I predicted Trump was going to win the 2016 presidential election almost from the beginning. Even as all the experts were telling me I was wrong and that Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide. When people asked me why I was so sure Trump would win, I said: “I predict Trump will win because Hillary is so boring.”
Ha ha. How’s that for a sophisticated analysis of presidential politics.
But my premise really isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. When you look back at our previous presidential elections, the one common denominator is that the more boring candidate invariably lost. For example, check out this chart (Republicans on the left, Democrats on the right) with the more boring of the candidates duly noted:
2016 Trump – Hillary (boring)
2012 Romney (boring) – Obama
2008 McCain (boring) – Obama
2004 Bush – Kerry (boring)
2000 Bush – Gore (boring)
1996 Dole (boring) – Clinton
1992 Bush Sr. (boring) – Clinton
1988 Bush Sr. – Dukakis (boring)
1984 Reagan – Mondale (boring)
1980 Reagan – Carter (boring)
1976 Ford (boring) – Carter
1972 Nixon – McGovern (boring)
1968 Nixon – Humphrey (boring)
1964 Goldwater (boring) – Johnson
1960 Nixon (boring) – Kennedy
I rest my case.
Some people scoffed at the idea of Trump winning the presidency, claiming: “How can a reality TV show star become president?” Which reminded me of something Ronald Reagan used to say when they asked him how an actor could become president. He said “I don’t see how you can be president WITHOUT being an actor.”
In fact the presidency is a 24-hour-a-day reality TV show. And considering we’re going to have to look at the guy’s face every day for the next 4 years, the LAST thing we want is somebody boring. And Trump may well be repulsive to many. But boring he is not.
David Letterman — who despised Trump — conceded he was a great for his show. “Trump is one of those guys that says whatever’s on his mind. That’s what makes him a great TV talk show guest.”
So may the least boring candidate win.
James Comey, in this memoir, comes across as a pretty thoughtful person who spends a lot of time considering other people’s perspectives (as opposed to just projecting his own). Of course its fascinating to see how Comey got caught in the middle of the 2016 presidential election. And of his many critics, and the incredible amount of shit he took from people on BOTH sides, he wryly points out that “most of them would do what would be best for their favorite team.” As opposed to things like, oh, rules of law, truthfulness, or a higher loyalty (hence the title).
And he said that one particular tweet captured the feelings of the times: “That Comey is such a political hack. I just can’t figure out which party.” Ha ha.
Comey meets Trump and his team for the first time at Trump Tower. And seeing them all sitting there, Comey couldn’t shake his first impression that they reminded him of a bunch of La Cosa Nostra members hanging out at one their clubs. And, like the Mafioso, Trump constantly conveyed the message: You’re either part of our family or you’re the enemy. At one point — to Comey’s great surprise — Trump even asked the FBI director how they should spin this meeting to the press — already assuming Comey was part of his team.
At a second meeting Trump repeatedly tells Comey he expects “loyalty” from him, and implies that he’ll fire him if he isn’t sufficiently loyal. Comey responded that his only loyalty was to “honesty.” And repeatedly tried to explain to Trump that the FBI by its nature must remain independent from the White House, and couldn’t be involved in partisan politics. An explanation that went in one ear and out the other with Trump.
During a third meeting, Comey actually dared to disagree with one of Trump’s opinions. “At that remark, Trump stopped talking altogether. I could see something change in his eyes. A hardness, a darkness. He looked like someone who wasn’t used to being challenged or corrected. The meeting was done.” Later at FBI headquarters Comey told his staff, “I probably ended any personal relationship with the president with that move.”
I get a kick out of Hillary’s shtick while she’s promoting her new book WHA’ HAPPENED??:
“I take full responsibility for my loss in the election. It was my fault for not realizing the voters were so stupid that they’d reject the substantive policies I was offering in favor of a reality TV show. . . And I blame myself for not realizing how many of the voters were racists . . . And I take full responsibility for that bastard Bernie Sanders and his constant criticisms of me which ruined my chances of winning over the progressives. . . And it was my fault that that bastard Comey kept falsely investigating me over my alleged wrong-doings. . . And I blame myself for the Russians colluding with the GOP and throwing the election to Trump . . . And I take full responsibility for the creep Trump who actually campaigned against me instead of just letting me be appointed president which is how it should have been . . . And it was my fault for being a woman — if I had been a MAN I would have won for sure!!”
When Hate Man went to vote the first thing the people working at the polling place asked him was:
“What’s your address?”
Hate Man said: “The corner of Hillegas and Dwight.”
(Hate Man is homeless and that’s the street corner where he sleeps)
They looked up his name. And there he was on the list. So they gave Hate Man his ballot. And he went into the booth and voted.
I didn’t know you could do that. List a street corner as your place of address. But there you go. Learn something new every day.