By Lee Cary
Trump is schooling Clinton in news cycle management (NCM), but her campaign will catch up.
So, soon, he’ll leap-frog ahead of her.
He’ll likely own most of the news cycle through the GOP convention, though she’ll try to disrupt him, even as protesters try to disrupt events on the ground in Cleveland.
And during the Democrat Party Convention, Trump will aim to grab headlines from the Democrats.
Here’s how he can do that:
Starting during the Democrat convention, he begins a string of key Trump-administration personnel announcements by naming his selection for Secretary of State (SecState). He does this just as the Democrats are heralding Madame Secretary’s achievements as a great SecState.
Trump will pick someone well-known to the media, and to voters. Someone articulate, with considerable government experience. This person will take the lead in criticizing Hillary as a failed SecState. Newt Gingrich fits that bill (alternatives include John Kasich and John Bolton).
A week-to-10-days later (but not on a Friday), Trump names his choice for Secretary of Defense (SecDef).
Bill Clinton picked Cohen – a former Republican Senator. Obama started his regime with a Republican, Gates.
Trump will name a registered Democrat, General Flynn – already favorably vetted by the media – as he continues to practice NCM.
Then there’s the money: Secretary of the Treasury. That person will not be aligned with current Fed policy, but will be used to dealing with big budgets and big numbers. A business person – not an academic. Trump’s choice will signal that the current era of big annual federal deficits will end in a Trump administration. How about Carly Fiorina? Or, Carl Icahn?
Next on the announcement list comes the Secretary of Health & Human Services: Dr. Ben Carson will represent loyalty rewarded to a widely-recognized- as-competent man. Not a pol by profession.
Shortly before the election, Trump will name his choice for Attorney General to remind the voters, one last time, of Hillmailgate. Trump will again reward loyalty by naming Chris Christy.
Eventually, the Director of Homeland Security will be named: It won’t be some legal hack like the current one. It will be a career military/law enforcement type. Perhaps an unknown.
As the election approaches, Trump will designate his Chief of Staff (CoS). That position may be named early rather than late so that that person can help put the team together. Or, if Trump wants to be bold, he can prepare Pence for the POTUS job in 2020 by making him the Senior CoS who sits in on all important meetings, and knows all the players.
In short, an alert and working Vice President. What better way to prep the apprentice?
“Team” is the operative word. Trump will go into November with key members of his administration team already identified. This will (1) keep voters interested, (2) focus the election on how he will surround himself with qualified leaders to direct the Executive Branch, and (3) keep the liberal media from running continuous hit pieces on him by keeping them off-balance by offering an array of “targets.”
This cascade of key Trump administration names would keep the Clinton campaign in a constant state of catch-up/response. Plus, the voters will be electing a branch of the government, rather than a singular personality, and will appreciate the genuine transparency after eight years of Executive Branch obfuscation and serial lying.
Hillary either ignores this NCM tactic – at her own election peril – or plays the game, too. Either way, Trump has the potential to capture and keep the initiative all the way into November.
And, if Hillary tries to match choices, the contrast between the two candidates will be even more crystal clear than it already is.
A stretch, you say? Absolutely.
But, it’s no more a stretch than was the likelihood of Trump’s eventual nomination back when he announced his candidacy.
Read more Lee Cary.