Win or lose, Donald Trump will have a continuing influence on politics, especially with aspiring politicians in the future who will look to his unorthodox race for the presidency as a model to follow, veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw said Tuesday.
"There will be candidates in the future that will take the Trump playbook and try to work with it," the retired NBC News star told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"He was unique and a reality television star, and he knew how to manipulate and use the mass media out there. He ran on Twitter, and nobody had ever done that before, and we will see more of the social media campaign, I think, in the future."
However, with or without Trump, the United States has "big issues to deal with," Brokaw said. "In my judgment, the single biggest issue in the campaign is how do you stitch America back together again, and how do you make it whole, if you will?"
Brokaw said that if he were the new president, whether it's Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, "I would go back to the after I am sworn in and start going to those places where I am not very popular."
Meanwhile, Brokaw said he is finding Trump's complaints about the media being "rigged" against him "quite striking."
"We didn't hear any complaints from him about the media and the whole run up to the nomination," even when Trump was getting a great deal of air time, said Brokaw, "and now it's all our fault."
Trump, Brokaw complained, has not come up with new ideas to fix many of the nation's issues, including health care, and over the next couple of weeks leading up to the election, he doesn't expect that to change.
"The next couple of weeks, when he ought to be doing something completely innovative, and should be showing vulnerability as a person, he's not going to do that," said Brokaw. "He's going to go back to his old form, and it's always somebody else's fault.
"We have not heard from the tax returns or we have not heard any number of other issues in any other campaign would be front and center."
But the country remains deeply divided, and Trump has a strong following in the western states such as Montana, North Dakota, and Nebraska, and that could spell problems for Clinton if she wins, the newsman said.
Trump's continuing influence will also depend on the end result of the race, said Brokaw.
"If he loses by a lot, I don't think he is going to have much influence," said Brokaw. "If it's very, very close, that's different, but in those states, they still have a lot of powerful senators and representatives in Utah and Oklahoma and Kansas and those other places, and it really is a matter of how they will arrive in Washington when this election is over.
"Their obligation is to represent their constituencies at that point, they no longer will be attached to Donald Trump."
But if it's close, "then does he become the icon of the Republican Party?" said Brokaw. "These are the things that will be worked out in the next couple of weeks or so."
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