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Master Persuader Update (Part of My Trump Series) - Dilbert Blog

Master Persuader Update (Part of My Trump Series)

A few quick things of note.

Trump has been saying Hillary Clinton lacks the “strength and stamina” to run for President. In a strange turn of events, Clinton confirms that the campaign is exhausting. She also offered a weak reason why it is still “fun,” but it sounded a little sad. She doesn’t sound like a people person.

According to the 2D political filter, Clinton said something that is somewhat obvious (campaigns are exhausting) and she made no excuses. It was honest. It was real. And it predicts nothing about how well she could perform as President. But voters are not rational. According to the Master Persuader filter, voters heard that she doesn’t have the energy to handle big problems. And when Trump walks on stage and starts gesturing and talk-yelling his opinions, he seems a bundle of energy. Advantage: Trump.

Energy beats reason when it comes to negotiating. 

There is also much chatter about the possibility of a brokered convention in which the political elite could shut Trump out of the nomination. That seems reasonable if you believe the Republican Party has the power and Trump is their puppet. 

But reality is the opposite. Trump owns the Republican Party for all practical purposes because he has both the will and the means to annihilate it if they treat him wrong. And I think most of the country would see that as a fair response. Even Trump haters would bristle at the thought of ignoring the plurality-winning candidate. That would be a death wish.

The Master Persuader filter predicts no brokered convention. There will be lots of chatter about it, and the suspense might go to the last minute, but only one outcome is possible if Trump is still dominating the polls. Trump will be nominated if he is still on top.

For the benefit of new readers, I am not endorsing Trump, or anyone else. I am primarily interested in his persuasion skills.

Update: Mark Cuban had some “harsh words” for Trump. Does that mean he is out of the running for VP? According to the 2D filter, yes, absolutely. But according to the 3D filter, where irrationality reigns, he remains top choice. 

Why?

Because you trust Cuban to stop Trump from doing whatever it is that you’re afraid of him doing. That’s your safety valve. VPs are often useless, but Cuban would not be. And you know he wouldn’t roll over.

Think about it. Then ask yourself which one of Trump’s policies Cuban disagrees with (while also offering an alternative policy). Everyone famous who runs a business has to act shocked at the prospect of a Muslim immigration ban, or mass deportation. So that opinion doesn’t count unless Cuban offered an alternative.

According to the Master Persuader filter, a run-up to a Cuban VP pick would involve Cuban trash-talking Trump, without crossing the line, and without saying anything Cuban has to later walk back about policy differences.

Prediction: Cuban is still on the short list, but Trump isn’t focusing on the VP choice yet. After nomination, assuming Trump drifts to the center, Cuban will have fewer objections. And for someone of Cuban’s talents, the VP job is a free ticket to the presidency.

Does Mark Cuban say no to an eventual presidency so he can spend more time watching basketball? Maybe. He has a family that might not want to move. But keep in mind he is the only person who could take out Clinton (as a team with Trump) and also take out Trump if he got out of control.

Name someone else who could do that.