Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 20, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page B:4






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Joe Frontino

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Lori Koop

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Welborn

Renee Quenell

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Marc Garlett

DICK Polman


If you read Superman 
comics as a 
kid, you’re probably 
familiar with 
Bizarro World — 
the planet where 
everything is the 
opposite of life 
on Earth. I bring 
this up because 
it’s clear Donald 
Trump is running 
for president of Bizarro World.

Trump is on track to lose female voters 
like no other candidate in modern times 
— a new poll in pivotal Florida says that 
he’s losing white women by 17 points — 
so you would think, here on Earth, that 
he’d want to prepare for the autumn debates 
by enlisting an adviser who’s politically 
savvy about women. But no. Hewing 
to the rules of Bizarro World, Trump 
will take debate advice from Roger Ailes 
— the Fox News chairman who lost his 
job amidst allegations that he sexually 
harassed at least 20 women.

Trump is bursting with Bizarro behavior 
these days. He has no chance — zero, 
nada — of winning Maine or Connecticut 
or Wisconsin ... so naturally he has 
campaigned this month in all three. He’s 
trying to pitch himself to black voters ... 
so naturally he staged a rally in a white 
suburb. He badly needs to broaden his 
“appeal” beyond the fever swamp ... so 
naturally he announced this week (in yet 
another staff shakeup) that his new campaign 
CEO is Steve Bannon, the notorious 
chairman of Breitbart News, a fever 
swamp website that’s pitched to people 
who think Fox News is too nice.

Bannon is bad enough — conservative 
critic Erick Erickson says the Trump 
campaign is “moving from dumpster fire 
to Chernobyl” — but the fateful pairing 
of Trump and Ailes is what fascinates 
me most. Two serial sexists, jointly plotting 
their last hurrah. They deserve each 

Even as various Trump flacks tried to 
deny that Ailes is on board, it’s patently 
obvious why Trump wants him around. 
Ailes is the acknowledged master of using 
television to fool gullible viewers. 
Long before he ever worked his magic 
at Fox News, creating a misinformation 
propaganda shop that masquerades as 
journalism, Ailes made his bones repairing 
and honing the TV images of Republican 
candidates. And no candidate 
has ever needed image repair more than 

Ailes won’t be the only voice in Trump’s 
ear as debate season draws near, but he 
alone brings expertise dating back to 
Dick Nixon in 1968. His task that year, 
as Nixon’s media adviser, was to package 
a New Nixon in place of the Old Nixon. 
The Old Nixon was paranoid and polarizing; 
the New Nixon was wise and mature. 
It was all fakery, of course, but Ailes 
did his job well. He crafted 30-minute 
infomercials that featured Nixon taking 
a lot of softball questions in TV studios 
from citizens pre-chosen by Ailes. 
The studio spectators applauded every 

It’ll be the challenge of Ailes’ career to 
soften Trump’s detestable image, especially 
during his debates with Hillary 
Clinton. It’s one thing to fool the 
credulous viewers of Fox News, but it’ll 
be tough to foist a New Trump on the 
broader, skeptical public. 

During debate prep, Ailes will probably 
try to shave down Trump’s rough edges, 
try to make people forget the divisive 
bellowing buffoon. Heck, even an alleged 
sexual harrasser understands that female 
viewers won’t vote for an alpha male who 
yells at a woman.

But there are two big problems: (1) 
Trump doesn’t listen to anybody, and (2) 
The rest of Trump’s brain trust — new 
CEO Steve Bannon, Putin-compromised 
Paul Manafort, and new campaign manager 
Kellyanne Conway (who has toiled 
in vain for 20 years trying to get more 
women to vote Republican) — will be 
competing to make Trump listen. Bannon, 
for instance, is not big on image 
makeovers; he thinks that Trump should 
just be Trump.

How sad for Roger Ailes. He may have 
launched his political career as a genius, 
but now, after leaving Fox News in disgrace, 
he risks going down in the smoking 

Dick Polman is the national political columnist 
at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia 
( and a 
“Writer in Residence” at the University of 

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 MAKING SENSE by Michael Reagan

JOHN L. Micek




I’ve finally figured out what Donald Trump’s main problem is.

No jokes, please.

 It’s because at his core he’s an entertainer who’s looking for 
applause, not a politician who’s looking for votes.

 Applause makes you feel good on stage at the Improv or at the end of a Broadway 
play. But it doesn’t get you elected.

 If Trump really wants to save what’s left of Western Civilization from four years of 
President Hillary Clinton, he’s got to learn how to get his message out to more voters.

 When he gives his big policy speeches, he does fine. The addresses he delivered 
recently about fighting terrorism and fixing the economy were generally good.

 They’d make good stump speeches and he should shorten them to twenty minutes 
and repeat at least one of them every day.

 But the most important thing about those careful, joke-free teleprompter speeches 
wasn’t what Trump said or even how he said it.

 It was that he was speaking to the whole country, not just the people in the auditorium.

He wasn’t seeking the instant approval of the audience with his “Crooked Hillary” 
shtick or promises to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.

 In those two serious policy speeches Trump did what my father did in Berlin in 1987 
at the Brandenburg Gate, when he told Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this Wall!”

 My father wasn’t merely speaking to the huge crowd in front of him, he was speaking 
beyond them to all the people on the other side of the Berlin Wall who were not free.

Trump has to start speaking to a wider, broader, larger audience -- the independents 
and Republicans that he’s got to get to vote for him.

 He needs to do it every day. He can’t slip back to delivering his applause lines. We’ve 
heard those jokes.

 We’ll soon see whether Trump’s new team of Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon 
can make a difference in his behavior or focus.

 Conway is a pro who knows what she’s doing. But you can hire the best people on the 
planet and it won’t help if you don’t listen to them.

 While Team Trump is in a hiring mood, how about finding someone who actually 
knows how to stage a campaign speech?.

 When Trump was in Wisconsin earlier this week talking about the economy and 
how the Democrat Party’s has failed and betrayed black people, I don’t think I saw a 
single black person.

 It was incredibly amateurish stagecraft.

 It’d be like giving an important policy speech about the plight of out-of-work coal 
miners to an audience of nuns or guys in three-piece suits.

 I realize Trump isn’t exactly surrounded by black supporters. And I know the part of 
Wisconsin he was in was 95 percent white. 

 But couldn’t someone in his campaign have found fifty black people to be in the 
crowd so the media couldn’t react in the knee-jerk way they did?

 My father’s media genius, the late deputy chief of staff Michael Deaver, would have 
had a thousand blacks in that audience even if he had had to pay them to be there.

 Trump has to do a lot more learnin’ and a lot more hirin’.

 And if he doesn’t do it real soon he’ll be back running his business empire, living a 
quiet life in Trump Tower and getting in almost as many rounds of golf each week as 
President Obama.

 Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the 
author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email 
service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites 
at and Send comments to Reagan@ Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. 

If you ever wonder why some people think the game is rigged, 
why they believe the rich get access to government and power 
and influence the way the average working stiff doesn’t, then 
two headlines are instructive.

 Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that Paul Manafort, the campaign 
manager for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, had popped up in a 
“secret ledger” showing $12.7 million in cash payments were earmarked for him from a 
political party headed by Ukraine’s former president, a pro-Russian strongman named 
Viktor F. Yanukovych.

 That came on top of revelations last week of what appears to have been an entirely 
too cozy relationship between Democrat Hillary Clinton’s State Department and major 
donors to the controversy-prone Clinton Foundation.

 Both incidents are each, for their own reasons, profoundly troubling. And they would 
be, on their own, in a normal campaign year, a serious argument for disqualification 
for the respective candidates.

 But this isn’t any other year. The voting public has proven strikingly immune (or 
perhaps is now simply indifferent) to shocking, shameful or embarrassing things the 
Democratic and Republican nominees have said or done.

 However, there is something more unsavory and unseemly about Manafort’s 
Ukrainian payday and the reports that Clinton’s State Department skated right up to 
the edge of “pay-to-play.”

 Let’s stipulate up front that the skills of a political consultant like Manafort are 
entirely portable. Getting a candidate elected in Pretoria isn’t that much different from 
getting one elected in Pittsburgh.

 The difference here, of course, is the candidate. Yanukovych was a strongman whose 
stormy tenure was beset by allegations of police abuse and corruption, according to 
published reports.

 There’s no evidence Manafort, based on the ledgers, received any cash. And he has 
denied taking any. Even still, it’s more than a little troubling that Trump would pick a 
guy who was apparently okay with shilling for someone as repellent as the pro-Russian 

 Meanwhile, at issue for Clinton are two email conversations, dating from 2009 and 
made public by the right-leaning Judicial Watch.

 They showed that Douglas J. Band, then the head of the Clinton Global Initiative, 
pressed senior Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl D. Mills to arrange a meeting 
between a foundation donor and a senior State Department official.

 That donor, Gilbert Chagoury, has denied that a meeting with anyone at the State 
Department ever took place. And he says that he was just trying to relay information 
about his home country of Lebanon, The Post reported.

 As The Post also notes, Clinton herself was not involved. But Abedin, who 
simultaneously (and improperly) worked at both the State Department and Clinton 
Foundation, was involved and apparently encouraged the interaction.

 And, no, there’s no direct evidence of illegality here. Even so, it doesn’t pass the basic 
smell test. In the end, a deep-pocketed donor received favorable consideration in a way 
that is unimaginable (and unavailable) to the average citizen.

And that’s just unacceptable.

 If Trump is serious about his bumper-sticker pledge to make America great (whether 
it needs to be made great “again” is open to debate), then he can’t employ a guy who 
takes money from governments whose values are not consonant with our own.

 And if Clinton is going to credibly champion the little guy on the stump, then she 
needs to thoroughly explain (and perhaps be held to account by voters) why the 
Clinton Foundation was not a favor bank for the rich and powerful.

 And then she needs to reassure voters that it will never happen in the White House.

And if neither thing happens, then ask yourself (again) why people think the game is 
rigged. It shouldn’t be hard to answer.


An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political 
Columnist for PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on 
Twitter @ByJohnLMicek and email him at

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