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Thu Apr 28, 2016, 01:58 PM

If You Don’t Think Paul Manafort Can Get Trump Elected, You Don’t Know Paul Manafort

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by mcar (a host of the 2016 Postmortem forum).

Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s palace, is impressive by the standards of Palm Beach—less so when judged against the abodes of the world’s autocrats. It doesn’t, for instance, quite compare with Mezhyhirya, the gilded estate of deposed Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych. Trump may have 33 bathrooms and three bomb shelters, but his mansion lacks a herd of ostrich, a galleon parked in a pond, and a set of golden golf clubs. Yet the two properties are linked, not just in ostentatious spirit, but by the presence of one man. Trump and Yanukovych have shared the same political brain, an operative named Paul Manafort.

Ukrainians use the term “political technologist” as a favored synonym for electoral consultant. Trump turned to Manafort for what seemed at first a technical task: Manafort knows how to bullwhip and wheedle delegates at a contested convention. He’s done it before, assisting Gerald Ford in stifling Ronald Reagan’s insurgency at the GOP’s summer classic of 1976. In the conventions that followed, the Republican Party often handed Manafort control of the program and instructed him to stage-manage the show. He produced the morning-in-America convention of 1984 and the Bob Dole nostalgia-thon of 1996.

Given Manafort’s experience and skill set, it never made sense that he would be limited to such a narrow albeit crucial task as delegate accumulation. Indeed, it didn’t take long before he attempted to seize control of the Trump operation—managing the budget, buying advertising, steering Trump toward a teleprompter and away from flaming his opponents, appearing on air as a primary surrogate.

Some saw the hiring of Manafort as desperate, as Trump reaching for a relic from the distant past in the belated hope of compensating for a haphazard campaign infrastructure. In fact, securing Manafort was a coup. He is among the most significant political operatives of the past 40 years, and one of the most effective. He has revolutionized lobbying several times over, though he self-consciously refrains from broadcasting his influence. Unlike his old business partners, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater, you would never describe Manafort as flamboyant. He stays in luxury hotels, but orders room service and churns out memos. When he does venture from his suite for dinner with a group, he’ll sit at the end of the table and say next to nothing, giving the impression that he reserves his expensive opinions for private conversations with his clients. “Manafort is a person who doesn’t necessarily show himself. There’s nothing egotistical about him,” says the economist Anders Aslund, who advised the Ukrainian government. The late Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory described him as having a “smooth, noncommittal manner, ” though she also noted his “aggrieved brown eyes.” Despite his decades of amassing influence in Washington and other global capitals, he’s never been the subject of a full magazine profile. He distributes quotes to the press at the time and place of his choosing, which prior to his arrival on the Trump campaign, was almost never. (Indeed, he did not respond to requests to comment for this story.)

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/04/paul_manafort_isn_t_a_gop_retread_he_s_made_a_career_of_reinventing_tyrants.html

It's important to remind ourselves from time to time who the real enemy is, and what we'll be up against...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:03 PM

1. Is he the new GOP Boogeyman we're supposed to be afraid of? nt

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Response to firebrand80 (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:25 PM

4. Sanders fans appear to be utterly terrified of Republicans.

 

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:15 PM

2. Bob Dole got his ass handed to him in '96...

By a Clinton as it happens.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:41 PM

7. Yeah, but the GOP Convention in 1996 went fine. It was 1992 that featured a Republican Convention

that came off like a clown show. Pat Buchanan made sure of that.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:03 PM

12. George H.W. Bush would have won...

Had it not been for Ross Perot. We must keep that in mind when people talk about Bernie running third party.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:11 PM

17. I disagree that Perot threw the election to Bush.

The exit polls clearly showed Perot taking equally from both candidates. They showed the same thing between Clinton and Dole in 1996.

Also, it wasn't until election day that you could even say that much. Prior to election day every single poll showed Perot taking more votes from Clinton than he did from Bush. Again, it was the same way in 1996--up until the election Perot was seen taking more voters from Clinton than from Dole.

I can't imagine that Bernie would run as a third party candidate. That's just talk and it isn't coming from him. The real concern is that some voters may write his name in or vote for Jill Stein.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:47 PM

18. I suppose we will never know for sure...

On the Perot thing, but he changed the discussion, and he seemed to really dislike Bush.

Bernie said at the beginning that he wouldn't run as a third party candidate, and I don't think he will. Hopefully, deals will be made such that Bernie supporters are more willing to get behind Clinton.

In some ways it is similar to Perot in that a lot of the folks enthused about Bernie seem to be content to sit at home, but things are kind of emotional now.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:22 PM

3. Trump is screwed and no crusty guru is going to save him.

The wall-to-wall coverage of Trump and his antics leading up to right now has already gotten most of America's attention. And most Americans probably have made up their minds about Trump already. The damage is already done.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:27 PM

5. Yeah it's time to stop living in lala land, we all need to get behind Bernie. Hillary would lose.

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Response to Joob (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:05 PM

15. I'd say we need to get behind the democratic nominee

regardless of who it is

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:39 PM

6. I thought Trump fluff pieces were banned on DU?

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:04 PM

14. Is this really a 'fluff piece'?

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 02:59 PM

8. nothing and nobody can save the Republicans from the ravages of a Trump candidacy

not even Trump himself, he is merely a pawn of larger historical forces in motion

Trump could quit tomorrow and some other clown would emerge to destroy the Republican party, or hell Cruz could do it himself. the time has come, and now nothing can be done to prevent its fall.

a lot of people running around on this site wringing their hands over the elections don't realize just how severely fucked the Republicans are. this is historical event fuckage. this is Napoleon-at-Waterloo-scale fuckage. nothing can save them from the doom that has come upon them. they've gone long and doubled down on too many unpopular positions, taken bold stands against what wide swaths of America consider common sense, and repeatedly catered to the worst elements among them for continued electoral support. it's all coming back around to bite them in the ass now, but this beast doesn't just do little nips and nibbles, no, it takes big alligator bites, and it swallows.

just how fucked are they? Democrats are looking at possibly taking back the gerrymandered house 16 years ahead of schedule. Georgia might (optimistically) be in play for the national election -- motherfucking Georgia, people. i think the last time i saw GA in play was 40 years ago when Carter was running.

we've reached a tipping point in American politics. this election is going to be special.

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 03:02 PM

10. They could get even more with Bernie.

Bernie could win KS in the national election, I believe that with all my heart but it's a fat chance with Hillary as the candidate.

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Response to PyaarRevolution (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 03:35 PM

11. maybe, but the chances of us finding out are vanishingly small

> with Hillary as the candidate

yeah i know a lot of us are super-disappointed about this, but it's going to work out for us long-term. for example, we know how the Clintons like to "triangulate", compromising endlessly until they arrive at a desired position of political strength, right? well the locations of a lot of those positions of political strength are about to change, and we're going to see her triangulating toward us instead of away from us.

if you're right about KS, it's unfortunate, but that state has far deeper problems than hurling a handful of electors into the unforgiving void of voting for the Republican nominee. KS is very broken, infested with the worst strains of Republicanism, and like much of the south it will take a few more years to remedy.

the quickest way to help the south and the western "red" states along is to shift the mainstream, and that's about to happen in a big way.

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:09 PM

16. I didn't think Dubya had a chance...

You are seriously underestimating the level of the dumbing down of the electorate.

You're talking about a group of people who have been taught false history from the Fox News channel.

No, the republicans aren't finished.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 03:01 PM

9. Off topic

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Response to Dem2 (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 04:03 PM

13. how so?

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