Donald Trump Built a Juggernaut and Had the Media Pay for It
A Commentary By Charles Hurt
Why does the mainstream media heap such scorn and disbelief on Donald Trump over his promise to build a great wall along the border with Mexico — and make Mexico pay for it? After all, Donald Trump has built a winning presidential campaign — and made the media pay for it.
Mr. Trump’s second place finish in Iowa gave respite to the legions of media pundits and establishment flunkies who suffer the worst forms of Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome. They braced for a huge blow-out win in the Corn State. When it didn’t happen, it was like an executioner’s gun jamming. First they flinched, then they blinked a few times and then got up and ran like their hair was on fire.
Ever since, of course, they have been gloating and crowing — from a safe distance — that Donald Trump failed. King Midas had finally touched something and turned it into silver, instead of gold.
This, to be sure, is every bit as delusional as the derangement syndrome that has captivated their sanity for six months now. What Donald Trump pulled off in Iowa was nothing short of miraculous.
The last time a secular, loud, brash New Yorker who was leading in all the national polls faced Iowa Republican voters — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008 — he got truly schlonged. Mr. Giuliani came in sixth place with only 4 percent of the vote.
Donald Trump came in second place with an astonishing 24 percent of the vote. He was just 3.3 percentage points behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who won the race by shamelessly pandering to the state’s huge evangelical population, which has determined the outcome of every Republican caucus there since at least 2000.
If Rudy Giuliani had done as well in Iowa as Trump did, the media would have declared him the winner and he very likely would rushed through New Hampshire and South Carolina on waves of positive press and his ultimate gambit of winning it all in Florida very likely could have worked. In other words, if Mr. Giuliani had done as well as Mr. Trump did in Iowa, we quite possibly would be referring to him now as former President Giuliani.
But the media hatred for Mr. Trump is so unrestrained that even a stellar accomplishment like he had in Iowa was dismissed as a shattering loss. And Sen. Marco Rubio’s third place loss behind Mr. Trump was spun endlessly as some kind of huge victory. This propelled the Florida Republican, until his poor performance in last weekend’s robotic performance in the New Hampshire debate.
What is so amazing about Mr. Trump’s blowout in the nation’s first primary in the Granite State is not just the 2-to-1 win over the next-nearest competitor, but his performance among every demographic group on every single issue.
Among women, middle-aged voters, the elderly, the educated — all people the experts warned would flee from Donald Trump — Mr. Trump managed to win. And he won on every major issue, including the economy, foreign policy and immigration.
Perhaps the sweetest thing out of New Hampshire is how the media will be forced to spin the results. They will, of course, try to minimize Mr. Trump’s thumping.
Then they will be forced to breathe wind into Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s disappointing — but surprising — second-place finish. The Kasich campaign is hopeless going forward. And so the battle rages on for the so-called “establishment lane” with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and even Ted Cruz piled up behind John Kasich’s hopeless campaign.
Live by the spin, die by the spin.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @charleshurt.
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