Donald Trump is what you call an enigma. No one took him seriously when he announced that he was running for president. The media mocked him, and the political establishment laughed at his antics, but the American people were listing to every non-PC word he said, and they liked what they were hearing.
Experts, pollsters and pundits cannot explain Trump’s rise because the reason for Trump’s success cannot be tallied up in a poll or explained on a spreadsheet.
Most people will never meet Donald Trump, but a large number of Americans feel as though Trump knows and understands them on a personal level. This is very similar to the way FDR connected with the American people.
The nation was grief stricken when FDR died just weeks into his fourth term in office.
A popular story is told of Roosevelt’s funeral procession as a train took his body across the U.S. for mourners to pay their respects. An old man was sobbing along the route, and a reporter asked him if he knew the president. The man responded, “I didn’t know him, but he knew me.”
People feel as though Trump knows and understands them even though he is a billionaire who lives a life that few of us can even imagine.
Most people in the modern era who ascended to the presidency had the “it factor.”
JFK’s personality was electric. He had a charisma that could hardly be described with words.
Reagan connected with the American people like no president ever has or ever will in the future. He is a once-in-a-millennium leader. Volumes are written about his ability to connect with people, and anyone who is looking for another Reagan will never find one.
The elder Bush did slip by and win the presidency without having “it,” but only because of the man who preceded him in office. The American public was voting for a Reagan third term when it voted for Bush 41, but it didn’t get him. And they rejected him when Bill Clinton stepped up.
Anyone who has met Bill Clinton will tell you that he can make anyone feel like they are the only person in the room, and that personability transmitted through the television camera. George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole didn’t stand a chance against him. They didn’t have any version of the “it factor.”
George W. Bush did have “it,” although it wasn’t the same as Clinton or Reagan. He had a common-sense, guy-next-door feeling to him. He was someone you could sit and have a beer with, and you trusted him to whip out his proverbial shotgun and take out any threat that came our way.
Mitt Romney wasn’t a terrible candidate, but he lacked the “it factor.” When Democrats claimed that millionaire Romney was out of touch with everyday Americans, that criticism stuck. He couldn’t connect with the American people, and his candidacy was doomed for failure.
Then there was Obama. Even if he wasn’t giving everyone thrills up their legs, the American people really felt drawn to him when he spoke.
Even at his final White House Correspondents’ Dinner, as he was smiling and telling jokes, you forget for just a moment how terrible his presidency has been.
Now, Hillary’s personality is on display. When she speaks, everyone wonders if she is going to tell another half-truth or flat-out lie.
Not even a little of Bill’s personality rubbed off after being married to him for all these years.
Her screeching tone in speeches turns off everyone but her most ardent supporters, and even they secretly wish she would try not to scream into the microphone.
Whether we like it or not, an incredible organization on the ground and hundreds of millions of dollars can be beaten by personality. The candidate most able to connect with the American people will come out on top every time.
Ted Cruz was able to win a few states because of his superb ground game, but hundreds of millions of attack ads against Trump and constant criticism from every candidate on both sides of the presidential race couldn’t counter Trump’s ability to connect with voters on a personal level.
Donald Trump didn’t win the GOP nomination because he got lucky. Pundits can’t explain Trump’s rise because they don’t understand that millions of dollars in a campaign fund and thousands of staffers on the ground are no match to a candidate with a little personality.
Every four years, the establishment machine installs its chosen candidates on each side, and that machine is difficult to beat. The machine cannot be beaten with money because it has unlimited amounts. It takes something unquantifiable to beat the Washington cartel – and Trump has “it.”