Is radical big-mouth Donald Trump winning the GOP, so they can win the White House – maybe?
A simple and narrow-minded man without any political office before, who is offending others like the production of hamburgers at McDonalds?
A candidate with no plan and no vision.
He is not charming like Ronald Reagan, not experienced like Richard Nixon, not a society-rooted, well-trained Bush.
The Washington Post reported January 21, 2016: “If it came down to Trump or Cruz, there is no question I’d vote for Trump,” said former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has not endorsed a candidate. “As a party, we’d have a better chance of winning with him, and I think a lot of Republicans look at it that way.”
So here it is. It’s happened. We’ve reached peak insanity and there’s no going back.
It appears that instead of fading discreetly off into the night, the Trump campaign for the presidency has refused to quit.
And now, the worst has arrived. He’s gaining momentum. Even with the conservative GOP establishment.
I’m not willing to call it yet for Trump. I’m not even willing to rescind my previous bet that this thing can’t last.
But with Sarah Palin weighing into the debate by supporting the Donald, something truly mortifying has happened. It looks as though Trump might actually gain the momentum needed to get him across the line in Iowa.
And with Trump already miles ahead in New Hampshire, a win in the first two states could spell the beginning of a groundswell. And a groundswell could spell horror.
This article isn’t meant to be a homily against the atrocity that a Trump presidency would be. That point has already been made.
This article intends to examine why Palin’s support is important, despite her now relatively diminished status, and her previously unsuccessful bid for the Vice-Presidency. It’s meant to examine what the race will look like from now on, and it aims to analyse just how significantly a Palin endorsement might impact the Trump campaign.
We will look at why a few simple words of support by Palin like “He’s from the private sector, not a politician – can I get a ‘Hallelujah!” could indeed, as she so eloquently put it; help Trump to “tear the veil off this idea of the system”.
In answering this question, it’s important to begin by asking why an endorsement from a former Governor of one of the country’s least populated states is expected to help build momentum for the Trump campaign.
Why indeed, is a one-time sensation, better known for being mocked than for being supported, seen as providing such a crucial tipping point?
Well perhaps it could be because her support comes only a day after the Republican Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad said that he hoped Senator Ted Cruz would be defeated in his state.
Indeed, this rather vocal equivocation came with the Governor accusing Cruz of being “backed by big oil”. This would be a dangerous attack at the best of times, but being levelled by the Governor of “the corn state”, the state which receives a great deal of its revenues from producing a crop often used as a biofuel, this spelled a lethal blow.
Or perhaps the reason that this endorsement could prove pivotal is because with Trump finally mobilising his $2 million per week in advertising spending, people are expecting his campaign to really start gaining some traction.
Clearly, whatever the reason, it’s clear that this is not some benign endorsement. In fact, while Palin may have taken to the stage in her usual cavalier, unpredictable demeanour, her endorsement nevertheless has real meaning and real implications. Her support of Trump as one who “builds things, he builds big things, things that touch the sky” is not just her typical string of phonemes and graphemes combined in a frenetic, haphazard manner. It is a statement of support, and at this stage of the game, support is important.
This kind of support is important, not only because her endorsement is likely to sway a range of backers who otherwise might have moved against Trump in Iowa. It’s also important because Palin has spent a long time in Iowa, she’s worked to cultivate networks of supporters and donors, and now it’s expected that with her support, Trump might just start receiving some of this backing in kind.
Admittedly, Trump has no need to court donors. He’s made a reasonably significant deal of this in the media, claiming it makes him more responsive to the needs of the public, because he is less beholden to corporate interests that others are otherwise forced to endure, to finance their campaigns.
Nevertheless, whether or not he accepts the finances of these well heeled donors, and whether or not these donors have the influence that Trump claims, what is important is that Palin’s endorsement now means support from a broader audience than he was previously capable of accessing. It means greater access to a “ground game” capable of getting out into the public arena, and it means that those who were previously questioning whether or not he could be an institutional type, are now not quite as capable of directing such accusations at the Donald.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t everything. Trump didn’t need finances, and he doesn’t need resources. He didn’t even need the endorsement. But a loss for Trump in iowa would be interesting. It would’ve forced him to deal with loss in a very public way, and that’s not something I can imagine him doing well.
It’s still likely that that might take place. Cruz is well liked in Iowa, and his evangelical roots are likely to carry him a fair distance there. But what this does mean is that if Palin can help swing Iowa Trump’s way, it can help do a whole lot more off the back of that.
I wouldn’t say it’s panic stations just yet. But as Palin warned, “troops, hang in there, because help’s on the way… he, better than anyone, isn’t he known for being able to command, fire!”
If he starts to command fire in the first few states, then we it might just be time to re-evaluate everything.