Dennis Culloton, President and CEO
Words, words, words. I am reasonably sure no one will be quoting Shakespeare in this week’s Fox News Republican Presidential Debate in Cleveland.
We know Donald Trump and his adjectives, adverbs and insults will be there. The political media and the political junkies like me are spending a lot of time and hot air wondering how the other candidates will get a word in edgewise, notwithstanding the debate rules.
Like Michael Jordan and his teammates on the NBA championship Chicago Bulls teams in the 90s, Trump will be surrounded by his own Jordan-aires, the other nine Republican presidential candidates who make the cut to be on the stage and overshadowed by the Donald.
The bombastic Mr. Trump has surged to the polls. He is leading every single national media poll on the race so far, bedeviling pollsters and legacy media pundits.
I believe the Donald is tapping into a voter sentiment that is sick of talking points and research driven answers. If he is light on substantive positions, for example he is going to replace Obamacare with “something terrific”, he is strong on bellicose sentiment. On stage will be significant executive office holders—likely including Governors Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich—experienced U.S. Senators—Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio—and a brain surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson. It’s not brain surgery to say it’s hard to out-Trump Trump (although Gov. Christie is from Jersey). The other candidates would be best advised to communicate in clear, cogent, statesman-like way on why they are presidential material and to challenge Trump to be specific on the issues.