“[Tony] Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. […] ‘I put lipstick on a pig,’ he said. ‘I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.’ He went on, ‘I genuinely believe if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization. ‘ If he were writing The Art of the Deal today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, ‘The Sociopath.’ […] If Trump is elected President, he warned, ‘the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows — that he couldn’t care less about them.'” (The New Yorker):

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

48 thoughts on ““[Tony] Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the…

  1. Paul, you’re assuming that the only people that need to be talked to are people who are die-hard Trump supporters. You’re right, they’re not going to change their minds. But some middle-of-the-road people who haven’t made up their minds, who may be following people who read the New Yorker, can have their minds changed. It’s not Trump’s fans who need to hear this. You’re right. They’re closed to new opinions about him.

    But then there are also the soft Trump supporters who may feel turned off by him and vote Hillary, or not vote at all, either of which is ideal.

    So posting this and talking about it has value to the extent that anything on social media does.

  2. New Yorker, can have their minds changed. It’s not Trump’s fans who need to hear this. You’re right. They’re closed to new opinions about him. But then there are also the soft Trump supporters who may feel turned off by him and vote Hillary, or not vote at all, either of which is ideal. So posting this and talking about it has value to the extent that anything on social media does.]]>

  3. Robert. Rob. Bobbo.

    Listen.

    Hillary is a liar and Trump is going to Make America Great Again. End of story. Insert ear plugs here.

    I hope to God the echo chamber isn’t airtight, I really do. I have very little hope of that, and no faith at all that there is a meaningful population of “undecideds” at all. The conservative think tanks worked overtime to stop Trump’s nomination and they fucked it up. The party has rejected their own elites! Why on earth would they read the other team’s elites at The Atlantic or The New Yorker or Mother Jones?

    My dad fucking hates Trump and he’s voting Trump. He’s going to vote for someone he hates because he can’t even say “Clinton” without choking on his own spit.

    I’m so pessimistic. It’s looking like a goddamned coin toss, no matter how 538 spins it. A COIN TOSS. Jesus fucking Christ.

    When you’ve got a motivated party this eager to make sure Hillary never hits office because “she’s a liar” and Your Guy is provably a serial liar, reason and facts aren’t on the table any more. It’s mob rule, it’s the Purge, it’s two years of hardcore fast-moving destructive bullshit if he gets into office followed by flipping congress back to the Dems followed by at least 2 years of the very deadest deadlock.

    I’m so pessimistic.

    This should not be a coin toss.

    Ugh.

  4. hope to God the echo chamber isn’t airtight, I really do. I have very little hope of that, and no faith at all that there is a meaningful population of “undecideds” at all. The conservative think tanks worked overtime to stop Trump’s nomination and they fucked it up. The party has rejected their own elites! Why on earth would they read the other team’s elites at The Atlantic or The New Yorker or Mother Jones? My dad fucking hates Trump and he’s voting Trump. He’s going to vote for someone he hates because he can’t even say “Clinton” without choking on his own spit. I’m so pessimistic. It’s looking like a goddamned coin toss, no matter how 538 spins it. A COIN TOSS. Jesus fucking Christ. When you’ve got a motivated party this eager to make sure Hillary never hits office because “she’s a liar” and Your Guy is provably a serial liar, reason and facts aren’t on the table any more. It’s mob rule, it’s the Purge, it’s two years of hardcore fast-moving destructive bullshit if he gets into office followed by flipping congress back to the Dems followed by at least 2 years of the very deadest deadlock. I’m so pessimistic. This should not be a coin toss. Ugh.]]>

  5. I have very little hope of that, and no faith at all that there is a meaningful population of “undecideds” at all.

    Paul, I agree with you that it’s a relatively small number of people. But that relatively small number is enough to push the election. There’s about 45 percent of the population that would vote for anyone with a D behind their name, and about 43 percent who’ll vote for any R.

    It’s that remaining 12% that most electoral persuasion is pushed at. Along with get out the vote on the voters who’re definitely there for you, these are the two main things political campaigns try to do to affect the election.

    So it’s a small group, but addressing that small group has been the challenge of almost every election in our lifetimes.

    And it’s a group that’s not made up of diehard Trumpies, otherwise they wouldn’t be undecided. So persuasion is theoretically applicable to them—to the extent that it’s useful at all.

    I would encourage you to not let your anecdata overwhelm the data. I’m confident I understand why Trump won the nomination (the Republican Party nominating electorate is small, white, old, and racist, the Republican Party doesn’t actually believe in anything, they spent years ignoring a huge part of their electorate) and that these conditions don’t pertain to the far-larger, far-more-diverse, far-younger general-election electorate.

    I am not entirely confident that Trump will lose. But I’m reasonably confident.

    On the topic of the New Yorker: Just because a story starts in a place you wouldn’t rate very highly doesn’t mean it won’t catch fire in the media. The National Enquirer (Trump’s favorite paper) found out about Clinton’s cum-dress, and that became national news.

    And Trump is not teflon. He’s already had to scramble away from his “Mexican” judge comments.

    It’s important to keep public pressure on him and to hope that it bubbles outside of our local echo chambers.

  6. I have very little hope of that, and no faith at all that there is a meaningful population of “undecideds” at all. Paul, I agree with you that it’s a relatively small number of people. But that relatively small number is enough to push the election. There’s about 45 percent of the population that would vote for anyone with a D behind their name, and about 43 percent who’ll vote for any R. It’s that remaining 12% that most electoral persuasion is pushed at. Along with get out the vote on the voters who’re definitely there for you, these are the two main things political campaigns try to do to affect the election. So it’s a small group, but addressing that small group has been the challenge of almost every election in our lifetimes. And it’s a group that’s not made up of diehard Trumpies, otherwise they wouldn’t be undecided. So persuasion is theoretically applicable to them—to the extent that it’s useful at all. I would encourage you to not let your anecdata overwhelm the data. I’m confident I understand why Trump won the nomination (the Republican Party nominating electorate is small, white, old, and racist, the Republican Party doesn’t actually believe in anything, they spent years ignoring a huge part of their electorate) and that these conditions don’t pertain to the far-larger, far-more-diverse, far-younger general-election electorate. I am not entirely confident that Trump will lose. But I’m reasonably confident. On the topic of the New Yorker: Just because a story starts in a place you wouldn’t rate very highly doesn’t mean it won’t catch fire in the media. The National Enquirer (Trump’s favorite paper) found out about Clinton’s cum-dress, and that became national news. And Trump is not teflon. He’s already had to scramble away from his “Mexican” judge comments. It’s important to keep public pressure on him and to hope that it bubbles outside of our local echo chambers.]]>

  7. I’m on your side here. I hope you know that.

    Honestly I’m just feeling very, very spooked out right now.

    Every cop shooting helps Trump. Every mass shooting helps Trump. Every bit of overseas uncertainty helps Trump. Economic good news is ignored as MSM propaganda, economic bad news is embraced as proof that Obama’s legacy will be one of unremitting failure.

    I mean seriously, name some external factor that actually helps Hillary. One. I can’t think of one. She’s a skilled technocrat with unremarkable optics (with the exception of her historic role as major-party presidential candidate) in a time that seems to care more about feelings than qualifications.

    Has there ever been a more qualified candidate? Like ever in our history? I’m having trouble thinking of one. Based on that alone, even if she were a dude and not a Clinton, my feeling is that it still wouldn’t be a slam-dunk.

    What was the thing that Reagan won on? Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago? By literally every metric, most folks (not rust belt, not blue collar/former union) should know they’re better off now than they were 8 years ago. And we’re so fixated on … feelings.

    When I’m feeling more optimistic, I think that the hard conservative pushback we’re seeing is the final energetic death spasms of a generation, and when that generation dies things are gonna look a whole lot better.

    A huge Dem landslide would be awesome but even that would play into GOP hands. So would a narrow victory in either direction. So would a huge GOP landslide. It’s astonishing how rhetorically well positioned they are. And maddening that the Dems can’t seem to get their messaging straight and loud while this fucking carny drowns out everyone’s bandwidth.

  8. ever in our history? I’m having trouble thinking of one. Based on that alone, even if she were a dude and not a Clinton, my feeling is that it still wouldn’t be a slam-dunk. What was the thing that Reagan won on? Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago? By literally every metric, most folks (not rust belt, not blue collar/former union) should know they’re better off now than they were 8 years ago. And we’re so fixated on … feelings. When I’m feeling more optimistic, I think that the hard conservative pushback we’re seeing is the final energetic death spasms of a generation, and when that generation dies things are gonna look a whole lot better. A huge Dem landslide would be awesome but even that would play into GOP hands. So would a narrow victory in either direction. So would a huge GOP landslide. It’s astonishing how rhetorically well positioned they are. And maddening that the Dems can’t seem to get their messaging straight and loud while this fucking carny drowns out everyone’s bandwidth.]]>

  9. External factors that help Hillary:

    * Demographics, both age and ethnicity
    * Obama is generally well-liked
    * The economy is doing ok (not bad, not great)
    * Experience

    I get the angst-wail. I have it in me, too.

  10. I guess I mean external events.

    Technocratic guardian of the status quo is a hard sell! Unless you get anyone in the media to report on lowering violence rates (non-event: folks didn’t get shot up/robbed/mugged!) and couching positive economic data in a way that everyday folks can relate to.

  11. Technocratic guardian of the status quo is a hard sell! Unless you get anyone in the media to report on lowering violence rates (non-event: folks didn’t get shot up/robbed/mugged!) and couching positive economic data in a way that everyday folks can relate to.]]>

  12. Robert Bohl yeah, absolutely agreed.

    I assume you saw that chart that laid out the partisan attacks as they related to her running for Senate and POTUS, yeah? And how they mostly died down when she was SoS? Eye-opening to see the stats but unsurprising.

  13. I’d argue that conventional wisdom has its head up its ass. There’s no evidence to support it. Trump’s poll numbers have been unchanged since these events (Hillary’s have gone down).

    Having invoked the polls, I’ll point out that they’re not worth too much at this point. And that particular polls are almost entirely worthless. The overall polling average is useful, but even that is volatile so early in the game.

    After the conventions, we’ll really have reason to freak the fuck out if things aren’t going well.

  14. Hillary’s numbers went down, but Trump’s didn’t go up. Keep that in mind.

    Enjoy your freakout. I hope to be smugly pulling an “I told you so” soon, but I’m also lightly freaking. So I get it.

  15. Three months ago over lunch, I was like “oh yeah, the country that elected Obama twice in a row is in no way ready to elect a Trump” to my dad, the Trump-hater who will be voting Trump.

    You know what got under my skin? I hate admitting this but I will: Scott Adams’ take on the Trump presidential run.

    I get that Scott Adams is a gigantic douchebag. But his evaluation struck some chord in me, some bit of truthiness that crawled into my brain and laid eggs.