As Donald Trump limped through what some called his worst week yet, there are pundits who are saying his presidency is effectively over. Tony Schwartz, Trump’s co-author on The Art of the Deal, even predicted the president will soon resign.
I learned never to make such predictions, especially when it comes to Trump. A review of my past blogs on his candidacy–from the communication perspective–revealed repeated questions on whether he could survive his numerous PR mistakes. For example, a month before Election Day when the Access Hollywood video was released, I wrote:
“The revelation of a 2005 conversation in which (Trump) bragged about sexual aggression and assault may doom any reasonable chance of his election to the presidency. His team took nearly 13 hours to produce an online videotaped statement in which Trump acknowledged wrong-doing, apologized, and ended with an attack on Bill and Hillary Clinton. It remains to be seen how damaging this latest bombshell will be…”
Six months earlier I thought Trump’s nastiness might do him in. “The…vitriol goes beyond anything before it. Decorum, class, and attention to thoughtful communication strategy is, sadly, missing from the GOP primaries. Let’s hope it doesn’t continue.”
Later, in August, I wrote: “There were thoughts he would shift gears and become more ‘presidential’ in his tone. This turned out to be wishful thinking. The opposition worried that nothing he would say or do would ignite the public’s anger and sink his candidacy. However, the cumulative public relations effect of Trump’s racist, sexist, narcissistic comments are now doing the job. He seems incapable of acting differently, or even nearly ‘presidential.’ I’d like to predict we’re seeing the end of Trump’s flirtation with the White House. But I’m not making any predictions.”
Thank goodness I didn’t. I still won’t. Even when toxic words didn’t sink his candidacy, messaging matters much more when you occupy the Oval Office. Mr. Trump’s insensitive tweets and public comments reveal a leader out of touch with the nation. But although he’s being abandoned by many business leaders, clergy, conservatives, independents, and Republicans, Trump’s presidency may still survive. Your thoughts?