Donald Trump has been making waves since announcing his presidential bid on June 16, both in the polls and in the media. We could spend all day analyzing the comments he has made about illegal immigrants and the other candidates, but the reality is that Donald Trump is leading all other candidates by a comfortable margin in a very open field.
His unfavorable numbers are very high, so his ceiling may be lower than some of the other candidates, but in a severely splintered field, he could start winning primaries.
Due to a reported net worth of $10 billion, he is able to speak completely open and honestly and has more than enough money to fund his own campaign, which is always appealing when you can claim you are not beholden to special interest groups.
The lingering question is whether or not he decides to stay in the race. Is this his grand finale of a long career for the 68 year-old real estate, reality-TV tycoon? Is he willing to risk some of his business interests to keep the Trump Train chugging down the tracks? If so, then he needs to start talking more like a serious candidate and less like an arrogant, schoolyard bully.
I have met a lot of millionaires in my life, and there is no prerequisite that they need to be smart. Some are just dumb and lucky. But in order to be a billionaire, you have to be pretty intelligent at business.
Donald Trump is no dummy. He knows business, and he knows how to cut a deal. His critics will point to some of his failed business ventures, but when you are involved in so many projects, there are going to be things that go belly-up. His overall resume in business is very successful.
He needs to turn his focus away from silly, petty attacks against other Republican candidates and Latinos, and focus on the Democrats. His business success should be used as a weapon against a Democratic Party that is dead set against business, particularly small business.
He should talk about how difficult it is for small businesses to get started because of all of the regulations, Obamacare, and now the possibility of a federally-mandated $15 per hour minimum wage.
His Republican primary competitors’ resources cannot compare to his vast personal wealth. This is an incredible advantage when running for the presidency. He does not need to waste his time holding fundraisers, and he can speak completely openly and honestly without fear of offending financial backers.
That free-wheeling style will win him votes as long as he sticks to what resonates:
- Creating an environment where businesses can grow and hire, which in turn creates more jobs and greater demand in the labor market to push wages up which helps the middle class.
- Reform the tax code for corporate and personal taxes.
- Increase energy independence in the US so we don’t have to rely on the Middle East.
Building a platform around that would go a long way with Republican primary voters. The attacks need to be on Democrats, not fellow Republicans. He needs to re-cast himself as a candidate who is hopeful about America who stays above the fray with the other primary contenders.
His campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” and there is a lot that he can do in that effort. He needs to be talking about better trade deals to benefit Americans and building a platform that appeals to a broad audience. His attacks should be laser-focused on whatever comes out of Hillary’s camp.
Our country is not above electing great businessmen to higher office. Mike Bloomberg was elected as a Republican in New York City. Running on a managerial platform that touts the ability to “get things done” resonates with people.
Donald Trump’s campaign is mired in side-show antics right now, but he is still ahead of the wide open field, although his poll numbers have topped at 25 percent.
He is a long shot to overcome those unfavorable numbers and muster enough support to win the nomination. If he is in this for the long haul, then the country deserves a more serious campaign for the enormous challenges we face as a nation. He needs to get away from the circus act insults, and he needs to get down to business…because business is what he does well.
Kevin Broderick serves as a consultant for a Fortune 500 Insurer in the Employee Benefits marketplace for large employers. He received a finance degree from Providence College. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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