Iowa: Part of the Plan?!  HE’S MAKING A DEAL!  Even as Megyn Kelly is declaring that Trump can’t control the media, he is plucking her strings like Itzhak Perlman playing with the Boston Pops!  The problem for everyone seems to be that The Donald isn’t playing by the rules … not by theirs anyway.  What they don’t understand is that, unlike the stereotypical politician, his deals are not forged in those smoke-filled back rooms we’ve always heard about.  They are accomplished on a grander scale and are far more subtle.

Anyone that has read his book The Art of the Deal should be able to see what is going on here, simply by recalling a few very basic rules like “be willing to walk away” and “deal only from a position of strength.”

I believe:

  1.  He has made nearly all news coverage about Donald Trump, not about the debate.  He is dominating the media and [as they like to say] is sucking all the air out of the room from the other candidates.
  2. When Mr. Trump is part of the debate, spot rates go as high as $750 thousand a minute.  Without him, the network might be able to get $150 thousand … not to mention diminished viewership which is tied directly to revenue.  On the other hand if he participates, with all the increased interest, the number of viewers could reach 26 million this time!
  3. He is building a position of strength from which he can better negotiate terms for his appearance, in order to better assure the hot stove that tried to burn him at the first FOX fiasco doesn’t try to singe him again.  If a child touched a hot stove and burned his hand once, then came back the next day and touched it again, wouldn’t you figure the kid is kind of stupid?  The Donald understands hot!
  4. By setting the conditions for his appearance, he is changing the rules of the game and stacking the odds in his favor.  Wouldn’t it be nice if that could be done on behalf of The People when having to push legislation past Pelosi or Schumer … or on behalf of America when confronting Putin or the Ayatollah?

Let us, also, remember that the RNC dropped NBC from the debate schedule when they didn’t like the handling of debates over there.  Yes the move is risky if Mr. Trump doesn’t show up, because the empty podium offers no one to defend him against the cheap shots that, no doubt, be taken Thursday night by both moderators and candidates alike.  But if this larger-than-life figure can negotiate an appearance on his terms, he will become even larger than larger-than-life.

Personally I think he is taking a carefully calculated risk but he will, ultimately, be present whether or not he shows up in person.  As for the people of Iowa, he has invested a huge amount of quality time directly with them and, when all is said and done, this is really just one of too many debates. I believe they will know this is not about them and that, for certain, with this candidate they will not be getting politics as usual!

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