America’s Cycles of Change

The Steps Trump Must Take to Save His Campaign

Thu, 04 August 2016

The days since the end of the Democratic convention in Cleveland have been Worst Week Ever for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He has walked into the carefully prepared trap Democratic campaign strategists prepared for him with Khazr Khan’s personal attack and he has dug his hole deeper ever since.

The latest CNN poll contained appalling news for Trump: Hillary Clinton leads him 47 percent to 35 percent with an appalling 13 percent going to the useless Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

There is no reason to doubt these figures.

In fact Trump still has an entire range of potent issues that Clinton cannot begin to answer and is up against an appallingly vulnerable candidate with far less charisma and personal appeal than himself.

He has vast resources and enjoys an inner core of excellent experienced R GOP loyalists who will give him excellent advice – if he will listen to them.

What therefore should Trump do?

First: Obey the First Law of Holes: When you are in a hole, stop digging.

Trump should go cold turkey on tweeting and informal public statements for a trial period of two weeks – at least. He should hold off on all informal statements for the same period. Even for his beloved and very effective rallies, he should discipline himself to regular prepared texts.

Second, Trump needs to meet regularly – at least twice a week and more often if possible with a small inner circle of advisers who are also experienced and successfully elected GOP veterans.

Former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie should join Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in this crucial group.

The late great C. Northcote Parkinson in his masterpiece on bureaucratic politics and intrigue “Parkinson’s Law” concluded that the maximum size for an inner committee to be effective was five members. These are the five people that Trump has and that he must listen to.

Third: Clinton! Clinton! Clinton!

Trump is at his ferocious best when he weighs into Hillary Clinton’s appalling public record. No wonder Democratic strategists want to distract him at every turn from focusing in on his one and only real target.

Keep the focus where it has to be: Day after day, week after week.

It’s early August, Trump has plenty of time to turn his campaign around: But only if he will act decisively now and stick to the core elements of his revamping and prioritization strategy. And he has to start now.