- - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Just be sure to spell his name right.

It’s T-R-U-M-P, as in Trump Plaza or Trump Casino or Trump Resort.

Say whatever you want about The Donald, no one can deny that he is a marketing mastermind who has turned the button-down political world on its ear.

He manages to take the worst publicity disasters imaginable and turn them into gold. And King Midas of the Media does it in the face of the most hostile journalistic pack ever assembled against a candidate offering himself for public office.

Most candidates have a party apparatus that at least defends their right to exist or debate or reach voters. But the Republican political establishment is apoplectic that someone so “vulgar” and “unrefined” would dare so much as stand alongside their rarified, coiffed and cultivated breed.

At least former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had the public backing of the party establishment, even if those very same snakes slithered around dishing lies and dirt on her behind her back.

Donald Trump cannot even rely on support from some of the self-ordained “outsider” tea party conservative leaders, who have stood lockstep with GOP party leaders in denouncing the real estate mogul.

Mr. Trump has no natural constituency of political support — except regular old innocent American voters who are sick and tired of all of it and want professional politicians tossed out — the whole lot of them.

He might say some stupid things, he might break stuff, but these voters believe that Mr. Trump simply cannot screw things up any worse than this crowd of professionals already has.

Anybody but King Midas of the Media would be toast by now.

He launched his campaign denouncing illegal Mexicans for raping and murdering Americans. This may be a natural concern for Americans who don’t want to be raped or murdered, but this media will brand anyone a “racist” who actually says anything about it publicly.

Then, during a formal presidential debate, he gets grilled about calling women “fat pigs, dogs and slobs.” But Mr. Trump turns it around and brings down the house by interrupting: “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” a loudmouth television “personality” with whom he constantly feuds.

Literally, no politician could survive this kind of galactic warp speed, incendiary orbit re-entry heat. But King Midas just thrives. He takes all toxicity aimed at him and turns it into positive ratings. In Iowa. New Hampshire. Everywhere.

One of his greatest moments of marketing genius in this campaign came during his cellphone war with Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican.

After Mr. Trump revealed Mr. Graham’s private cellphone number, the voicemail quickly filled up and then became unusable because of all the constant calls coming in. Mr. Graham, the consummate politician, responded by destroying his phone with a sword, then in a blender, then by dropping it off a building. And then he got a new number.

A few days later, an Internet website exposed Donald Trump’s personal cellphone number. But King Midas saw this as not an annoying problem, but a marketing opportunity. He simply changed the message on his voicemail to a campaign message and directed callers to his website for more information about his candidacy.

Literally, chess versus checkers.

And yet, all the political experts here in Washington — starting with President Obama — dismiss Mr. Trump as some kind of “carnival barker.” As if using your imagination and doggedness and fearlessness to draw in crowds is somehow a bad thing.

No wonder we are in so much trouble.

Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com and on Twitter via @charleshurt.

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