I’ve decided to get rich in New York real estate.
I’m going to fly in, get some bank loans, buy up existing old properties, tear them down, build some shiny new condos in their place, and make a mint.
Which properties? Which bank will you get loans from? Who will you hire to do the construction? How will you navigate the labyrinth NYC regulatory codes for property, labor, construction, etc.?
Eh, details. Don’t bother me with details. I’m just going to wing it.
Does this sound foolish to you? Misguided? Naive?
Well, that’s precisely the approach Donald Trump appears to have undertaken in his Presidential race. Now he’s whining that Ted Cruz, who’s a smart, focused guy with a smart, focused team that understands exactly how the process works in each state, is cleaning his clock in actually picking up delegates.
Here’s Rush Limbaugh on why Trump’s claims of “cheating” are bogus:
The one thing that nobody had a heads-up on was how Cruz was going to go into all of these states and arrange to get most of the delegates. We’re talking second and third ballot here. On the first ballot the delegates — for the most part; there are exceptions — are pledged to vote the way the people in their state voted. Pennsylvania, however, is different. Pennsylvania is coming up. You want to know about Pennsylvania? Only 17 out of Pennsylvania’s 70 some odd delegates vote the way voters in the primary go. Some 51, 54, I don’t have the number right in front of me, over 50 delegates in Pennsylvania are unbound, on the first ballot.
Just use an example. If Trump wins Pennsylvania by 75%, he likely will only get 17 of the 60 or 70 delegates, because only 17 are pledged and bound to whoever wins the state primary. Well, Trump has not been working any of these delegates. Why? Who knows. It could be that he didn’t think he had to. It could be he didn’t even know. It could be he had nobody on his staff that really knows how this works.
You do because you have been treated to in-depth explanations of how this whole delegate process works, particularly once we get to second and third ballots. And even I pointed out to you that it’s very possible — we won’t know actually ’til the convention starts — very possible that a lot of delegates that have to vote Trump on the first ballot don’t actually support him. And if we get to second or third ballot then they’ll abandon him and go for whoever. Right now Cruz is calling dibs.
Now, what happened in Colorado is, I’m sorry to say, it’s not a trick. What happened in Colorado is right out in the open. Everybody’s known how Colorado runs its affairs. Everybody has known. Nobody just chose to look at it. It’s no secret that Colorado was gonna have a convention and they’re gonna choose their delegates before the primary. It’s not a secret. It’s just nobody leaked it. Nobody talked about it. Nobody bragged about it. So it was left to be discovered by people who didn’t know. And it turns out that people on the Trump campaign didn’t know.
Now, I can understand how they might feel tricked here. I can understand how they might feel bugabooed because millions of votes, theoretically, are gonna happen that aren’t going to count. Hey, welcome to establishment politics. We have played for you the sound bites on this program of delegates — I’m sorry — of officials, rules committee officials. We played the sound bite of one of these guys that said, “Hey, what you all have to understand is the people don’t select our nominee; the delegates do, we do.” None of this is a mystery. This is the definition of insider versus outsider. This is a classic illustration of how an outsider has to learn the insider game to play it.
So I don’t see Ted Cruz lying and cheating his way to the convention. I see a lot of hard work. I see some people who know what they have to do, given where they are. They’re in second place in both the vote count and the delegate count. They’re serious about winning. The Cruz team is serious about winning. They have made themselves fully aware of how the process works, and they’ve been out working it for quite a while. They went into Louisiana where Trump scored a massive win but they’ve come out of there with many more delegates than, by appearances, they should have.
Ted Cruz had goals. He worked the problem ’til he got the result he wanted. What he’s demonstrating, folks, he’s demonstrating he knows how to work himself within this insider labyrinth. He knows how to navigate it. He knows how to work it. He knows how to turn it to his advantage. You have to look at this and say, “Okay, what does this tell us about Cruz, if he should become president?” No matter how enamored you are — and a lot of people are — no matter how enamored you are of the notion of a total outsider with no links to the establishment, no links to insider politics, nothing whatsoever, you’re fascinated by that happening, somebody coming in and just totally wrecking the castle, finding out that you can’t do that without getting inside the castle first. ‘Cause people inside the castle are not gonna let you crumble the walls.
You know, being an outsider, it has benefits, but it has drawbacks, too, and knowing the rules inside out and outworking the competition is not cheating. If you happen to be more knowledgeable of how things work and are able to work it to your advantage, that’s just hard work. That isn’t cheating.
Trump never tires of reminding us all how smart he is. But if he’s so smart, why hasn’t he hired smart people who know exactly how the delegate selection process works in each state?
Just as it’s a bad idea to “wing it” as a New York real estate developer, running for President isn’t a task amenable to half-assing it.
If Trump is as incompetent at the one main task he’s set himself (getting elected President), why would anyone think he would do better at the hundreds of tasks the President of the United States of America must oversee?