Trump’s presidential campaign has been full of strange dichotomies. Trump is insanely rich, yet he speaks as the voice of the “common man.” He’s educated, yet he speaks and acts like a kid in a playground. He is an unapologetic misogynist, yet has garnered the support of all sorts of religious leaders. And through it all, no matter how hateful his rhetoric, there is something immensely likeable about him.
He’s like a life-size human teddy bear.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman recently spent time inside Trump’s campaign, as well as time with the man himself. It’s clear that Trump’s gravitas impressed Sherman, who refers to Trump as “one of the greatest political savants of the modern era” because he writes his own stuff. I wouldn’t go that far– not by a long shot.
Sherman’s experience with Trump et al does highlight The Donald’s focus and earnest belief in his campaign:
“It’s much easier to read a speech, obviously. I speak from the brain and from the heart in combination, hopefully in equal combination.”
It seems that Trump is more personable and less insane one-on-one.
Sherman also describes the Trump’s campaign HQ. According to Sherman, Trump’s headquarters looks more like a warehouse than a billionaire’s lair:
” [A] raw-concrete space with electrical wires and pipes hanging from the ceiling. Sheets of plywood were stacked haphazardly against the walls; plastic buckets and garbage cans were scattered across the floor. It looked like an abandoned construction site.”
Trump’s likeability takes a major hit when you see his Wall of Shame: photos of his competitors in the GOP race (and they are his competitors, in his mind), along with the date that they were vanquished.
Trump launches into an unabashed rant against the last few of his competitors:
“Let me start with Little Marco. He just looked like Little Marco to me. And it’s not Little. It’s Liddle. L-I-D-D-L-E. And it’s not L-Y-I-N-G Ted Cruz. It’s L-Y-I-N apostrophe. Ted’s a liar, so that was easy.”
He sounds like a character from “Peanuts.” Maybe a modern sequel called “It’s The GOP Nomination, Charlie Brown.” Little Donny T is ranting to his trombone-voiced parents about his nicknames for his playground frenemies. Maybe that’s the key to his endearing teddy-bear quality. Somehow he makes people forget that he is trying to control the most powerful country in the world.
Until we wake up from our Charlie Brown hangover, and realize that that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Somehow, getting a behind-the-scenes tour of Trump’s campaign makes him seem like more of a human, and simultaneously more of a monster.