Don’t Cry for the Republican Political Consultants


David Drucker of Vanity Fair has been talking to Republican political consultants about how they are advising their clients to talk about the president.

“Your heart tells you that he’s bad for the country. Your head looks at polling data among Republican primary voters and sees how popular he is,” said one Republican strategist who, like most of the nearly two dozen I interviewed for this story, requested anonymity in order to speak candidly and protect their clients. “It would be malpractice not to advise clients to attach themselves to that popularity.”

Never mind the president’s low national approval ratings; his temper tantrums and chaos at the White House. If you want to win nomination in your Republican primary and, in the hardening red state-blue state divide, the general election that follows, embrace Trump and hold on tight. “To break the dam, you have to put cracks in it, and here we are plugging up the cracks,” this strategist added. “It’s really cynical, but so is politics.”

Once a mercenary picks a side and accepts the check, it’s best not to think too hard about who ought to win the war. Are you fighting for the wrong side? If your army wins, will it be bad for the country and the world? Is your leader even a German patriot or he is some Austrian interloper with dangerous ideas that will bring ruin to your people? However bad he is, he surely can’t be as bad as the Bolsheviks.

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