Trump 2.0 was unveiled over the last week to much fanfare. Has Donald Trump – or rather Donald Trump’s new improved campaign staff – found the magic formula for transforming the blustering, offensive and often off script candidate into something a bit more palatable for the average American voter? Or will the new Trump turn out to be just the old Trump with a quickly peeling coat of paint?
Republican pundits and Trump’s most recent handlers are quite literally “Trumpeting” the sudden pivot in their candidate. But many people are wondering just how much of a change we can really expect from the bloviating Republican nominee.
As reported by the Washington Post, Trump suggested in a speech just a few days ago that he had certain regrets about some of the things he said that might – possibly – have insulted, offended or otherwise hurt the feelings of a vague – someone. Unfortunately, the Trump 2.0 initiative doesn’t seem to require a great deal of specificity on Trump’s part, since he didn’t mention a single thing he had said that might have given offense to his clearly oversensitive listeners.
This Trump reboot seems to lack sincerity in several other areas. The recent Trump 2.0 visit to the Louisiana floods in which he comforted the devastated residents with boxes of Play-Doh seemed very much like the kind of “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva a job” moment for which George W. Bush became infamous.
Trump 2.0 also seemed to run into problems when attempting outreach to black voters. Yes, black voters. His “what the hell have you got to lose” suggestion was insulting condescension in the classic Trumpian style. Even aside from this, Trump’s previous reluctance to denounce KKK member David Duke makes it unlikely that most black voters will cozy up to Donald Trump anytime soon. Another strike against 2.0.
After this, Trump 2.0 took on the Herculean task of attempting to convince Hispanics that – despite the fact he has accused them of being drug dealers and rapists – they should vote for him anyway. But when you combine this with Trump’s statements that judges of Mexican descent can’t be impartial and that he wants to erect a wall between the United States and Mexico – at Mexico’s expense – Trump looks to be on shaky ground here as well.
Even Trump’s talk of deportations of millions of Mexicans and Muslims was – temporarily –put on the back burner. At least, that’s what Trump’s new campaign manager was saying to the media only yesterday. But CNN reports that on Monday, Trump de-flopped on this flip-flop, suggesting he might move forward with mass deportations after all.
Given this, it’s difficult for cynics not to think that the moment Donald Trump gets into the White House, all of the recent Trump 2.0 propaganda and spin doctoring will be replaced by the Donald Trump we’ve come to know all too well over the last year. But let’s put aside the fact that Trump’s mea culpa about possibly hurting people’s feelings or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time might be just smoke and mirrors.
Even if Donald Trump really has had the political equivalent of a “Saul on the road to Damascus” epiphany, it’s not likely that the people currently supporting Trump will continue to do so if he actually means what he’s saying right now. Trump reaching out to all the groups he’s been attacking over the last year definitely isn’t going to play well with the Tea Party crowd.
But let’s face it; Trump is probably always going to be Trump. PT Barnum reputedly said that “there’s a sucker born every minute.” But is it really likely that there are enough suckers out there to put the new kinder, gentler Trump 2.0 in the White House this January?
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