05.16.2016 07:51 AM

How do you war room Donald Trump?

I’ve seen some of you say it can’t be done. He can’t be shamed – there’s nothing that will diminish the enthusiasm of his supporters.

Here’s this morning’s New York Times on what he plans to do:

Donald J. Trump plans to throw Bill Clinton’s infidelities in Hillary Clinton’s face on live television during the presidential debates this fall, questioning whether she enabled his behavior and sought to discredit the women involved.

Mr. Trump will try to hold her accountable for security lapses at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and for the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens there.

And he intends to portray Mrs. Clinton as fundamentally corrupt, invoking everything from her cattle futures trades in the late 1970s to the federal investigation into her email practices as secretary of state.

Drawing on psychological warfare tactics that Mr. Trump used to defeat “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, “Little Marco” Rubio and “Low-Energy” Jeb Bush in the Republican primaries, the Trump campaign is mapping out character attacks on the Clintons to try to increase their negative poll ratings and bait them into making political mistakes, according to interviews with Mr. Trump and his advisers.Another goal is to win over skeptical Republicans, since nothing unites the party quite like castigating the Clintons.

Attacking them could also deflect attention from Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities, such as his treatment of women, some Trump allies say.

War rooming Donald Trump, then, is a very, very important task.  He plans to viciously go after his opponent – so what is she to do?

I have strong views on this subject.  I firmly believe any war room – with the right people, the right message, the right strategy and total discipline and commitment – can take down anyone, and particularly a creep like Trump.  (And they can defend a candidate like Hillary, too.)

What’s your take?  Where would you focus, to attack and defend?

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29 Comments

  1. Pipes says:

    My take-he will insult his way to the White House

  2. ABB says:

    The traditional (and effective) way would be to deploy an army of surrogates, creating an echo chamber of like-sounding voices, saturating all forms of media.

  3. rumleyfips says:

    She could just say ‘ you had two wives divorse you for inadequacy didn’y you Donnie ?;.

  4. rumleyfips says:

    She could just say ‘ you had two wives divorce you for inadequacy didn’t you Donnie ?;.

  5. Luke says:

    Trump should be easy to attack. Yet I am skeptical that the usual ways will work, despite the trove of should-be vulnerabilities. He has built his negatives into his brand. I think he might be one of those politicians that people don’t have to like to stomach voting for him. And that worries me, because I don’t think Clinton has that sort of appeal for some reason.

    The only thing I understand about people supporting Trump is that the antiestablishment idea is powerful right now. And it should be, because politics in the US is poisonous. Both Trump and Clinton are not well liked. For lots of people, I think the ballot will look like this:

    Option 1: Establishment candidate I don’t like
    Option 2: Antiestablishment candidate I don’t like

    And a lot of people will pick Option 2. This is not a good year to be running as the embodiment of the status quo. Clinton’s timing is not good.

    The ballot more favourable to Democrats and America (I think), would be:

    Option 1: Antiestablishment candidate I like and appears to be honest and trustworthy
    Option 2: Antiestablishment candidate I don’t like and appears to be dishonest and untrustworthy

    However, unless superdelegates surprise the media and mostly everyone else, that isn’t going to happen.

    I think Trump wins unless the Democrats do something about their nominee.

  6. Neil says:

    The only way is to swift boat him: Show that he’s lying about how rich he is. Show his empire is a Potemkin village, a house of cards.

  7. BlueGritr says:

    Give Mr. Trump just enough rope and he will hang himself. He can’t help himself. It’s his nature to implode. It’s his nature to say stupid things that shows he’s a reckless human being. Take the high road, Hilary. Show you’re presidential material, and you’ll win. Don’t play his game. It’s what he wants.

  8. Greyapple says:

    A sign of how weird and depressing this US election is becoming; I think the duck has a better temperament to be President than Trump.

  9. Dave says:

    Focus on getting a candidate like Bernie Sanders.

    He will turn Hillary into a laughingstock.

  10. Sean says:

    Ad campaign with visible minorities / women slowly and methodically reading his statements about visible minorities / women.

  11. cs says:

    its why Sanders is a better candidate to beat Trump, he(trump) cant attack from so many angles ( unless he completely fabricates stuff about Bernie) all he can do is call him a pinko:P

    as for Hilary, she has been dealing with these attacks, and with this styled politics for what seems like hundreds of years, and she is so plastic, she can smile her way thru anything, even short of murder and make it sound good.
    The Trump will come off as a blustering fool next to her polished persona.
    I dont like either trump or hilary and the attack ads will be entertainment but I doubt they will really affect the voters, who will either turn up or not, regardless of what the MSM and Trump provide.

  12. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    By necessity because of each of their high and perhaps historic negatives, they have no choice but to go MAD against the other.

    Only one of them will be left standing on Election day. Call him, or her, President-Elect.

  13. BillBC says:

    Don’t you think she is vulnerable on the points you mention: enabling her awful husband in pursuit of her own career, etc.? Tough to answer that, except, as people say, by pointing out what a sleaze Trump is. But that’s not much of a defense.

  14. BrianK says:

    As others have noted, it’s bad timing for Clinton, who comes with 30 years worth of political baggage and regrettably embodies so much of the “status quo/typical politician” concept that Trump is partially a reaction to. I believe that her best strategy is to really fight like hell to hold the Obama coalition together. Democrats continue to like Obama and I think they’ll rally to a) protect his legacy and b) elect the first female president. Hillary shouldn’t be shy about hammering home the historical nature of her candidacy. She shouldn’t get into the muck with Trump – run a high road campaign that appeals to the “hope and change” voters of 2008 and 2012. As crass as it seems, her surrogates need to attack Trump at the level of his “alpha male-ness”, because that seems to be the chief source of his appeal. I don’t think the Dems will get anywhere by attacking him at the level of policy – he’s been substance-free for almost a year and it hasn’t mattered at all to his supporters. They need to attack his business record, promote the idea that he’s not nearly as wealthy as he claims to be, and, unfortunately, attack his sexual virility. A “Trump is impotent” story would be so much more devastating to him than “Trump doesn’t understand the Middle East”…ugh, it’s gonna get so, so ugly. What a sad state of affairs.

  15. What should they do? Nominate Bernie Sanders who comes to the table with clean hands.

  16. billg says:

    Her only hope in my opinion is to do the unthinkable in US politics and, shut her war room down, disclose her speech’s, and, let that moron eventually swallow himself up in his ego. Cruz, Rubio, Bush, and even Kasich all tried to punch back at Trump, and, it destroyed their campaigns, if for some reason the Clinton campaign wants to try to do what the others couldn’t then I think she will lose. The US public doesn’t want Clinton, they didn’t want Bush or Cruz or Rubio, they seem to want Sanders or Trump, they seem to be looking for someone who is not a script reading, rhetoric spewing same old same old politician. Mrs. Clinton has an opportunity to be herself, and, in my opinion she should halt the attacks, give speech writers 7 months off, walk into arena’s and open up microphones to anyone who wants to ask her a question on any topic, she is probably the most qualified presidential candidate in the past 50 years, use it and let Trump destroy himself.

  17. PJH says:

    I just want to know what happened to the quality of candidate that the US had in the past…….highly intelligent, honest, articulate, little to no baggage, and ones that appealed to a large cross section of society…..I’m thinking Eisenhower, JFK, RFK, Carter. I’d even throw Reagan into the mix.
    I know some wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of today’s press….but during the time of their nomination campaigns, they seemed to be able to able to inspire their supporters, and unite a party behind them.
    Today the American people have a choice between a buffoon and a woman with more baggage than a drag queen on a road trip…..and both having extremely divided parties concerning their nominations….
    In the word of the late George Carlin: “Where are all the bright people of conscience, where are all the bright, honest intelligent Americans ready to step in and save the nation and lead the way?”
    Sad state of affairs in American politics….

  18. Bill Templeman says:

    How about the Goldwater Strategy? When Barry Goldwater was on the ticket back in ’64 against LBJ, remember what the Democrats did to him? Simple. They quoted him, verbatim. And it worked. Give Trump all the air time he wants; he will talk himself out of the White House.

    • PJH says:

      Mustn’t forget about the Democrats famous “Daisy Ad”…Never mentioned Goldwater once……the power of which Mr. Kinsella can attest to…….

  19. JH says:

    2 candidates with warts. Hilary’s are much better known. Added to that, people just don’t like her.
    Plus as someone said above, this is an anti-establishment year in the US. And it’s a fast approaching phenom coming soon to Canada as well.

  20. Buckets says:

    The Hillary War Room has to remained focused on its demographics, and stay disciplined. Trump does terribly among women, African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Mormons. Remind these groups why they don’t like him, or (more importantly) solidify their impression that *he doesn’t like them*.

  21. PJH says:

    Here’s a new anti-Trump ad by Hillary to critique……..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq5qFsiC1Wc

    • Mark says:

      I think this ad is good. And it’s targeting the right people — women. Next should come more specific marketing targeted separately at women of different sub-groups (ethnicities, economic backgrounds, religions, etc.). SINGLE women are an ever-increasing force now too, and there should be work done to identify their voting motivations. If Team Hillary can ensure a very high female voter turnout, they will win.

      • Mark says:

        I should add that not all women have a favorable opinion of Hillary, and in many cases that may be hard to change. So there will have to be a careful balance in promoting pro-hillary vs. anti-trump as reasons to vote. The latter will probably work better in this case.

  22. Gilbert says:

    I think Hillary Clinton is really vulnerable.

  23. Mervyn Norton says:

    Reading Kinsella (and other acknowledged experts), the advantage often goes to the one who can negatively define the opponent is a simple way that, with repetition, sticks. As with Trump’s use of this strategy to try to dismiss Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Crooked Hillary, Crazy Bernie, and Goofy Elizabeth (Warren), can anyone thing of a better handle than Dopey Donald or Dishonest Donald?

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