For those who believe that President Trump has transformed the Republican Party: Make no mistake. The feeling is mutual. Republicans have also changed the president in his role as a leader of their party and the country.
Consider the following. After hearing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s moving testimony, the president responded by stating that she was very compelling. This response by the president is an example of Trump learning the political ropes from his Republican colleagues.
He stayed on message, pleasing Republican strategy types but changed his “tune” after hearing the analysis of Senate Committee interrogator Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who questioned Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh Republicans at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
It didn’t take long for the president to promote Ms. Mitchell’s musings in one of his a-conventional non-scripted moments at a Mississippi campaign rally.
There President Trump reviewed elements of Dr. Ford's testimony with a sharp sense of sarcasm. Noting that Dr. Ford was definitive in saying that she had only "one beer," he then listed all the other matters she was unsure about. "How did you get home? I don't remember. How'd you get there? I don't remember. Where is the place? I don't remember. How many years ago was it? I don't know."
This Trumpian tactic generated a negative response from D.C. insiders like Senators Collins, Flake, Murkowski, the media and all those who follow politics. However, this seemingly faux pas display within the confines of political etiquette did nothing to move the views of Trump voters. For them, the president was merely stating the facts — something that D.C. professionals would never utter.
It’s actions like this by Brand Trump that some say could possibly win the House and Senate for Republicans and make the predicted “Blue Wave” a wish that never materialized.
Another example of this symbiotic relationship between the president and Republican lawmakers is Mr. Trump’s loyalty to his Supreme Court choice. By “staying with” his nominee, the president positioned the Republican brand as the dependable “grown-ups” in the room, standing up for Judge Kavanaugh’s honor while allowing them to argue that Democrats were ready to ignore issues of fairness and due process.
However, when one considers how Republican committee members treated Dr. Ford, by providing her alternatives, is a takeaway which is in the eye of the beholder. These options included the Committee’s staffers' willingness to fly to California to take Dr. Ford’s testimony; their flexibility of having an experienced female sexual assault prosecutor from Arizona question her publicly about the assault, and Senator Grassley’s respectful demeanor when interacting with Dr. Ford before, during, and after the hearing.
This careful handling of Dr. Ford could only be targeted to those who are neutral in their assessment of just what went on over the past two weeks. For the Independent voter, Republican actions may indicate fairness in tone and not the negative perception promoted by partisans.
President Trump also assisted his Republican colleagues by teaching them a valuable lesson — not only how to fight but to fight especially when one is on the right side of the issue. Understanding and listening to both parties, as well as applying due process, is an important lesson to be learned by all in a civilized society.
It appears that the president has changed the Republican Party and that GOP leaders have moved the president. And it’s good to know that they may just have realized that it’s always easier when you have Marketing in mind.
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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