March 31, 2016
It’s not easy running a presidential campaign. It’s even harder if you’ve never run one before. Imagine you hadn’t run any campaign since a failed Senate run back in 2002. You’re working for Donald Trump. Whether someone thinks that’s an honor or a nightmare, it’s not low pressure.
You’re in your early 40s, with a wife and enough kids to pack a good sized SUV. Your wife was once married to your best friend. You dated her first, then him, then they got married. Then his airplane flew into the World Trade Center.
People think you’re sharp. Sometimes that means you’re bright, sometimes that you aren’t the easiest to deal with. For a while you worked for Americans For Prosperity. It’s a big fish in the conservative pond. The Koch brothers put up the money and provide some guidance.
After a bit you worked your way into a national voter registration position. A bit of controversy, perhaps a line crossed in North Carolina. Eventually you parted ways. Meanwhile you met Trump. Mr. Trump and you hit it off.
He decided he was in on the presidential thing. You told him you could help make it happen. Trump installed you in an apartment in one of his buildings, carved out a floor in Trump Tower for the campaign.
The boss wanted to run things lean. Fine with you. All the bullshit that goes with campaigns never seemed that necessary to you anyway. In order to make Trump go, you’d need to channel him at every turn. Part alter ego, part travel companion, you consolidated as much power as possible.
At first there were several other voices in his ear. Over the years, he’d picked up various friends and hangers on. That Roger Stone guy was always butting in. He’s been at this game since Nixon’s day, but hasn’t helped elect a president since you were a little kid.
You think Trump should follow his instincts. Let Trump be Trump. Go for the jugular at all times. Stone and some of the others want him to act a little more presidential. Screw them and the gravy train they rode in on.
Trump got rid of them. He listens to you. First his poll numbers went up. Then he started winning left, right and center. No candidate has ever won this much and not won the nomination. When you got rolling last June, few others, even those on the team thought he could do this. You did.
For twenty years you’ve dreamed of finding a candidate with the balls to do things your way. Not only do you think he’d make a good president, but it’s confirmation of everything you’ve ever believed about politics. Those establishment guys in New Hampshire, the crew that’s scorned you ever since 2002. Where are those assholes now?
They threw millions and millions at your candidate in the Granite State. They beat each other up. Your guy cruised. There’s some dissention in the ranks. Some of the staff thinks you’re too controlling. They don’t get it. Keeping Mr. Trump on track is a full time job. He can’t be himself if he’s getting too many inputs.
After he wins, you’ll serve as Chief of Staff. The most powerful since Bob Haldeman kept a moat between Nixon and his cabinet. Some people understand Trump. Some people understand politics. Very few get both. Even fewer have his full confidence. After these victories you’re in rarified air.
You know no other candidate would have given you this shot. He knows no other strategist or campaign manager would have let him do his thing without muttering behind his back or trying to stop him.
Being on the outside, you don’t have the friends in the media others in your position do. With a limited inner circle and everything going through you, the Trump campaign doesn’t leak like the others either. Nobody knows what your boss is going to do next until he does it.
That combination of trust and tactical surprise has proved almost unstoppable. The world tells you things are impossible and Mr. Trump proves them wrong every time. You’ve played the media like a fiddle. They aren’t your pals, so why not keep them in a pen at events?
Your masterstroke was the election night press conference. Mr. Trump likes sleeping at home. Instead of doing a rally in some random city, why not host some supporters and media on Trump property in Florida?
Put the supporters in front, media in the back. Have the boss stand behind a podium with a bunch of flags. Looking presidential as hell. He gives his comments and opens things up for questions. The media need to yell from the back. TV doesn’t even pick up their sound. They only hear Mr. Trump’s responses.
Worked like a charm the first couple times. Then you had a minor incident. After the event was done, a reporter tried to reach your boss to ask him a question. Nobody was supposed to approach him. The whole point was to keep the media at a distance, put them on the defensive. They’re on Trump turf.
She got too close, you pulled her away. Then you forgot about it. She raised a stink. You decided to deny. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t, you didn’t mean to hurt anyone and doubted you did. Your campaign doesn’t apologize. Your candidate doesn’t. Neither were you.
The boss backed you up. She was too close to him. He told you to be careful next time but knows you have his back. That’s why you were in the crowd at another event, trying to get some asshole to put his sign down. You barely grazed his collar, but the media made a big thing of it.
You called their colleague a liar. You don’t leak like your peers. They’re dependent on your candidate for ratings, column inches, clicks and exposure and hate you for it. Now they’re playing this up. Security got there just after and dealt with it anyway.
Sure you were where no sane politico would tread, but no sane politico could have run this campaign. Those other guys lose because they don’t believe in their candidate like you do in yours. They’re hired hands, you’re all in.
March 15th was a bonanza. You crushed Little Marco in Florida and made him drag his girly boots home. Lyin’ Ted was shut out on the evening. He couldn’t even win Missouri. You laughed your ass off through his “victory” speech. Kasich hung on in Ohio, the only thing that kept you from locking up the nomination that night.
Best of all, you were front and center, just behind Mr. Trump’s right arm, when he did his press conference/victory lap. You’re always on stage, but he wanted to make a point. He complimented you to the world, making it clear nobody was going to intimidate him into making an example out of you.
That Fields woman was exaggerating anyway. If you really hurt her that badly, why wasn’t she pressing charges? Just another media hack trying to make her career on Mr. Trump’s dime.
Arizona was great. Utah wasn’t. Ted was going to win, but you finished third. In South Carolina, going after W worked. Picking on Mitt in Utah failed. That anti-Trump PAC tried to make an example out of Melania. WTF!?!?
People keep saying Mr. Trump is a misogynist and this is ok? One set of rules for everyone else, another for Trump. The boss fights back. He retweets an ugly picture of Heidi next to a typically spectacular one of Melania. As expected, Lyin’ Ted gets on his high horse.
Sniveling coward huh? That sanctimonious shit was kissing Mr. Trump’s ass as long as he could get away with drafting off him. He admitted as much in an interview. Said we turned everyone else into roadkill. Lead, follow, or get out of the way Ted. He’s only good at the last two of those.
As usual, Ted is forced off message. If we can slip through and win Wisconsin, they’ll never catch us. We’ll get our 1237 and make them like it. The boss is all over me about losing those Louisiana delegates. It was only a couple. We should be ok anyway, and now he hired this Manafort guy who was a business partner of Stone’s.
It’s like Iowa. He didn’t want to go all in on the ground and I didn’t fight him on it. Telling him he could ignore the “experts” is how I won his trust. The problem with having a bunch of operatives working the delegates is they leak. You can’t trust them anyway.
We need our 1237 on the first ballot. Think we can get there through the primaries, but even if we can’t, 1150 should do. Mr. Trump can cut deals for the rest.
But he’s pissed about Louisiana. It’s not the delegates, it’s Lyin’ Ted making a big show of it. Mr. Trump hates losing. He really hates losing in public.
Ted saved my ass in Iowa with that Carson stunt. Mr. Trump really thinks those stolen supporters cost him a win. Not quite, but why try to convince him otherwise?
That was the gift that kept giving. It made the Doc look like a sap and the boss a hero for speaking up for him. It kept him in the race through Super Tuesday and bought us his endorsement. Thanks Teddy!
Now that bitch went and pressed charges. I had to turn myself in. There’s never a good time for the campaign guy to be the story. Credit to the candidate, at least until the strategist cashes in later.
I’m not gonna take that loser’s way out anyway. The Trump kids like me, appreciate what I’ve done for their dad. I don’t need to shill on CNN after Mr. Trump is out of office like David Axelrod does.
I need to stay in the background and keep driving us forward. Now I’m the damn story. Mr. Trump is sticking up for me in public, making a great show of it.
But I’m actually on thin ice. Not because of the reporter bitch. Because we’re losing in Wisconsin. We’re down 10 in a couple polls. There’s no hiding that from him.
I got distracted with the legal thing and he wound up on the radio in Milwaukee with this Sykes guy. Tore Mr. Trump a new one. This is the same guy who Scott Walker went on with to endorse Cruz.
He’s one of those #NeverTrump dicks. They can’t find a winner, so they try to tear us down. How’d their choices work out the past two elections?
Then this crap with abortion. We’ve done so well with Trump being Trump, but even the pro-life crowd doesn’t want to penalize the mother. Like someone in Manhattan should know that.
They should be glad he came around on this at all. People think he’s lying about being pro-life, but it’s legit. He just doesn’t speak their language yet and probably never will.
Normally this would just blow over, but those polls are bothering him. He knows momentum matters and wants a yuuuge win in New York. Sweep the delegates there, kill it on the 26th and the doubters can bite me.
That f-ing Stone is back in his head again. I know he’s telling him he warned him about me. Thinks he can bring Cruz down by leveraging the Enquirer piece.
I want to save it for an emergency. We need those Cruzers after we get the nomination. Mr. Trump is hanging with me for now, but he gets wiggly when he loses. I’ve gotta at least keep it close on Tuesday.
He won’t fire me. The lawyers will push the case back for a bit and even if I get convicted, which he swears won’t happen, he won’t give in and give me the boot.
But I will lose influence. I didn’t grab control for the hell of it. It’s the only way we stay on track. So damn close. Don’t question me now.
Where the hell did I put those pills?