Category Archives: #Election2016

Trump: The Businessman

Think about this…Donald Trump bankrupted his casinos four times. How is it possible to lose money when you own a casino? People literally leave money on your tables to be raked in. Successful businessman?  Well, he played one on TV…

The World Turned Upside Down

Yup. Okay. Trying to get head around the idea of a Trump presidency, coupled with the House and Senate controlled by the Republican party, and a Supreme Court vacancy, and trying not to give into panic. Living in the bluest part (the People’s Republic of Camberville) of the bluest state (the Commonweatlh of Massachusetts) it occurs to me that my immediate family and I, will be okay. And my immediate community will be, more or less, okay too. At all levels of government – municipal, state and federal, my elected officials [with the exception of the president-elect] are Democrats, and progressive Democrats at that. We’re a sanctuary city and have long history of welcoming immigrants. We’re also economically well off. The cornerstones of our regional economy – higher education, medicine and financial services – are evergreen.

We have been here before. Our deep divisions, the feeling of fear and the overall sense of mistrust brings to mind the civil rights and anti-war era of the 1960s and 70s. Fire hoses. Dogs. Riot gear. Yup. We’ve seen it before. And we’ve seen the elements that come together in Trumpism before too – Joseph McCarthy. Wounded Knee. Dread Scott. Manzanar. Take your pick. The struggle has been real, and the struggle is far from over.

Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps the Trump administration will bring great and necessary changes to the governance of our beloved country. Our success is tied to his success.  However, with re-treads like Chirsty, Gingrich and Giuliani returning to power, my money is on more of the same, only worse.

How to talk about Benghazi and ding Trump

The world can be a dangerous place.  We all know that.  We expect our government to keep us safe in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Government is made up of hardworking, dedicated people – while there are many extraordinary people, both elected and unelected who work in government, to the best of my knowledge, no one in government has any super powers. No one can leap tall buildings in a single bound, stop a speeding bullet with their bare hand or run faster than a train.  You work hard, you try your best, but at the end of the day, you are human. Resources are limited. Timing is everything. You work with what you have.


By owning what happened in Benghazi with strong, formal language (“on my watch” “as Secretary of State”), then pivoting to the loss of a colleague Chris Stevens and the other men who died that night, evoke the fog of war.

Put it this way, who would you rather have in charge of the Situation Room?

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trump wwe

#Election2016 #Imwithher

More Knotty Ties! or, Blowing the Dog Whistle that Angry White Men Will Hear

According to the Global Strategy Group’s just released report,  The Outsider Illusion: How Democrats Should Navigate an Angry Electorate, in this general election voters overwhelmingly want someone who has big plans for American (88%) over someone who has big dreams from America (12%). And hearing of a candidate’s government accomplishments appeals to voters  far more than talk of  gridlock and corruption.

Campaign Message

To appeal to those angry, white men, HRC should talk about how she help create economic growth and opportunities for small business owners as Senator from New York.

Policy – Community Based Production

How should we think about manufacturing in an increasing global economy?

Americans make things.  Americans sell things. Americans love to start their own businesses.

Focus on small towns/small factories/ make it easier for the little guy to start and run his/her own business

Somerville MA – food industry & urban agriculture (Taza Chocolates & Green City Growers). Food industry often entry point for immigrants into economy

Detroit – “bespoke” manufacturing  Shinola – bikes, watches, leather goods

Bristol, RI – Bristol Boat Company – building on legacy, building a thing of beauty

Sun Valley ID – Scott ski gear (?) Nope. Founded in Sun Valley in 1958, now headquartered in Switzerland 😦

capitalize on what is in place/access to capital to build and grow small, community based businesses

Donald Trump

Reminds me of…

The Duke and Dauphin in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn;

FinnDauphinKing (1)

The Flim-Flam Man, Mordecai C. Jones, MBS, CS, DD (Master of Back Stabbing, Cork-screwing and Dirty Dealing), played by George C. Scott in the 1967 film made in 1967;


He’s a showman who goes into runs for office, like Charles Foster Kane



He is the grandson of Joseph McCarthy.


Roy Cohn, who played a major role in McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade, was close (like five phone calls a day close) to Donald Trump, beginning in the the 1970s until Cohn’s death in 1986.




Trump to reshape image team tells GOP

That headline from an article in the 4/22/16 issue of the New York Times, and it’s exactly what keeps me awake at night. Trump is a master of the arena in this emerging era of media saturation. What if he successfully re-crafts himself – shifts into Presidential mode. What if people start to see him that way?

Countering Presidential Trump…

HRC blackberry

There is difference between spin and images and things that we sometimes see on TV and the real world. And in the real world, words have consequences. In the real world, the President sets the nation’s agenda and works with Congress to do the work of the American people. In the real world, the President can’t fire Congress. In the real world, telling a Senator or Representative that they’re a loser or stupid or their wife is ugly  is not an effective way to shape policy. There is an objective reality and it matters.

…Show Huskster Trump…

Paint him lower than the guy who sells steak knifes on late night TV.

…Show how Trump deals with set backs/reality

He walks away – from Atlantic City, from people he does business with, from his wives. When things get tough, he walks. We can’t have a President who walks away when things don’t go his way.





HRC wins NY

The polls have her leading by 12 percent over Sanders, and while anything can happen, she should take the primary handily. And the general, she’ll take the Empire State too. New Yorkers both elected HRC and have taken her to heart. That she was their Senator is huge. And, in New York, there is a strong tradition of empowering women.

New York State

New York has been home to some very outspoken women. The state is a HRC stronghold. And telling the story of HRC as the Senator from New York has the potential to win voters over in the General big time.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking…

On Trump and the Media…

$1.9 billion – that’s how much free publicity the 4th Estate has given Donald Trump  – (h/t Nicholas Kristof “My Shared Shame“) and we’ve been wondering why no one can make him go away…He is a master showman in the emerging era of media saturation.

fourth estate





…And What’s Fueling Trump’s Rise?

The Pain of the Working and Middle Class Americans…

class anger 2016

….and the Feeling that the System is Rigged (technical term: rent seeking).

populist outrage 2016


The Old Order is in Crisis…

In his  Profiles in Paralysis, Ross Douthat writes of Trump’s legitimate populist critique.On the Democratic side of Election 2016 the left’s populist critique is expressed by Bernie Sanders. Long term, as leaders in the Democratic Party, how do we continue put the working class ahead of the donor class (h/t Reihan Salam, “Before the Kochs“)?

In this arena, a candidate who is persevered  as part of the Old Order can incorporate the populist critique by 1) acknowledging that the critique is legit, 2) point out that it has taken a long time to get to this place, its going to take time to get to a better place, 3) and here’s how we’re going to do it by painting how she’ll govern as a reformer.


Wrestlemania Reality : What’s a Girl to Do?

My Wrestling Moment
About 20 years ago, in an effort to make peace with the teenage boy who lived next store, I asked him about the T shirt he was wearing. Austen 3:15 – what’s that about? I asked. It’s about Steve Austin, a wrestler, said Neighbor Boy – he once kept an opponent in a hold for 3 minutes, 15 seconds.Oh, I thought, picturing  Greco-Roman wrestling, the kind of wrestling that John Irving writes about.

greco roman 2

Then, looking at the T shirt again, I realized that this wasn’t about that.  This was Stone Cold Steve Austin.  This is about…

Professional Wrestling, aka…
Wrestlemania! Which is staged. Which means it’s theater…

Just like Reality TV
Where He Who Must Not Be Named is coming from.

Q: How Does One Go About Winning a Reality Show?

A: One Creates a Heroic Reality Character who then runs the script
He Who has outfoxed the entire field of GOP candidates because he’s playing reality show and they’re playing politics as usual. Heroic Reality Character (HRC) stands in dramatic contrast to, and ultimately defeats He Who, the loud mouth bully.