Today, by chance, I found an interesting Breitbart article from April 5, 2016, ‘13 Amazing Facts We’ve Learned About Donald Trump’s Campaign‘, which summarises a New York magazine article.

The people New York interviewed were adviser Sam Nunberg, press secretary Hope Hicks and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Nunberg fell at the first hurdle and endorsed Ted Cruz in March 2016; Paul Manafort replaced Lewandowski as an experienced political operative who got Trump his delegates; and Hicks followed Trump to the White House only to resign as communications director a few months ago.

Never mind that.

This is what the scene looked like just two weeks after rioters prevented Trump’s Chicago rally from going ahead in mid-March 2016. That was the time I started to study his campaign closely.

These insider titbits came as news to me (emphases mine below). Quotes are from New York:

1. Years before he announced his candidacy, Trump had a former aide listen to talk radio to discover what issues Americans cared about most.

I listened to thousands of hours of talk radio, and he was getting reports from me,” [Sam] Nunberg recalled. What those reports said was that the GOP base was frothing over a handful of issues including immigration, Obamacare, and Common Core. While Jeb Bush talked about crossing the border as an “act of love,” Trump was thinking about how high to build his wall.

2. That former aide says he first met Trump when he was a child at a WWE (then WWF) event.

Nunberg is a lawyer wired into right-wing politics who has long looked up to “Mr. Trump,” as he calls him. “I first met him at Wrestle­Mania when I was like 5 years old,” Nunberg told me.

7. Sherman [author of the article] says not even Trump himself expected to become the frontrunner at first.

When he launched his campaign, Trump suspected it would eventually fizzle and he would return to The Apprentice. “You know, when I first got into this, it was for other reasons,” he told a friend. As weeks and then months passed with him remaining out front, he began to think winning the nomination was a real possibility, even as he resisted calls to professionalize his campaign. Why bother, when what he was doing was working so well?

10. Trump’s campaign has less than 1/8th of the national staff that Hillary Clinton does.

Trump’s campaign employs a core team of about a dozen people; his campaign lists 94 people on the payroll nationwide, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing (Hillary Clinton has 765).

11. The Trump campaign claims to have built a millions-strong email list at virtually no cost just by requiring registration from rally attendees.

After the rallies, Trump makes sure his fans stay mobilized. Everyone who attends a rally has to register by email, and the campaign uses this list, which Lewandowski estimates is “in the millions at this point,” to turn out voters. Most campaigns spend a lot of money to acquire voter lists; Trump largely built his own. “If you look at what the Obama campaign achieved many years ago, they were successful at bringing new people in, and then communicating with those people. What we’re doing is not dissimilar,” Lewandowski explained. “He had a brilliant plan, which was to go in and attract huge crowds,” added Ed McMullen, Trump’s South Carolina co-chair. “We had extremely strong interaction with them, and we were dedicated to keeping track of who those people were.” Trump supporters receive frequent email updates and phone calls from phone-bank volunteers.

12. Trump often writes his infamous Instagram ads and has one employee produce them for almost nothing.

He buys few ads, and when he does, he likes to write them himself.

Trump has aired only six unique TV commercials, according to Hicks, while his GOP rivals have aired more than two dozen separate ads each. Through February, he spent only $10 million on ads; Jeb Bush spent $82 million. Trump relies mostly on essentially free Instagram spots produced by 29-year-old Justin McConney, the son of Trump’s corporate comptroller, whom Trump put in charge of building his social-media profile a few years ago. (One ad he made that featured Hillary barking and Putin laughing got a ton of — free — press.)

That really is amazing, in every respect. Of course, the campaign evolved that year through staff changes meeting ever-advancing challenges.

Thinking back, even up to the Electoral College vote, most people said, ‘Trump can’t win!’

And, today, look where America is under President Donald Trump, still resisted by some:

Thank goodness a savvy businessman is in the White House — the first in living memory! Of course, being a savvy businessman is only half the story. The other half is that Trump truly loves the United States and the American people.

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