The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump’s Terrific People

Forgive me for repeating a point that’s already been made by Rich and others, but I think it bears sustained consideration.

Donald Trump’s professed strategy — for everything — is: I’ll find the best people, the smartest people, terrific people, and those terrific people will come up with the best solutions possible. Implicit here is a pyramid of terrificness with Donald Trump at its apex.

And what was Trump’s explanation for his poor performance in Iowa? “People told me my ground game was fine.” I.e., “I got bad advice.” As it turns out, Trump could not find the best people, the smartest people, terrific people for the relatively straightforward process of identifying supporters in Iowa, the population of which is less than half of Long Island’s, and getting them to caucus locations.

Bend Beijing to his will? Construct thousands of miles of effective barriers across the Mexican border? He couldn’t get his team to the Dunkerton Community Hall and Bunger Middle School when it really mattered.

Trump cannot accept responsibility for his mistakes, which is a crippling disability for any leader. He blames his underlings while insisting that the most important skill he brings to the contest is his ability to choose the right people for the job.

I am skeptical of Trump’s purported business acumen. I am a very big fan of almost all business plans that begin with “Inherit vast wealth and a thriving enterprise from daddy,” but I don’t think those arrangements necessarily produce great leaders. But even if you take him at his word (always a mistake — the man is a habitual liar — but, arguendo) the fact is that those skills aren’t necessarily transferable. Trump has vision, but his vision is: “You know what this casino needs? A strip club.”

Greasing Atlantic City politicians and cowering behind Cole Schotz every time you misplay your hand isn’t very much like being the commander in chief of the United States of America.

And “I’ll have the best people” isn’t much of a strategy for a man who plainly cannot recognize them when he sees them. 

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