What’s more, the press corps is beginning to realize that nothing it might do — no report it can publish, no question it can ask – has the power to push this candidate an inch off the course that is preordained for him, one which is far more likely to burn out on its own terms than flame out under some great bonfire set by the media.
That is the consensus, anyway, of the nearly two dozen journalists, pundits, campaign strategists and political advisers who spoke with POLITICO this week about what many described as the “exceptionalism” of Trump’s campaign. Trump’s bombast and bluntness are resonating with voters, they said, and there’s not a damn thing the press, pundits or rival campaigns can do about it.
The list of offenses that would likely cripple other candidates is long: Trump called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. He said that Sen. John McCain, who spent five-and-a-half years in a North Vietnamese prison, is not a war hero. He has referred to women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and worse, and had those remarks read to him before 24 million Americans by one of the most popular female news anchors in the country — because, Trump later suggested, she was menstruating. Far from dismantling Trump’s campaign, these controversies have only benefited him.
“The only thing that takes him out is either Father Trump or Father Time,” said Matthew Dowd, the former chief strategist for President George W. Bush. “So far, he is immune.”