Daydreaming about being an advisor for presidential candidates

Jim Russell
Empire Press Correspondent

After watching presidential campaigns for six decades, I’ve decided to daydream about being an advisor to Clinton or Trump in the presidential campaign.

Trump is a celebrity showman driving the Republican campaign so my recommendation would be, “Don’t change.”

Not that he plans to. Campaigners’ repeated suggestions to act more presidential have been rebuffed.

He could win the presidency. As he attacks his opponents he assures his supporters he will deliver for them. When I look at the adulation in men’s and women’s faces at his rallies, I see deep faith in him.

He watches news coverage intently until he gets a label with a kernel of truth and lethally strikes first. He called Scott Walker “slowwwwwww,” blasted Bush as “low energy,” and belittled “Lil’ Marco.” To be honest, I’ve looked for those weaknesses and they appeared to fit.

He labels Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted,” which is justified since Politifact indicates statements by Cruz are mostly false or worse two out of every three times. But Politifact says Trump’s statements are worse: mostly false or worse three out of every four times ( Still, Trump’s believers believe him.

He endears himself as a bad boy and gains more supporters. After rude comments about Fiorina’s looks he said, “I’m not supposed to say that, but really folks, come on. Are we serious?”

Those comments convince supporters, “He tells it like it is.”

That faith spills over to Trump’s political promises to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it or redo the trade agreement with China (there is no trade agreement with China).

He’s also believable because he’s overwhelmed the money-hugging tycoons who backed the losing Republican candidates and is taking on the Republican National Committee by saying the delegate count is rigged. If he can stomp them, supporters believe he can strengthen U.S. positions with allies and enemies.

Clinton has to assume Trump will continue his attacks as a celebrity performer.

It’s his plan according to Roger Stone who told Janet Reitman of Rolling Stone magazine ( that he worked for Trump in the beginning of his campaign. Stone said, “I resigned because it became very clear that Donald had his own vision of how to do this. He was going to be his own strategist. But I will say he’s been proved right: you can do it for free — if you have the celebrity.

Clinton has to counterpunch, which she’s already done. Trump’s first attack on Clinton after her primary victories on April 26 was a flop. He said she won because she’s a woman. She embraced it effortlessly, citing all the causes she’s championed for women’s rights to cheers of women and men who support her.

She’s running videos of his statements ( with the theme, “Donald Trump wants you to forget everything he’s said. Don’t.” He’s said, “I could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any votes.”

She quotes Maya Angelou, “When someone shows who they are, believe them.”

She should announce she won’t schedule debates with Trump.

Pressured by reports to debate him, she should answer the same way: “Trump doesn’t debate. He’s a bully in scheduled debates who’s used trash talk. Debates would be a waste of time. Tell him, “Stay in your own garbage dump, Trump.’ ”

If Trump promises to abide by debate rules. Clinton should say, “He’s lying, since he’s been a confirmed liar 76 percent of the time.”

This article hasn’t talked about issues, and deliberately so. Issues mattered in the democratic primary, but Trump’s celebrity style has pushed issues into the background.

My priorities for a president are experience, compassion and trustworthiness.

Trump has the least experience, lies the most and hasn’t demonstrated any compassion.

But in this campaign, the issue may be determined by, sadly, the most media savvy.