deras politik. Och locka över tveksamma väljare.

Om väljarna kan fås att tro att politikern är ”som människor är mest” kan man minimera risken för att väljarna röstar på någon annan p.g.a. politiska förslag som inte är till förmån för väljaren. För inte skulle väl ”min kompis” fatta beslut som skulle skada mig som väljare?!

Resultatet blir att vi allt för ofta ser politiker som prioriterar deltagande i caféprogram och morgonsoffor istället för att möta hårdslående journalister.

En som var mästare på att säga ingenting var förra hälso- och landstingsborgarrådet Filippa Reinfeldt (M).

Den som lyckas hitta en intervju där hon verkligen får stå till svars för sin politik är bara att gratulera. Istället hittar man desto fler lättviktiga reportage och personporträtt som innehåller noll av värde för den politiskt intresserade.

En som tycker att det hela har gått för långt är författaren R. Jay Magill, Jr. som skriver om faran av politisk närhet mellan väljare och politiker (och media som så gärna bidrar till detta).

As the American presidential primary season gears up in earnest, prudent men and women would do well to steel themselves against the coming onslaught of mawkish promotionals bound to head in our general direction.


Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign message, too, is sculpted around intimate details of her life, including her upbringing by her long-suffering mother Dorothy Rodham and her rule-obsessed father Hugh Rodham. The script cries out, “I, like you, have been a victim”, a message crafted to resonate with Democratic constituencies. The New York Times eagerly assists in the effort; note the cover story of the July 19 New York Times Magazine by Mark Leibovich, “The Once and Future Hillary”, followed on Tuesday, July 21, by Amy Chozick’s front-page story, “Clinton Father’s Brusque Style, Mostly Unspoken but Powerful.”

Of course, emotional appeal has been an effective rhetorical device since the beginning of rhetorical devices.Of course, emotional appeal has been an effective rhetorical device since the beginning of rhetorical devices.


Some of what has happened to American political culture in recent decades is common to Western democracies generally, and some is not. On the one hand, there is evidence of a general personalization of politics in Western democracies over the past three decades. In Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands there has been a increasing focus on the personality of a political figure: his personal preferences, consumer choices, how he looks, behavioral tics, psychological and emotional makeup, personal histories or private family affairs.


Though certainly there is civic good that comes of knowing that an elected official is laundering money, lying to the citizenry about matters of the public interest, or defrauding taxpayers, it is unclear if knowing about politicians’ private affairs actually matters in their conduct of affairs of state. Europeans tend to think it does not; politicians are not asked to share the intimate details of their private or emotional lives because those details are deemed irrelevant to politics. But Americans tend to think it does.


Whether one prefers European or American sensibilities in such matters, political leaders are not just ordinary beings like you and me. They have willfully entered public life and, in a representative democracy, agreed to accept the responsibility of adopting a representative public role within it. They have agreed, in effect, to perform for us. They are therefore charged not with disclosing their personal feelings about certain subjects but with achieving what their constituents want them to achieve. This is why politicians in democracies are also known as “public servants”, an arrangement we too often forget, or from which we have been distracted by the culture of political celebrity.

After all, democracy involves giving up some things you want and begrudgingly accepting some things you don’t. And since getting things done is what we expect of our politicians, we ought to focus less on how “sincerely” a politician holds a given belief and more on how effective he is on achieving the ends with which he has been tasked. Indeed, “sincere” beliefs can beget opposing ideological rigidities so powerful as to make pragmatic compromise all but impossible.


We would be wise to remember that a performing self only becomes “fake” when the standards and qualities set for the private self are substituted into the template for the public political self. It would be better, and it would, by extension, generate less fakeness in the end, if we simply removed the expectation of wanting some of the positive qualities we set for the private self—authenticity, genuineness, sincerity—from the category of the public, political self altogether. We should instead demand other qualities from the political self that have nothing to do with private subjectivity: a strong work ethic, clarity of expression, sound judgment, and even objectivity. Rebuilding the wall between the two kinds of selves and understanding that this demarcation holds is not only morally advisable but would help reinvigorate public life. It would also free politicians from the tyranny of the sense that they must attempt to be intimate with strangers—even if they are voters.

Tidskriftsomslag: The American Interest, September-oktober 2015 (Vol. XI, nr. 1)

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Jeremy Corbyn i The Telegraph - Photo EPA

Nick Cohen skriver att parlamentsledamöterna i Labour måste göra sig av med partiledaren Jeremy Corbyn om partiet skall överleva:

The left would go wild; Labour members would scream that MPs were backstabbing bastards who had overridden party democracy. But so what? Politicians are meant to be backstabbing bastards. There are moments of crisis when their party and their country’s interests demand backstabbing bastards. If today’s Labour MPs can’t bring themselves to be backstabbing bastards, they should step aside and make way for proper politicians who can.

Bild: Jeremy Corbyn i The Telegraph. Foto: EPA.

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USA | Donald Trump ser ut att vara oövervinnerlig. Istället för att implodera rullar det på för ”The Donald”. Ingen ser idag ut att kunna stoppa honom.

Rolling Stone September 24 2015 issue 1244

Ett tecken på detta är att Trumpkampanjen inte har behövt lägga några pengar på reklam i tv. ”The Donald” får tillräckligt med uppmärksamhet ändå.

Paul Solotaroff har följt Trump för tidskriften Rolling Stone. Här är ett utdrag från hans rapport:

What I saw was enough to make me take him dead serious. If you’re waiting for Trump to blow himself up in a Hindenburg of gaffes or hate speech, you’re in for a long, cold fall and winter. Donald Trump is here for the duration — and gaining strength and traction by the hour.

Begin with his message and mode of delivery. Standing over his shoulder, I watched Trump use the press to speak directly to his base, talking past the cameras and microphone banks to that furious demographic of working and out-of-work factory-town families who saw their wages set like Quikrete in the 1980s and watched the spoils and tax breaks swim upstream. When we landed in New Hampshire and pulled in to a Hampton high school in his motorcade of stretch SUVs, Trump was mobbed by reporters with the pushy fervor of kids seeking autographs at spring training. He batted aside their questions — Iraq, Russia, immigrants — to buttonhole the hundreds of people milling outside, unable to get in but listening on speakers, and the thousands more seated down the hall.

”I built a net worth of more than $10 billion. I’ve been a world-class businessman. . . . That’s the thinking that our country needs. Take our jobs back from China and Japan and Mexico. . . . Take a look at China. . . . We owe them $1.4 trillion . . . because we’re led by people who don’t have a clue. Honestly, I think we’re led by stupid people.”

There, in those words, is his campaign. I am strong; politicians are weak. I speak truth and never retreat; they lie and wave the white flag to our foes. They have stripped us bare; I will build us back, make this country feared the whole world over. Everything he utters is a version of this, dressed in different raiment or reference — and he’s saying it to people, his ”silent majority,” who have longed to hear these words since Richard Nixon. ”He’s delivering a message of power and courage without any proof points called policy,” says Steve Schmidt, the Republican wise man and campaign warhorse who’s been watching Trump with mounting fascination. ”A huge chunk of conservatives are unmoored from the issues. What moves them is his tone and attack on Republicans who they hold in complete contempt.”


To this point, at least, it’s been an asymmetrical war: Trump carpet-bombs his rivals each and every day without much in the way of artillery coming back. But sooner rather than later, the counterinsurgency will start, a coordinated effort by the party’s elites to trash him and his scary ideas. ”Trump’s challenge is, he’s got an unusual coalition — Tea Party Republicans, non-Tea Party Republicans and even some Democrats,” says Nate Cohn, the standout data journalist for The New York Times. ”What happens when he starts getting attacked on all the issues? Will he be able to hold his supporters together under the brunt of attack ads from the Super PACs?”

Cohn isn’t convinced that Trump’s constituency will see him through that thresher and beyond. ”He’s had total command of the media so far, and much of his strength is based on that. But popularity derived from public attention is generally thin, as we saw with Herman Cain and Sarah Palin.”

Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist, puts it somewhat more crudely: ”Trump’s starring in a reality show of his own making, and treats every appearance like an episode,” chasing ratings in the form of fresh votes. But how do you turn appointment TV into a lasting candidacy? ”You need a huge team on the ground doing the nuts-and-bolts work — collecting signatures to be on the ballot in certain states, bringing voters to the polls — and Trump is very late to the party,” says Cohn. ”Most of his rivals have been at this over a year, and have those seasoned operatives locked up. And even if they’re available, is he really prepared to pay them a premium now?”

The first time we met, Trump led me to understand that his run had cost him peanuts thus far. A little outlay for jet fuel and salary to staff events, but not a dime dropped on advertising or charters. ”I thought I’d have spent $10 million on ads, when so far I’ve spent zero,” he says. ”I’m on TV so much, it’d be stupid to advertise. Besides, the shows are more effective than ads.” But with a commanding national lead at the end of August and runaway margins in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, he’s had to staff up aggressively on the fly. To that end, he’s dispatched his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to speed-hire ground troops across the country, pros who’ll try to turn his rock-star crowds into follow-through voters in six months. He’s brought on Chuck Laudner, an old hand in Iowa politics, to run his operation in that state, and had ramped up months ago in South Carolina and New Hampshire, putting strong, seasoned crews to work.

”We’re up to 60 people now, including 14 in Iowa,” Trump tells me, ”and building huge, phenomenal teams in the first seven states. I know that costs money, but I’ve got this, believe me. Remember: The two biggest costs in a presidential run are ads and transportation. Well, I own two planes and a Sikorsky chopper, so I’d say I’m pretty well covered there, wouldn’t you?”

Still: Trump, for all his billions, has far less sitting in liquid assets. Bloomberg ran the numbers on his FEC filing and pegged his cash on hand at $70 million; Politico had it closer to $250 million. Either way, it sounds like a lot of money till you factor the per-diem costs of the past couple of presidential cycles. Barack Obama spent about $1.6 million a day at this stage of his first run, in 2007. The price tag may have doubled in the eight years since, though Trump has the cost breaks noted above, so perhaps it’ll only run him the million per. But Obama was raising money as fast as he spent it, while Trump is barely bothering to lift a finger. (At last report, he’d taken in $100,000, or about five percent of what he’s spent already.) Is he really prepared to shell out $30 million a month, and more when the primaries roll around?

Absolutely,” he tells me. ”I’m prepared to underwrite this! I make $400 to $600 million a year.”

Tidskriftsomslag: Rolling Stone, 24 september 2015.

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IMAGE |  Skandaler – politiska eller privata – har alltid gått hand i hand med Ted Kennedy. Det gäller förresten hela Kennedy-klanen.

Hänt i veckan

Här är ett veckotidningsomslag från 1970 med senator Ted Kennedy och hans fru Joan. Vad skandalen handlade om är det ingen som längre orkar bry sig om. Numret av Hänt i Veckan är daterat 4 december 1970.

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Cartoon by Mazurke - The Spectator

Bild: Teckning av Mazurke i The Spectator.

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