Philippe Reines has worked for Hillary Clinton since 2002, and in that time, he’s seen just about everything. So he has some credible (and funny) advice on how to beat Donald Trump when 2020 rolls around.
Having worked as an adviser and spokesman for Clinton, Reines knows how the game is played. Despite his offensive comments and nonstop scandals, Trump pretty much skated through the election. And whatever you might think about Clinton, the harsh light of the media glare shone on her as if she were put under a microscope.
The media, Reines noted in The Washington Post, was coming up with things like this:
“Campaigned in the wrong states. Ineffective message. Uninspiring orator. Represented all that is wrong with Washington. Strengths turned into fatal liabilities. Anti-gun. Made rhetorical gaffes. Investigated. Unique baggage and vulnerabilities. Never ran a business or created a single job. Liar. Lost to an eminently beatable opponent.”
That’s how Clinton was branded. And the same thing happened to the 2000 and 2004 presidential nominees, he said. His opinion piece, written for the Post, reminds me of the saying “History repeats itself.” Because that’s what seems to be going on here.
Having been caught in one of the rings that is the media three-ring-circus, Reines’ views on Trump are irreverent, funny, and on target. Trump is such a buffoon it should be easy to beat him next time around.
“Yes,” he writes. “President Trump is the least qualified person to ever hold the office and is cementing his ranking as the worst president in American history. Winning will be easy, right? Just have a positive message, don’t stoop to his level, be smart about email, thank your lucky stars you aren’t seeking the cursed third term and ride his unpopularity right into the Oval Office.”
But here comes the cold water in your face awakening:
“EBay is a great place to get rid of prematurely purchased drapes.”
Because whether we like it or not, Trump will be an incumbent, and that works in his favor. So anyone planning to run against this misogynistic, racist nincompoop, please take note:
“Trump is a freak of political nature, Reines writes. He’s a political Weeble Wobble that never falls down. He makes Ronald Reagan’s Teflon look like Saran Wrap. He says whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He could stand in the Middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot a porn flick (Me: Don’t give him any ideas.) And as hard as it was for Hillary Clinton to run against him, our 2020 nominee will face something we didn’t: the power of incumbency.”
Come 2020 it will be all Trump all the time, and Trump and his supporters will love it.
“Trump will swoop into places such as Moon Township, Pa., aboard the most symbolic political prop of all time: Air Force One,” Reines notes. “He’ll hold the crowd in the palm of his hand. Carried live by every network — not just Fox News. Because he is right when he says he is good for ratings. And be careful not to take to much heart in Democrat Conor Lamb’s surprisingly strong performance in Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania. Lamb wasn’t running against Trump. You will be.”
President Barack Obama didn’t wait for the first convention in 2012 to list Mitt Romney’s shortcomings. And Trump has got the ball rolling for 2020 already, with Saturday’s Pennsylvania rally.
“By the time you’re traipsing across Iowa, he’ll shellac you as a group and vilify you individually: You’ll kill the economy with a new Obamacare; repeal the Second Amendment; the world doesn’t know it yet, but some of you are pedophiles. You’re the biggest liar of all time. Just ask the biggest liar of all time.”
And should you think your immune to the aforementioned, keep your day job, Reines advises.
But if you’re a glutton for punishment and decide to enter the 2020 presidential race (which will likely be even more insane than 2016 was), this campaign veteran has a bit of advice.
Here’s a few examples of what he has to say:
- Go high when Trump goes low. And when he does:
“Take advantage of the kneeling to knock his block off.”
- Never, ever apologize. Even if you took money from Harvey Weinstein or attacked Pope Francis.
“In fact, proactively attack the Pope. Your kid is a shoplifter? You’re proud of them for exposing inadequate security.”
- Bite back when someone bites you.
“Trump never says ‘I’m not dignifying that with an answer.’ He has no dignity. He leaves no attack unanswered. I spent 15 years recommending ignoring stupidity. ‘It has no legs. Don’t give it oxygen. There’s no pickup.’ I was wrong.”
- Don’t be frugal when it comes to campaign ads.
“The impact of political ads is waning — but don’t be the first to experiment with ceding the airwaves. The Republican National Committee and his PACs won’t.”
- Don’t diss Clinton.
“Nearly 17 million people voted for her in the primaries — four million more than the runner-up,” Reines writes. “And almost 66 million voted for her on election day — nearly three million more than Trump. Focus on what she is, not isn’t: Smart; savvy; tough; still beloved by tens of millions who don’t want to hear you trash her. Her endorsement is invaluable. If you think her loss was a missed layup, you’ll learn the hard way it was a three-pointer.”
But here’s perhaps the most daunting fact for anyone with the guts to run against this man, Reines adds:
“This time, he knows he can win.”
Trump is the rooster in the chicken coop. He may not be the brightest bird, but he is the loudest. He’s that squeaky wheel getting the grease. Anyone running against that is going to have to find some way to divert attention away from this.
That’s what progressives are up against.
In the video below, Reines discusses the special election held earlier this week in Philadephia.
Featured image by Bloomberg Politics via YouTube video