Donald Trump cast Mexican immigrants as drug dealing, rape-loving parasites. Then he went to Mexico and showered Mexicans with praise.
He bellowed to mostly white crowds about what hopeless wastelands the inner cities have become. Then he went to inner-city Detroit, where a black church presented him with a Jewish prayer shawl(!) as a gift.
The Donald Trump Image Repair Tour has been brazenly ambitious, if awkward. Also fake, of course. After all, this is The Donald we’re talking about. The man once called up journalists posing as a make-believe Donald Trump publicist so he could praise himself, for Pete’s sake.
The point here is that, even considering the vaudevillian clumsiness of his fakery, the man’s clearly got a gift for the Dramatic Gesture. He’s the Evel Knievel of politics, roaring off the ramp and leaning into the void, content to answer the “How do you land this thing?” question on the way down.
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Does he crash? Spectacularly. Trump has the best crashes. Many people say so.
Hold on to your channel guides, folks. I’m guessing he’s got one more Dramatic Gesture in him this election cycle.
That’s right. Look alive, ladies. The Don’s headed your way.
You know it has to happen, given his epic clashes with women. He passed along tweets calling Fox anchor Megyn Kelly a “bimbo.” He slimed Carly Fiorina and Heidi Cruz as unattractive. He called MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski “neurotic and not very bright.” And Wednesday night, he doubled down on his own bone-headed 2013 tweet suggesting military sexual assaults happen because the “geniuses” leading the armed forces put women in with the men.
Women across the political spectrum are rightfully offended yet again. Time for the Tour to swing by with a quasi-penitent Trump bearing whatever the political equivalent of roses and chocolates might be.
Just spitballing here, but how about these ideas for his woman-friendly Dramatic Gesture:
▪ The Don gets “caught on tape” bringing his panting hound dog of a buddy, former Fox News honcho Roger Ailes, to heel. Nothing like standing next to a verified sex harasser to make a mere lout look better.
I’m seeing a scene in which Trump just “happens” to invite Ailes to lunch at a tony Manhattan restaurant where a hidden camera just “happens” to catch him lecturing Ailes about respecting women. Both men just “happen” to be wearing microphones so we can hear Ailes break into heartfelt sobs while promising a six-figure donation to Wellesley College. For his help, Ailes would just “happen” to wind up with lifetime backstage passes to The Don’s next beauty pageant.
▪ Or, Trump could try a Lance Armstrong-style TV special with The Great One Herself, Oprah Winfrey. Can you imagine if Trump, a man not prone to crying or apologizing, does both, prostrating himself before the throne of O? Ratings gold! The pivot to end all pivots!
▪ Speaking of pivots, he could suddenly start being nice to Hillary Clinton. Instead of “Crooked Hillary,” he could make her “Lawyerly Evasive Hillary.” Next time she has a coughing fit, he could bypass his conspiracy theories and instead offer her his newest product, Trump Lozenges.
Brace yourselves, women of America. The Donald Trump Lady Outreach is surely coming. It’ll be slightly icky, newborn-deer wobbly, and not unimportantly in this strange campaign season, must-see TV.
Who wants odds on how long it’ll take him to work the magic words “hand size” into the outreach?
Eric: 704-358-5145; firstname.lastname@example.org.