Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, increasingly focusing on Hillary Clinton rather than his GOP rivals, says he’s not concerned by reports Bill Clinton will soon hit the trail for the Clinton campaign.

“I think that Bill Clinton turned out to be a liability against Obama when [Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] ran against each other in 2008,” Trump said Sunday morning on “Fox and Friends.” “If you look at that whole campaign, it was a mess. [Bill Clinton] said things that were very problematic and troublesome … certainly Bill Clinton is not going to be the end-all in the campaign.”

Trump also explained his charge, made in a tweet Saturday night, that Bill Clinton has a “penchant for sexism.” In the tweet, Trump said “Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but HE’S DEMONSTRATED A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM, so inappropriate!”

***

***

The controversy has kept him in the headlines over the slow holiday news period, and could contribute to the notion in the minds of voters that the GOP front-runner is closing-in on a one-on-one match-up with Clinton in the general election.

Trump is also conjuring Bill Clinton’s lowest moments in office at a time when he’s preparing to take on a more visible role in his wife’s campaign.

And it’s red meat for Republican primary voters, who have so far been dazzled by Trump’s willingness to tread where few others dare to go.

“Republicans are always complaining that their candidates don’t fight, that they wimp out when things need to get messy,” said Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan administration official who supports Trump for president.

“This is something establishment candidates don’t do, and it’s why a lot of people are fed up with them,” he continued. “Trump’s response has been to go after people without hesitation and conservatives love him for it. So here we are. This is what he does.”

***

Sources in the Trump camp say they will soon launch a major ad blitz that could cost at least $2 million a week, and possibly several times that.

The initial wave of ads will focus on Trump’s vision and his stance on key issues—no bio spots necessary for the celebrity candidate—but that could change if any GOP rivals target him with negative commercials. “If you attack Trump, he will attack you 10 times as hard,” an adviser says. “We will not allow any attack to go unanswered.”…

Their advantage, in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond, is that the bombastic billionaire can just write a check for the TV campaign. Some pundits have expressed skepticism that Trump really wants to dig deeply into his personal fortune, but these sources insist he is ready to do just that—perhaps as much as $100 million for advertising overall. “Our Super PAC,” says the adviser, “is Donald Trump’s bank account.”…

Trump himself tweeted over the weekend, “The same people that said I wouldn’t run, or that I wouldn’t lead or do well (1st place and leading by 21%), now say I won’t beat Hillary.”

***

The simple truth is, the more provocative his language, the deeper and more passionate his support. He is no dummy; there is a method to his proverbial madness. Mr Trump says — to the growing legions who will listen — what tens of millions of Americans are already thinking. Respect or revile him, the man has hit a vein…

Mr Trump delights in unleashing harsh attacks on Jeb Bush, the Republican establishment and the “mainstream media”. His childlike joy in ridiculing his critics is tantamount to healing balm for the millions who have felt silenced, ignored and even scorned by the governing and media elite for so long. Is it any wonder that his declaration of war against “political correctness” is his most potent and predictable applause line?…

[V]oters consistently tell pollsters like me that negative attacks do not work; they hate the ad hominem assaults. Mr Trump? He dines out on them. As his devotees see it, it is not Mr Trump going negative. It is him telling the truth. And when he fights back, he’s throwing punches on their behalf. He said something outrageous? “He’s simply raising an important issue nobody else has the courage to talk about.” He insulted someone? “That’s just him campaigning. He won’t do that as president.” He changed his position? “That was a long time ago. Everyone’s entitled to change their mind.” He doesn’t have many policy specifics? “He doesn’t need them. He’ll surround himself with smart people.” They will justify any action, explain away any contradiction, and dismiss any criticism because they are so personally and passionately invested in him.

And here is the prediction that will furrow brows on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr Trump’s supporters today will be Mr Trump’s supporters next November if he is still a candidate — no matter what party banner he runs under. Half will follow him out of the Republican Party if he breaks his promise and declares as an independent. For better or worse, his supporters will follow him to the ends of the Earth — or to the White House. Whichever comes first.

***

Six months out from Donald Trump’s foray into American politics, the national media is finally coming to terms with a hard truth: It’s Trump’s world, and they’re just covering it.

The Republican front-runner has dominated the media since he entered the race, in more ways than one: He has garnered far more coverage than his rivals. He has repeatedly proven the pundits wrong. He has bent the media to his will by driving daily, sometimes hourly, news cycles. He has determined the focus of the national debates, and redefined the parameters of acceptable discourse. And he has done all of this while sticking his finger in the eye of the media that has done so much to fuel his rise.

Meanwhile, the media have kept their focus squarely on Trump, even as he rails against the press as “dishonest scum” and encourages his supporters to boo and heckle reporters at his campaign rallies. Trump frequently accuses the media of refusing to show the large crowds that turn out for his rallies, and, at one recent event, in Michigan, he shamed a camerawoman into turning her lens on the big crowd behind her — literally directing the media’s coverage of his own campaign…

“He clearly loves the media on some level because it represents attention, which he craves, and many have argued that a large part of his success is due to all the free media he gets,” said Molly Ball, who covers the presidential campaign for The Atlantic. “Yet bashing the press and practically siccing his supporters on the press pen is easily a third of his current stump routine.”

***

Today, sensible centrists of the left and right are confronting the same issue with Trump’s supporters, who appear to be motivated by economic concerns but are uninterested in an economic response — at least as economics is usually addressed by policy experts. They are left cold by the piecemeal, technocratic proposals of candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. But neither can one imagine them gravitating to Bernie Sanders, the real economic populist in the race — or, for that matter, to Hillary Clinton, who has been goaded by Sanders’ (and Elizabeth Warren’s) strength to embrace an economic agenda far more economically populist than the one that her New Democrat husband championed in the White House.

No, what Trump’s supporters appear to want is someone to rail rudely against economic, racial, ethnic, and demographic aspects of contemporary American life that they find distasteful, dangerous, and unfair; to place the blame for these trends on somebody besides themselves (immigrants, liberals, big business, stupid people, Muslims, big government, the media, the president); and to promise a magical fix brought about by superhuman feats of commonsense competence. Trump gives them all of this, and his followers love him for it. That makes him a textbook example of a demagogue and them a political force that everyone from Aristotle to Alexander Hamilton would recognize as a mob.

How can the members of this mob be persuaded to abandon their cultural populism and the candidate who assures them he will turn back the tide?

***

If you let the corrupt media set the debate terms, Republicans lose because those rules are always structured in a way to benefit Democrats. Creepy, extremist, dishonest issues that should have disqualified Barack Obama from running for dog catcher, much less president (Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, hidden records, and Benghazi), were declared OFF LIMITS. Unable to take the media pressure, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Mitt Romney surrendered.

In preparation to usher Hillary Clinton into the White House, as we saw on CNN the night prior, when Don Lemon shut off the microphone of a guest who dared raise the issue, the DC Media is declaring off-limits numerous reports damaging to Hillary that come from numerous women who claim to be victims of rape, groping, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual abuse…

Trump understands the potency of the Democrats’ phony War on Women card. Trump also understands that when it comes to playing that card, the DC Media is a huge ally to Democrats. This is why Trump long ago positioned his chess pieces to immediately shut down these phony attacks.

Using the truth, Trump will GO THERE.

***

***