TRUMP’S TAPE: EARLY OCTOBER SURPRISE ?
Presidential campaigns dread the unexpected. I am talking about an occurrence that neither the campaign nor the citizenry expected. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme court gave Decision 2000 an anti-climactic ending with a decision in favor of Texas Governor George W Bush, effectively making him the president of the United States. With that decision, the Bush campaign cheated the dreaded ‘October surprise.’
In the lead up to the 2000 presidential election, Americans learned that the Republican nominee had been arrested for drunk driving, an offense known as DWI ( Driving while intoxicated). The revelation came in October and caught the Bush campaign unawares. Bush’s brain-trust were left at the mercy of spin-masters and thanks to Gore’s horrendous messaging strategy and the Supreme Court decision, they were vindicated.
That was the year that the dreaded October surprise cheated death. However, the 2012 campaigns lived up to the old tradition when the Romney campaign suffered the infamy of stepping right back to the good old political order.
Tired of witnessing his legendary grandfather being used as a political punching bag, President Jimmy Carter’s grandson decided to put a stop to what had turned out to be a family embarrassment. He gave Mother Jones magazine a tape of the then Republican nominee making disparaging remarks about 47% of Americans living on welfare; crowning them as a bunch of “moochers” and “freeloaders.”
Mother Jones magazine went live with the tape and the political world went berserk! Romney never recovered and the Carter family got sweet revenge on years of Republican taunting and caricature.
Four years later, another presidential family got the short end of the stick in the Republican primaries and this time, an apolitical guy ended up with the ticket at a cost that was so colossal that the GOP establishment couldn’t stomach.
An accomplished former Governor with money and a platinum last name had to witness the Republican nomination disappear from his midst despite heavy betting odds, name recognition, deep pockets, Republican establishment backing and sheer birth right!
Donald Trump, in a case of political miracle and nightmare, beat all the odds and somehow, emerged tops against all odds! Behind him, were political dead bodies of establishment favorites including the man that he repeatedly humiliated and crowned “low energy.” That man is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a man whose brother and father belong to the most exclusive of classes : the U.S. presidency!
Jeb was the obvious heir apparent to the Bush dynasty but the Donald had other ideas. Trump’s masterful takedown of Jeb, apparently, didn’t go down well with the Governor’s family and going by today’s revelation, the Bush family finally got their revenge!
An October surprise debuted today with a recording of Trump going ‘there’ and was leaked to the media and the leaker made it known that it came from Jeb Bush’s family! Talk about revenge served cold!
Trump tried to diffuse it by bringing in Bill Clinton’s infidelity but forgot one key thing : Bill is known as a lady lover and smooth talker not a groper and a loose canon as the tape alleges! Furthermore, Bill is not on the ticket!
Trump has survived many a political scandal but this is the mother of all scandals. Its foolhardy to pen Trump’s political obituary purely on this new development simply because of what he has managed to shrug off on his way to the nomination, but this is new territory and the timing is poignant.
Will the Donald’s proverbial nine lives come to the rescue or this is the end of the road? My political instincts counsel that this is it for the Trumpster, I may be wrong, but I am rarely wrong on political calls.