Remember when he trolled Lindsey Graham by giving out Graham’s private cell phone number on live TV? The new kinder, gentler Gawker (20 percent nicer!) trolled him back yesterday by publishing Trump’s own cell number on their site. Game, set, and match, right?
“You cannot troll the master troll,” notes Ross Douthat.
Thank you @gawker! Call me on my cellphone 917.756.8000 and listen to my campaign message.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2015
I haven’t dialed it but here’s what you hear when you do:
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) August 4, 2015
That’s Trump’s appeal in a nutshell, or at least the chunk of it that isn’t due to lots of Republicans agreeing with him on immigration. (Or agreeing with what they think his position on immigration is, I should say.) One of the core conservative knocks on McCain and Romney as nominees was that they wouldn’t fight bareknuckle with Democrats, McCain most notably in refusing to attack Obama for his relationship with Jeremiah Wright. Jeb Bush is already being criticized for the same failing, ignoring a major attack from Hillary and remaining so passive in his response to Trump that one commentator at Politico today compares him to Michael Dukakis(!). Trump is the opposite of that. No slight is too small to merit a response, even from professional trolls like Gawker. If you want a “fighter,” he’s the most conspicuous example in the field. What exactly he’s fighting for is a secondary concern, at least for now.
Exit question: A writer at CNN today argues that Trump can win the debate on Thursday by “acting presidential,” an idea I’ve toyed with myself. Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what everyone, fans and foes alike, wants from him, though? What’s the point of having Trump in the race if he’s not throwing chairs at people?