Fox News Debate Predictions
Pericles is said to have once warned: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” So either you have already been on top of the drama unfolding over these last 48 hours and are excited to see how it all pans out this evening; or you weren’t aware that everyone’s favorite presidential Prima donna has pulled out of tonight’s debate, and didn’t plan on watching in the first place.
Just for fun, I thought it would be interesting to see just how predictable Donald Trump’s capriciousness has become.
If I turn out to be wrong feel free to mock me on social media:
Trump is going to defend his no-show by pointing out that he has a 30% o 23% over Sen. Ted Cruz, his closest rival in Iowa, according to a recent Monmouth poll. Another NBC / Wall Street Journal / Marist poll has slightly different figures, but still a 7 percentage point difference between the two front-runners.
Next, Trump and his team will talk about how this will hurt Fox News and their advertisers. As a matter of fact, Trump has already said as much. Let Trump and his campaign take credit, but leave it to the mainstream media to cover the living daylights out of the parallel Trump event. This helps with their ratings (a win for them), and also helps promote a Trump narrative (which they have been doing since day one). Let’s not forget how it will be used as a talking point by the left to mock the Republican debate and their presidential field if the ratings fall by any significant margin. The cherry on top of this entire ordeal is the fact that the other news agencies and channels, bitter over getting their ratings destroyed by Fox News on any given day or evening, will get to help Trump stick it to their shared enemy.
After that, Trump and his team will point out, as The Gateway Pundit recently did, that Ronald Reagan skipped the Iowa Caucus debate and “went on to win in a landslide.” This is slightly misleading, as Gateway Pundit goes on to show the electoral map from the general election, not the primary. Reagan did go on to win the Republican Primary as we all know. After Reagan skipped the debate George H. W. Bush was able to win Iowa. However, the circumstances were different as Reason points out:
More importantly, and this ought to be obvious, the context of Reagan’s decision to skip the 1980 debate is different than the context of Trump’s decision. Reagan was not in a petty feud with the Des Moines Register at the time. His campaign manager simply believed that as the frontrunner, Reagan was above the debate. Only five of the nine Republicans vying for the nomination participated in the debate. That debate was the first Republican primary debate since 1948. It was not planned to be a televised debate—that came later. And after Reagan’s loss in Iowa, he pivoted, ignoring his campaign manager’s advice and deciding not to skip future debates.
As a result, Ronald Reagan made sure to use every debate going forward to his advantage. As a matter of fact, his campaign went on to pay for the Nashua Telegraph’s New Hampshire debate, with the famous, “I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Green,” moment.
Reagan went on to win the 1980 New Hampshire primary.
What about the contributions to the veterans? So far Trump has set up a landing page for in an effort to collect donations for his 501 (c)(3), but he’s being called out for the fact that the donations go directly to the Donald Trump Foundation. The man didn’t become a billionaire overnight. He’ll likely take those donations, turn it into a “yuge” check (figuratively and literally), and create a big check-giving event so he can say officially that his foundation gave all of this money to veterans causes.
The second step to this will be tricky for him. Trump has said on the trail that he would donate to “wounded warriors.” He likely said this because he doesn’t know any other veterans groups off the top of his head, and Wounded Warrior Foundation is the most well-known. Two problems with that: first, Wounded Warrior Foundation is under intense scrutiny for their use of the contributions they collect. So getting in bed with Wounded Warrior Foundation right at this particular moment was probably not the best move. Second, Wounded Warrior Foundation has stated that they still have not been contacted by Trump or his foundation. Worse yet, other veterans organizations such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have preemptively declined any donations from any candidate as they might pertain to recent events.
What does this all mean?
Trump skips the debate and holds his own event which will be widely covered by all of the other news outlets because hating Fox News is very chic. Trump finds a way to collect everyone’s money, then passes it off as his own when he finally finds a way to get it to anything remotely affiliated with veterans causes. Under the guise of caring for the veterans, Trump makes the evening about how he (with his adoring media) has stuck it to Fox News and won the evening. Here’s the kicker: should Cruz have a strong showing tonight, expect Ted Cruz to win the Iowa Caucus.
Of course, I could be completely wrong and this could all have been for nothing. But then again, that’s what makes politics so interesting.