The pivot begins…or does it?

From the beginning of his campaign for president, Donald Trump promised no pivoting, no apologizing, no regretting and no teleprompt-ing. Last week after, for the second time, he fired his campaign manager — and after saying he doesn’t fire loyal people unlike politicians — the pivoting, apologizing, regretting and teleprompt-ing began at warp speed.

No one should be surprised because the one constant in his campaign has been lying. In fact during his “I regret any comments I made that may have hurt anyone” speech he promised he would “never lie to you.” And he spent this week lying, again…still.
The semi-pivot seems to have begun.

Interestingly this “pivot” seems to have started AFTER Paul Manafort — who reportedly pushed for a pivot for months — resigned and after a junk-yard-dog-conspiratorcy-weaving Steve Bannon took over.

So Trump gave a few teleprompter speeches last week and we’ve seen him not apologize but show “regret” (another speech he read off a teleprompter for fear he would go off-script and not “regret” anything) for some of things he may have said in the heat of the moment where he lost control of his senses apparently because he really didn’t mean to be mean. If you believe that, I have a presidential candidacy to sell you.

Trump harped early on during the primaries about those “phony” politicians made all the more phony because of their dependence on teleprompters to stay on message rather than “be themselves.” So, now, with no explanation we see Trump speaking from a teleprompter, going off now and then it to repeat a phrase he just read or to add a “believe me” in case we didn’t believe him the first time. (On that point, he is correct.)

We also know he’s lying not only because his lips are moving but because he emphasizes some statements by lifting one of his hands (that really come across stubby on TV) and putting his index finger together with his thumb to show us he really, really means it, believe me.

Linguists have been quoted all over the media parsing every word of his regret to show that he really said nothing — similar to that Olympic swimmer who showed such immaturity in Brazil when he lied about his vandalism, his drunkenness and his juvenile behavior the other night.

Interestingly, appearing a Sunday show, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus hailed the new Trump. Called him “maturing.” Take a step back, Reince, Trump is a 70-year-old self-proclaimed billionaire — and you think he’s finally “maturing?” If so, I’d say I have a presidential candidacy to sell you but you’ve already bought it. Instead, Reince, meet the Olympic swimmer, he may make a good Senate candidate for you to back, he seems to have the qualities your seek.

And last week, with an extra helping of chutzpah, Trump began making a special appeal to African American voters — with whom he registers not 1 percent of their vote in polls — by saying to them, “what have you got to lose?” by voting for him since your lives have not improved under Democratic policies? What a salesman! Buy me, because, hell, what have you got to lose? I guess that is him taking his best points and selling them.

Does that even deserve a response? Okay, it does. My second response is, so what policies are you offering to improve things for African Americans who you think are all living in poverty and poorly educated? My first response is, “WTF, are you nuts?” After all you’ve said, intimated and rumored about minorities in this country, after not disassociating yourself from bigots and racists and segregationists like David Duke, about your plan (which I haven’t heard mentioned lately) to build a ‘great wall’ on our southern border to keep out those rapin’, robbin’ and thievin’ Mexicans.” And let me use sarcasm — something you said you were using when you spewed your insults day after day but apparently never looked up the meaning of the word — to say, what happened to your “extreme vetting” when it came to your last two campaign managers? Clearly, that didn’t work out so well.

And, by the way, he showed Saturday that he may now be ready to endorse a path to citizenship for those 11 million Hispanics here illegally who he’s been saying for a year he will round up and deport. May as well use that teleprompter since, like all those politicians you say you are unlike, you’re talking out of both sides of your…mouth.

Oh, and then he campaigned with his vice presidential running mate down in Louisiana to pass out needed supplies to those affected by floods. Okay, I guess that’s better than promising a charitable donation that will never come. At least he helped empty a truck rather than empty cash from a bankruptcy, leaving small business owners with nothing on the dollar.

Clearly, I don’t buy his pivot. I do, though, see his cynical, craven campaign for what it is — just another reality show script (Oh, did I say reality shows have a script? Isn’t that an oxymoron?) — a continuation of his craven, cynical campaign that assumes American voters are dumb and can be manipulated by a guy who has yet to display a serious policy bone in his body. He still merely hands out generalities, insults and regrets written by a staff person.

Here’s when I might begin to believe Trump has pivoted to being a real presidential candidate:

  1. He releases his taxes
  2. He stops blaming the “dishonest” media for every bad story he reads or sees
  3. He stops saying the election is going to be rigged against him
  4. He stops using juvenile names for his opponents
  5. He stops his blatant lies

In other words, I’ll never believe it.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog:

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