Can we please retire the notion that Donald Trump is hijacking someone else’s party?
In mid-July of 2015, a month after Donald Trump announced his presidential run, I joined a gaggle of political junkies in a clubby bar four blocks from the White House to hear a legendary campaign strategist expound on the race ahead. Our guest’s long résumé included service to Mitt Romney and two generations of Bushes. Not speaking for attribution, and not having signed on to any 2016 campaign, he could talk freely. The nomination was Jeb Bush’s to lose, he said. Scott Walker, the union-busting Wisconsin governor then considered something of a favorite, had no chance because he was just “too stupid.” And Trump? Please! Trump represented every ugly element that was dragging down the GOP in presidential elections. But our guy wasn’t fazed. The good thing about Trump, he said, is that he would finally “gather together all the people we want to lose” and march them off the Republican reservation — though to what location remained undisclosed.