Hillary Clinton’s campaign follows a predictable playbook that Donald Trump can derail and outmaneuver. She intends to target states where she is must vulnerable with a heavy dose of negative ads against Donald Trump, portraying him variously as a misogynist, bigot, political neophyte, and explosive and unpredictable personality. Hillary will depend on surrogates to make the nastiest direct accusations. Aware of Hillary’s own profound negative poll numbers, her campaign aims essentially to convey the impression that even if you do not like Hillary, she is the lesser evil.
Trump has a unique opportunity to counter this campaign, which depends on superficial and exaggerated caricatures. Rather than depend entirely on thirty second sound bite retorts from Trump to counter what will be an ever greater volume of diverse negative voices inspired by the Clinton campaign, the Trump campaign needs to implement a strategy for victory that depends on the following elements:
1. He needs to announce the composition of his cabinet in a staged series of announcements, commencing at present and continuing to the Republican National Convention, where, every week, he identifies a different cabinet head and that person then explains in detail the Trump strategy for his or her area of jurisdiction: (a) rebuilding the American military, educating the public about the true nature of the radical Islamist enemy, and ferreting out and destroying that enemy worldwide (Secretary of Defense); (b) establishing an America first foreign policy that defends American interests worldwide (Secretary of State); (c) (c) rebuilding the American economy through substantial deregulation and tax reduction (Secretary of the Treasury); (e) repealing and replacing Obamacare (Secretary of Health and Human Services); (e) restricting the Veterans Administration to streamline its functions and expand private sector options for veterans to receive prompt medical care (Secretary of Veterans Affairs) and (d) building border defenses, building a new system for vetting immigrants, and imposing limits on immigration (Secretary of Homeland Security).
2. Trump needs to emphasize that he will follow a CEO method of governance, following the example of Ronald Reagan. Reagan put in place people who possessed the same conservative ideology as their boss, then asked them to become expert in their respective areas of jurisdiction and to propose means that would achieve his key objectives of tax reduction, rebuilding America’s defenses, and deregulation. Trump should be doing the same thing.
3. Relying on the new secretaries to expound upon the details of Trump policies, candidate Trump needs to emphasize the governing themes: (a) rebuilding the American military and making it second to none; (b) taking care of our Vets by rehauling the Veterans Administration and allowing Vets the option of obtaining care in private facilities; (c) relentlessly pursuing, with all means necessary, terrorists worldwide, killing them and destroying their safe havens, training camps, military hardware, and weapons manufacturing facilities; (d) revitalizing the American economy through substantial deregulation and tax reduction; (e) repealing and replacing Obamacare; and (e) protecting our borders through construction of a wall along the Southern border, more extensive border patrols in reliance on a federal state partnership to apprehend, sanction, and return those who enter America illegally.
4. He needs to adopt theme based campaign visits with his respective chosen secretaries and expound on the destructive policies of the Obama/Clinton era and how he will do better. (a) He needs to visit locations where Obama policies have caused unemployment through excess regulation by the EPA, FTC, and BLM and explain how his Administration will roll back the regulations and restore the local economies. (b) He needs to visit the locations where millions in subsidies were given to failing green energy ventures operated by Obama cronies and explain how he will end that corruption and instead liberate the market to develop domestic oil and gas, reducing remaining dependency on foreign sources. (c) He needs to visit the borders with the border patrol and reveal how illegal immigrants are coming into the nation and the steps he will take to stop illegal entry and build a new and better system for vetting legal immigrants.
5. He needs to identify his choice for Vice President early and have that person along with surrogates reveal and condemn in detail Hillary Clinton’s corrupt practices, inept service as Secretary of State, Espionage Act violations, contradictions, and liberal, anti-market, pro-regulation, and pro-tax policies, leaving it to Trump to call for an end to Obama/Clinton cronyism and corruption, an end to Obama/Clinton over-regulation and over-taxation, an end to Democratic establishment control.
If Trump can implement these measures, and stay on message, he can well shore up support within the Republican Party and reach out to form voting coalitions among disillusioned Democrats and Independents. Therein lies the key to a Trump victory in November.
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