The advisor is Omarosa Manigault, formerly of “The Apprentice” and currently head of African-American outreach for Trump’s campaign. Team Trump will spin this as just her opinion when they’re pressed on it but it’s actually one of the best summations of Trumpism I’ve seen since he got in the race. BuzzFeed published a long piece by McKay Coppins two months ago arguing at length, with supporting examples, that this really is Trump’s core motive in running for president — revenge on the political class that’s spent 30 years treating him as a joke, most notably after Obama humiliated him at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner. Nationalism and the wall and “terrific trade deals” are all fine but in the end the campaign is chiefly Trump’s personal revenge on his elite critics with various populist revenge fantasies against his base’s political enemies bundled into that. A Twitter pal once speculated that what Trump wants out of the presidency more than anything is to know that he can walk into any room in the world and everyone will have to stand for him. That’s it exactly, I think, and that’s why voters who feel humiliated by well-heeled egghead elites in a thousand different ways are willing to indulge Trump anything. He’s a vessel for their revenge too. You don’t have to take it from me; just watch Omarosa. Her delivery of these lines, describing critics prostrating themselves before Trump, is almost sensual.
The timing may be coincidental but it’s fortuitous that this is circulating on the very day that Ted Cruz finally kneeled before Zod. As I write this, confused Cruzers are asking each other on Twitter what Cruz could possibly gain by endorsing Trump now. (Answer: Donor dollars. All true populists do whatever their rich, pissed-off donors tell them to, you know.) A better question, though, is what Trump gains by having Cruz back him. In theory Cruz’s support will win over some conservatives who have been holding out on Trump, but I don’t know. Nothing Cruz says will be as convincing to Trump-skeptic Republicans as the horror of a Supreme Court packed by Hillary Clinton will be, which is to say that Trump doesn’t really need Cruz’s support. He may want his support, though, simply because Cruz happens to be one of those detractors who hasn’t yet bowed down. Trump wants the satisfaction of watching the beta male whose wife and father he insulted forced to scrape to him publicly anyway. It’s a revenge fantasy. All of it is. I hope he at least has the decency to return Ted’s balls to him after the election.