Like him or not, Donald Trump is brilliantly utilizing media and Public Relations in trying to pave his path to the White House. Spending much less than even some of the also-rans, Trump is nearly even with Clinton in the polls and on the tip of just about everyone’s tongue. He’s been so masterful in his manipulation of media appetites – on both sides of the camera – that he can now pick and choose who “gets” to talk to him.
Sure, all candidates and “known names” can afford to say “no” to media requests from time to time, but can they afford to completely ignore and ostracize certain print and TV media in the heart of a presidential campaign? Well, Trump can. In recent weeks, the candidate and business mogul has refused multiple interview invites from nearly every other network … except Fox.
Give it to Donald, he knows where his bread is buttered, and he knows which programs his voters watch. Trump has been on various Fox programs more than a dozen times in recent weeks, while steadfastly refusing interviews from others.
Some would call it reckless political strategy, but they’ve been saying that since day one, and it hasn’t hurt Trump. Sometimes, he doesn’t even have to show up on a program to make an impact, because he always knows they’ll take his calls. For example, during the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Nice, France, Trump called two different big name talk shows and got through both times. He chatted with both Greta Van Susteren and Bill O’Reilly, and the best rival MSNBC could drum up is a sarcastic Tweet from Chris Hayes quipping that Trump was “doing a phoner on cable news with bodies still in the street.”
Trump haters and Hillary fans loved Hayes’ tweet, but Trump fans couldn’t care less…and Donald is banking on that. Instead of going after independents and “purple” DEMs as he previously promised, Trump seems to be shoring up his base for the long haul. He’ll need these voters, some disaffected and not quite happy to be aboard the Trump Train, and Trump seems to realize their value heading into what promises to be an “interesting” GOP convention.
Will he pivot to try to collect the independents and undecideds later in the campaign? Probably, but who knows. To date, Trump hasn’t pivoted much, and it seems to be working in his favor.