Trump’s organization needs to mature and grow — quickly
The recent brouhaha with the Khans brings to light several, glaring failures in the Trump organization — things that are easily fixable and things which should be fixed soonest.
At the Democratic National Convention, the Kahn’s had the opening salvo in the silly war at work now. The Khans attacked Trump, his politics and his ability to be President. Trump responded questioning whether the mother (who was silent while her husband spoke from the podium at the DNC) was allowed to talk at all because she was a Muslim wife. He shouldn’t have. In a single swoop, he attacked a grieving mother, a religion and the motives for Gold Star parents. I have to ask: "What were you thinking?” Just as Hillary shrugged — off the far greater criticism of the Benghazi parents at the Republican National Convention, Trump should have let these citizens have their say. But it is done and now it has to be handled. Let this be a teaching moment.
First, The Make America Great Again Committee should send daily talking points to every Republican lawmaker and other supporters. Without Trump’s views on daily matters, these lawmakers will be all over the map. Some are in Hillary’s camp already and will take any opportunity to lash out at Trump. However, so many others would like to mount a credible defense of you. Trump should embrace this fact because it is a huge asset. He needs to lead the defense much more than he needs to lead the attack.
The press will put these lawmakers on the spot to repudiate the Republican and, without ammo, these lawmakers will capitulate every time. Trump should give them some ammo. Trump should give them ammo about the press shilling for Hillary, savaging his Gold Star moms while feigning outrage over your treatment of the Khans. He should give them ammo by asking them to respond to the press by insisting that they ask Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry to repudiate Hillary over your Benghazi mom’s claims before these lawmakers answer their silly questions about repudiating Trump. Trump should give them ammo about his good works for veterans, Gold Star parents and works for peace. Trump cannot blame any ally for surrendering if he do not give them ammo.
Second, Trump needs to use surrogates. How hard would it have been to get Trump’s Gold Star moms to engage with the Kahns on the substance of their remarks? It would have been effective, capable and an important dialogue which would have been covered comprehensively. This would have been much better than the beating Trump is now taking.
Last, Trump must learn to only to respond in kind. He looks like a bully when engaging with the Kahns or any other surrogate who is not a professional politico. He must stop swatting every fly he sees. He should not personally lead every attack. He should answer only to Hillary’s attacks and he should only attack Hillary. He should leave the minions of both camps to fight it out among themselves.
With some very simple tweaking, the Trump organization can make all of the attacks necessary and those attacks will be effective instead of a distraction at best and vote losers at worst. Donald, you are easy to bait, stop being so easy to manipulate and start using your organization, your surrogates and some personal self— discipline. You will be glad of the change – I promise.
Michael Patrick Flanagan represented the 5th District of Illinois in the historic 104th Congress. He sat on the Committees on the Judiciary, Government Reform and Oversight, and Veterans' Affairs. He was Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Vice Chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, and Co— Chair of the House Republican Urban Caucus. He was appointed to the House— Senate Conference Committee for the Telecommunications Act of 1995.
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