The Politics of Personality

From 5-12-16 episode of The Rob Zicari Show LIVE 10-1pm M-F

Let’s get right to it. I am, of course, talking about the Paul Ryan/Donald Trump face-off.

There was no endorsement by Ryan, which I don’t think anybody thought was going to happen. There were no fisticuffs or cursing. It was the Paul Ryan show. That’s what it was. There was no definitive outcome. It just got people talking. Something to fill the news cycle. A topic for panel discussions on CNN, MSNBC and Fox.

Here is a joint statement from both men:

The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents. That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall. With that focus, we had a great conversation this morning. While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal. We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party’s history. This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification.

Uniting the party is not about the voters. The voters are already united. It’s these arrogant a**holes on Capitol Hill who aren’t unified. What Ryan is doing is unprecedented. This unification only involves about 35 people. That’s it. It’s Paul Ryan and a few others. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has gotten behind Trump. So has Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Pete Sessions, Tom Price, Mike Conaway and Lamar Smith. Not all these guys are in love with Trump and his policies, but he’s the nominee. There is no other choice. Trump is who the voters picked.


For Paul Ryan, it’s all about power. It’s about an agenda. It’s about Ryan wanting to have open borders and to promote trade deals that destroy American jobs. It’s about him trying to pass a budget that goes against what Trump is selling to the American people. It’s about Paul Ryan not wanting to conform to Trump’s agenda. That’s what this is about. It’s all about Ryan’s ego and a handful of the GOP establishment, which includes Ryan, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney and Utah Senator Mike Lee. Lee says Trump scares him to death. Really? Mike Lee is a Mormon. They believe in magic underpants, buried golden plates, multiple wives and child brides. Mormonism makes Scientology seem rational. Mike Lee is scared of Donald Trump? Every person in every other state other than Utah is scared of you, Mike.

It’s all about the establishment and certain ideas that are the cornerstone of the GOP’s philosophy. You have to believe in A, B, C and D. If you don’t, you’re not a true Republican or a “constitutional conservative.” Along comes someone who steamrolls through every one of their establishment candidates and their philosophies. And these establishment types can’t handle it. It’s overwhelming for them.


They also can’t get their heads around the fact that a huge part of becoming president is personality. It kills them that Trump is getting by on personality and he’s not the greatest policy thinker. It kills these guys that are lawyers, professors and students of politics and conservative philosophies. Some of them have been working in government since they were 24 or 25. Now they’re 55 and they’ve never gotten higher than being a congressman from some obscure district in Indiana or Michigan. Here comes this billionaire from New York who hasn’t studied policy or practiced law. He hasn’t been in Washington for 30 years. He’s going against everything they thought they needed to do or say to become successful politicians and he’s doing it all on personality.

What was the big complaint on Al Gore? He’s too stiff. When he did that movie about the environment and he wore a button-down shirt and cracked jokes and delivered  a captivating presentation, people were asking, “Where was this guy when he ran for president? If he had been as personable as he is in this movie, he would have won the White House in a landslide.” Look at Bill Clinton. He’s playing the saxophone while wearing sunglasses, he’s making campaign stops at McDonald’s. It’s all about personality. What about Obama? He’s Barry, wearing the Panama hat, smoking cigarettes, playing basketball. Personality.


Remember when Ted Cruz said at the debate “If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy, but if you want someone who will drive you home, I will get the job done, and I will drive you home.” Then what are you going to do, Zodiac? Kill me? Rape me and leave my bleeding carcass in the woods?

Donald Trump isn’t a policy wonk. He’s gotten by on personality, and this kills people like Paul Ryan. This face-off was all about Ryan and a handful of establishment insiders. Ryan says he’s still not ready to endorse Trump. Will he ever be ready? Who cares? The voters sure don’t.

Trump 2016


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